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RLGA02H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Medina, Jahiliyyah, Social Constructionism

Course Code
David Perley
Study Guide

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Substantive definitions of religion- Religion is defined in 3 ways being functionalist,
substantive and social constructionist. The substantive definition includes the belief of
supernatural or superior beings that cannot be explained scientifically. There are many
sociologists that oppose the idea of associating religion with the term supernatural as some
people to make distinction between natural and supernatural. Later substantive definitions have
replaced ‘‘supernatural’’ with such terms as ‘‘superhuman’’. It also later includes that
religion involves not only beliefs but also institutions, practices, and symbols. Substantive
definitions close the definitional door to phenomena that don’t conform to western commonsense
notions of what religion is.
Exile- The term exile generally means the removal or deportation of someone from their home.
The term has a very negative connotation as the person or people being exiled are not allowed to
return home and are threatened if they do so. Being exiled is a form of punishment that has
resulted from disobeying or crime. It is closely associated with the event of diaspora. Diaspora is
an event in which the Jews were exiled from Israel and then once again in Spain because of their
monotheistic faith. Exile and diaspora can cause for scattering among the population and
refugees can result as a consequence of exile. Exile is significant as it happens to this day during
war in third world countries. The consequence is the birth of refugees, and if not helped, the
death of them as well.
Secularization- The term is derived from the word secular which generally means non-religious.
Wilson sees that the world is a long term process of secularization. It is not atheism as it allows
for a democratic society and just does not wish for an interference of religion in anything
political. As a result of secularization, churches and sects alike have become less central to the
functioning of society. Sects represent weak reactions to the process of secularization. where
secularization has made the greatest impact, sects are most likely to increase. Breaks power of
religion and gives power to sects. Then sects are given more freedom to flourish in a secular
world because a sect can make t dominant to them. A sect develops in response to secularization.
Hijra- Arabic term. move to yathrib/madina from mecca. Term means migration or flight.
Significant to the muslims. Year 622. Time where muslim community came into being and
starting point of calendar dating. At yathrib the PBUH became the religious/political leader. Had
to leave mecca because muslims were being persecuted
Jahiliyya- Arabic term. referred as time before establishment of Islam. Dark ages. Opposite of
Islam. Means people who are ignorant of God and his message. State of ignorance. Before
revelation of Quran from the prophet Mohammed. Used in Quran 4 times. Has a very negative
Paul (and his letters)- oldest doc. In the new testament. No more circumcision. He writes letters
telling Christians what to do on the Mediterranean. To be real Christian must be a Jew. Long
distance relationship with early Christians. Sent letters to romans and Hebrews. Taught how to
be a Christian. Brings non-jews into traditions. Helped to establish churches. Jesus is figurehead
but paul brings it together.
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