oral and written texts
revelation, interpretation, and codification;
"divine" language and its perceived difference from 'human' uses of language
language and creation
the power of words, etc.
-one division in Language is oral + written texts (emphasized most in Islam )
-2 more categories of language can be:
Divine Language (ie. Arabic, Hebrew) – revelation/scripture
– in all 3 religions, they believe that god creates/authors language
Human Language – interpretations/commentaries that are organically added
on to scripture/revelations from god
2. SACRED roles vs SOCIAL roles of importance
distinctions between social roles (rabbi, mullah, priest, Pope, Bishop, monk,
caliphs, imams) versus 'sacred' roles (prophets, messiahs, Shi'a Imams)
connections between social roles and religious authority
ALSO: find examples that belong in BOTH categories – how are these roles
different from purely social or purely sacred roles?
EXAMPLE 1 – Messiah in sacred + social roles st
idea of Messiah develops in Judaism, but in 1 century CE, we get the rise of
Apocalypticism and there’s a dream that hopefully a kingly ruler will come back and help
us out so idea of Messiah in that context is now an idealized notion, esp in Judaism
b/c there’s a belief that the Messiah never showed up (Rabbinical Judaism)
-HISTORICALLY, there were messiahs – they were the kings, kingly line (ie. in Hebrew
bible, Cyrus was referenced as messiah) – BUT this is different from the idea of some
person to come and completely save us from this disastrous life
priests/rabbi/imam (human/social role) VS prophet/messenger (sacred role)
3. Identity Formation + concept of 'Tradition'
– reflect on the idea that 'every religion has a mother'
i.e., every religion both participates in the identity of other traditions while also being a
– Try to think of the best examples of religious traditions in our course that best express
the idea of tradition as both a connection to and departure from previous traditions. EXAMPLE 1 - Sunni/Shi’a split in Islam
– their identities are tied together historically and each group has notions about
itself and is fully aware of how the other group pres