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[RLG351H1] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (31 pages long!)


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG351H1
Professor
Walid Saleh
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSG
RLG351H1
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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‘LG351H1F: INT‘ODUCTION TO QU‘AN - WEEK 2 SEPT/16/2014
OFFICE HOURS: MONDAY 10-11
Historical background: drew the map to emphasize how massive this area is and how adjacent
to the global centers of culture at that time.
Whats at stake? Trade fro India and China.
Where did spices come from? India and from china we get high luxury items ex. Porcelain.
The goods get taxed in Iran/Sassinia
The two empires would fight (Byzantine and Sasanian)
The battles are happening very close to Arabia.
We need to place Muhammad and Quran in the environment.
Christianity represented in Byzantine.
Judaism represented in Sassanian Empire, in Northern Arabia.
Zoroastrian represented the Sassanians.
Pagan Arabs represented the people of Arabia.
The shores in which Arabia geographically isolated because it was very difficult to access.
By 570-628, Byzantine and Sassasian Empires were in a continuous fight which almost became a
religious war.
In that environment where religion is becoming more and more central to that identity of
citizens in that empire.
We believe in that century, something happened to the identity of citizenship especially in the
Roman Empire where an individual felt as a Christian first before roman.
By the 6th/7th C., the Byzantine Empire became a fully Christian Empire, where the Church and
the State worked together in wanting Christianity to prosper.
The state was a protector of the religion.
Paganism was declared an illegal religion.
The roman empire declared paganism an illegal religion***
Important because it will explain a lot about Islam.
Islam would tolerate Christianity and Judaism but not paganism.
When Mohammed shows up, there is a sense that Rome being the civilized nation and has
become monotheist, believes in the God of Moses and that being Pagan is almost being
inhuman. Being pagan is to forfeit your humanity.
Paganism* is now seen as a liability or barbaric.
The sassanians protected the Jews because a big chunk of the Jewish Diaspora was in the
sassiaa epire so the didt hae to opete with the Christians and flourishing in sassanian
iran.
Byzantium: Christian, anti-pagan, state and church union.
The state wanted to promote unity. Then we start having the notion of universality.
Universality, the notion that this notion is universal meaning its truth is beyond its borders and
its the ol real truth.
Orthodoxy (the right faith), you open yourself for sectarianism.
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If the state says what they want them to believe and if they dont the the eoe the ee
of the state.
Universalism although it looks like modern/liberal but is very oppressive. Example:
Consumerism. Universalism breeds problems.
Egyptian Christians were not happy, the Syrian Christians were not happy, the Armenian
Christians were not happy.
Catholic means universal in Greek.
You start haig orthodo ad it started to reak. Thats the problem of monotheism and Islam
will suffer the same thing. Islam will go way of the Christians and a new sect forms. When it
becomes universal it becomes broken down.
These are all the akgroud of the Qura ad Isla.
Medina/Yathrib, Mecca
Muhammad is born in about 570 C.E
622 C.E, the hijra (migration) of the prophet from Mecca to Medina.
Hijri is the calendar and 622 C.E is year one of the Hijra.
Looked at the Greek dating system and the Arabic dating system, and the year 622 C.E comes
out.
633 C.3, the year Muhammad died.
Where? Mecca, Arabia (in Hijaz).
Who? Muhammad.
When? 610-632 C.E. (600-700 is the 7th century).
In Mecca and Medina are important in the establishment of the first Islamic state.
By 636 C.E there is the first mention of the name Muhammad in Syriac on the cover of the bible
 a ok ho heard the ig es of the attle etee “ria ad
Who were the people of Muhammad?
Who are the Arabs?
Arabs is a tribal society.
Tribal structure in Arabia was no centralized state but no taxation, no imperial tradition (lets say
Ottawa collapsed and Toronto declared by its citizens to be part of America. There is police,
taatio. As itizes ere all austoed to it. I Araia, it ast. The itizes ould ot
subject to anyone else.)
Egalitarian structure.
Tribe is a self-sufficient unit.
Most importantly, offering protection of life and means of nourishment.
In this system, the loyal to the tribe was higher than all other loyalties.
System was governance was the vendetta system and every injustice has to be repaid, which is
very radical.
Since there was no high culture in hijaz. There as oe thig, ad thats poetry.
THE WORLDVIEW:
We try to describe how this world functions.
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