Religion Notes Final Exam
Religion Matters Chapter 3
Changing Technology, Changing Religion
o As soon as printing presses were invented, the bible became a work of literature that
was available to everyone. Everyone was given the opportunity to interpret the word of
god in their own way which caused religions to split and spilt until now where there are
many different denominations within Christianity.
o New era of “Online Religion” – hosting services via skype, evangelical outreach, online
discussions, publishing testimonies, etc...
o Online communities becoming more and more popular
Virtual Spiritual Community, Identity, and Authority
o Online Faith Community
Advantages: the ability to worship and communicate with others within the
community is 24/7 ongoing, not just when church is in service
Disadvantages: not everyone has access to a computer, the person is still alone
while worshiping, some rituals must be performed with other people
o Virtual Religious identity
Using the internet allows people to become many different identities which may
skew the church, one can be a member of an evangelical church, but also try out
paganism, how do you know which members of the church are members
because they believe in those beliefs?
o Religious Authority Online
Online Religion challenges religious leaders authority because anyone can post
anything about religion, having the correct background or not
o Protestant congregations, a minimum of 2000 attendees on any given Sunday
o Innovative worship styles using projection technology, praise bands, few use traditional
worship styles such as singing hymns and reciting creeds
o Can you have Community in a Mega-Church?
Yes, they promote smaller working groups within the church for social
interaction between members
Also non denominational so everyone feels welcome
Other New Forms and Contexts for Religious Community
o New Age Religious Practises
Divinity (horoscopes, astrology, tarot cards, psychic readings)
Wellness (yoga, message, aromatherapy)
Most of the people that practise these are women, however some
women practise this simply out of joy and do not hold it of religious
importance Religion Matters Chapter 09
Sex – the biological and anatomical categories of being male or female
Gender – the social categories of what it means to be a male or female in a particular society in
specific times and places. A person’s gender is not always identical to a person’s sex
Gender Roles – society’s scripts or expectations for how males and females are supposed to
behave, how they should look, what their attitudes should be, what jobs are appropriate for
them and so on
Sexuality – the totality of categories that individual societies construct around our bodies
sensual feelings, desires, fantasies, behaviours and emotions
Sexual orientation – how society defines specific sets of feelings, desires, etc, to express what is
expected from particular sexual categories
Sexual identity – how an individual identifies his or her own sexuality as male, female or
something in between, possessing unique sets of sexual feelings, desires, etc,.
But isn’t a Women’s place in ... Religion?
o Women’s beliefs are generally stronger than men’s. Women helped to spread
Christianity around the world. Women practise religion more often than men do.
o In many religions women are deemed inferior to men. They cannot become priests or
hold a prestigious position in the church. Women are to respect men and god because
Adam was created before Eve.
Changing gender roles, changing relationships to religion
o The roles of women in religion are trying to change with the formation of women’s
groups or auxiliaries. Congregations that have women’s groups are twice as likely to
o New age religion is also on the rise to try to empower women, practises of yoga,
aromatherapy and Wicca are just a few
Does religion change when women are in charge?
o Women do lead their churches differently than men.
o Women focus on building relationships and using knowledge to lead. They are also more
open to issues like abortion and same sex marriage
o Men tend to focus on hierarchical power and are not open to modern issues
Why does it always come back to Sex?
o There are many passages in the bible that are against same sex relationships and most
of the passages talk about the actual act of sex.
o Some congregations are becoming open to the idea of same sex people however the
vast majority of churches are against it
Negotiating LGBT identities within religious institutions
o Many gay and lesbian people attempt to interpret religion in a way that does not
condemn their behaviour
o Also they might suppress their sexuality so that no one knows or they might try to
change their religion to fit their lifestyle o As well these people might compartmentalize that sexuality and religion are two
Challenging and transforming religious ideas about gender and sexuality
o Gender, sexual identity and religion often conflict with each other, it is very hard to
change religious ideas about gay and lesbians because some countries have developed
their laws around the teachings of their religion
o It will take some time before change will occur
Religion Matters Chapter 10
How Segregated are Religious Congregations?
o Ninety three percent of congregations in the United States are racially homogeneous
and only seven percent are racially mixed
o Consensus is that if there are more options of where to go to church, most people pick
the congregation that is most like them racially
o Religious congregations are the most segregated institutions in the world