RE220 Final Exam Review.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Brent Hagerman

RE220 Final Exam Review - Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 8:30 AM in N1001 Danielle Scarmato 110938660 Terms and Definitions Amar Chitra Katha: Is one of India‘s largest selling comic book series, with more than 90 million copies sold in 20 Indian languages (English language series came out in 1967).  ―Immortal Picture Stories‖  Created by Anant Pai  Stories of gods and goddesses taken right out of a scared text  Marketed to Indian Middle Class  Mobile, urban, spoke English global outlook  Formed Indian diaspora that found jobs elsewhere  Connected back to religion with the Amar Chitra Katha  Related to the comic book series for the connection to Hinduism and their culture  American super hero characteristics are found in Indian comic books o Example: Rama (extraordinary powers, god in human form, has an enemy, strong moral code, secret identity) o Meaningful narrative telling a Hindu myth o Seeks to immortalize Hindu heroes Apotheosis: is the glorification of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, and in art, where it refers to a genre. In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature. Appropriation  ― The taking from a culture that is not one‘s own of intellectual property, cultural expressions or artifacts, history and ways of knowledge‖  Example: yoga- Hinduism context, secularized this in the West, no more religious meaning, sports teams- use religious symbols American Jesus: is fundamentalist, "badass", military, not feminine, not peace loving, and muscular. Axis mundi  The connection between heaven and earth (could even be a hole in the wall) o Centre of a community o The center point o Example: a church on the top of a hill would be an axis mundi  Imago Mundi: the idealize version of the world o An image centered around the Axis mundi o Symbolically wants to put the world in order o Less important than the Axis Mundi Beat Poets  Influenced by theosophists and Zen  The beats were disillusioned with the west and turned to eastern religions, most notably Buddhism  Alan Ginsberg and Jack Keruoac  Post war hipsters / Paved the way for hippies by embracing drugs, free love, etc.  Prototype for the counterculture  On a spiritual quest for a new consciousness  Think the western cultures and ideas are waste Bhagavad Gita  Takes place on the battle field  Moral dilemma against cousins army  Duty to his family, feels that he has a duty to go to war against his cousin  This scripture contains a conversation b/w Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna o The same story of Bagger Vance who turns for council on the golf course Bob Marley Nine Miles - Bob Marley‘s grave site in Jamaica - More than a commemorative shrine for the family - Set aside sacred space in time - Site includes: house he grew up in, his mausoleum (housing the tomb), gift shop, restaurant - Each threshold takes you further from the real world Controversy over Mausoleum - Wants to take his body to Ethiopia - It was Bob Marley‘s wish to be in Ethiopia - January 2005: Rita Marley announced hat she intended to move her late husband‘s remains from his mausoleum in Jamaica to Ethiopia for his sixtieth birthday - Wanted to be in Zion, his sacred space in Africa Burning Man  Happens in the black rock desert in Nevada  Last Monday of August to the first Monday of September  Centers around a giant figure of a male made of wood  Lets of religious iconography  A giant nun confessional  A mirror with ―be your own messiah‖ written out on it  Sacred space is actively created at burning man  There is an element of pilgrimage 10 principles: 1) Radical Inclusion (strangers are allowed) 2) Gifting (give and don‘t expect to receive) 3) Decommodification 4) Radical Self-Reliance 5) Radical Sex-expression 6) Communal effort 7) Civic responsibility 8) Leaving no trace 9) Participation 10) Immediacy Christotainment: Promoting Christianity via entertainment pop culture mediums. Eg.. Holyland Experience, Jesus in Pop Culture (king of kings, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ super star...etc) Civil religion: Robert Bellah – well known for theorizing civil religion  ―The set of religious or quasi-religious beliefs, myths, symbols, and ceremonies that unite a political community and that mobilizes its members in the pursuit of common goals‖  Is a mixing of religious piety with nationalism and patriotism  Not connected to constitutional religion  Can be considered as the political religion Commodification: 1) Use of popular culture marketplace to market religion 2) Religion as a commodity in the ―religious marketplace‖ 3) Disneyfication - Making an item into a commodity (commodity=a marketable item) - Example: the Virgin Mary‘s image has been tattooed on arms and sold on t-shirts Counterculture: a way of life and set of attitudes opposed to or at variance with the prevailing social norm  Wants to deviate from mainstream society Deepa Mehta - Indian-born Canadian film director and screenwriter - Elements Trilogy: fire, earth, water - Attempts to depict reality in film - Themes: domestic and religious violence, political upheaval, religious fundamentalism - Mehta‘s critique of pop culture representations of India: conceptions that prevail in the west about India - 1. Spiritual India- go and find nirvana - 2. Conception that India is entirely poverty stricken with a permanent kind of begging bowl attitude - India brings specifically fixed images in many western minds - When u stat de-eroticizing that, you have to deal with Indians as real people, there is pressure not to do that - Slum dog millionaire: poverty stricken, slum of India, massive ghetto, garbage, puts us in the mind set that India is bad off - Quick image to set up the plot - Little Buddha: spiritual wonderland, mystical place Dharma ―to hold things together‖  Your religious duty o Your responsibilities (example: Your Dharma to your family would be taking care of your parents when they grow old, just as they took care of you  One true path in life o Hinduism believes that everyone has one true path in life and you have to find it Disneyfication: homogenizing and sanitizing religious sentiment thereby reducing it to a ―Gospel of Disney‖ that can be marketed around the world  Homogenization  Merchandising  Sanitizing  Repacking religion in a Disney ready form  Elements of religion in Disney movies  Simplify religion Dominionists:  Christians who believe they have control over the world  Were given the right by god  Used pop culture: o Owned media empire o Employed hyperrealism o Made hyper real films like The passion of Christ o Have to be willing to die for the agenda Evangelicalism:  To evangelize is to spread the word  Evangelical Christians o Understand the Bible as the authoritative word of God and stress the experience of conversion or being “born again” Fundamentalism:  Bible is the infallible word of God  Anti-modern Grey Owl: The wilderness man (1938). His real name was Archie Belaney. Grey Owl‘s experience as an Englishman who went Native is a metaphor for the experience of all non-natives who face the challenge of becoming North American. He is a symbol of our problematic relationship with the Canadian wilderness. Seton and Grey Owl were moral reformers who advocated the spiritual transformation of modern society by the application of what they took to be ―Indian‖ values = wilderness values Hierophany: – sacred made manifest o Example when Moses goes up the mountain he finds God through a burning bush o The burning bush is a Hierophany This term appears frequently in the works of religious historian Mircea Eliade as an alternative to the more restrictive term ―theophany‖ (an appearance of god). It signifies a manifestation of the sacred. Eliade argues that religion is based on a sharp distinction between the sacred and the profane. According to Eliade, for traditional man, myths describe ―breakthroughs of the sacred (or the supernatural) into the World – that is hierophanies Holy Cow:  Critiques tourists (13)  Travel literature geared to experiences  Gives detailed histories of religions  Politics of nostalgia  Orientalist perspective? Or is she getting beyond it?  How is MacDonald‘s representation of India like or different from Deepa Mehta‘s? o Similar, they talk about begging—in MacDonald, when she first got there she explained what it was like o MacDonald puts ―more meat on the bones‖, overindulges as a spiritual wonderland  Can be a seeker and be a part of the religious marketplace  A lot of spiritual leaders  Is this an example of orientalism? Does it eroticize or essentialize India? o Does she essentialize india?  10 days of silence  Women have great hair she has fair skin, physical difference and categorizes people  Arranged marriages—how they worked, and relationships  Orientalist view? o It is, western perception of a non-western individual o Uses western language to describe non-western religion  Writes a lot about the mundane  Do you think anyone would take issue with her representation of religion in the book? o Her book cover the look of it o Zoroastrians—takes pictures of the vultures becoming instinct  Does this Disnify India, or Indian religions?  Does it commodify religion? o Yes, ―people should try religions‖ o Buying into this idea of trying differing religions o She commodifys religion while putting it as a product to sell  Could this book have been written about any other country? o Could be done for a spiritual journey  What are 5 things you learned about India‘s religions from the book? o Welcoming religion o There are a lot of different kinds (Zoroastrians) o Everyone believes their religion is the best o Hinduism, stand on one leg and it is supposed to heal o Yogi, school is going to change the world o Cows were seen religious and holy o Drink, smoke weed, etc., let loose with everyone  Sarah is told that she ―must die while doing [her] duty‖ Does she figure out what her duty is? o Pregnant—influenced by people she met and learned how mothers and daughters mean and what family means  Is this a religious book? Sort of—contemporary Hyperreality: is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies. Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience. Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. Manifest destiny: Manifest Destiny is a phrase or philosophy that reflects the quest of the United States for power. Americans believed that the U.S. was destined to conquer lands from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It is the notion that America is Gods chosen land (normally thought of as Israel) Megachurches: Churches that have more than 2,000 in attendance each week  Many Protestant mega churches can range from 10,000 - 47,000 in attendance each week Mosaic (and the Mosaic Myth): That we are multicultural and accepting of other cultures  ―National Amnesia‖ we have to forget things that we‘ve done in the past o Until 1947 Canadian‘s were British subjects o Racist and classist history o Slaveholding nation o Ignored non-white and non-Christian history o Racist immigration laws o Anti-Semitism Muscular Christianity/ Muscular Jesus:  Hyper reality  Political Fundamentalism  Dominionists National Dreams: Attempts to locate and describe some of the most persistent images and stories in Canadian History. These are the images and stories that seem to express the fundamental beliefs that Canadians hold about themselves.  ―Core myths‖  What is a nation? A group of people who share the same illusions about themselves o Imagined communities o Images are expressed through stories, not by meeting on another (Anderson) Occident: The western world Orientalism: It‘s where the west conceives ideas of the orient then imposes their ideas on it. Take for example where Rev. Thorne comments that the décor makes him hungry for Indian food. Baber responds that ―we‘re from Pakistan‖, and the Rev responds ―There‘s a difference?‖ That is, his fixed and inaccurate notions are what he uses to define them. - Edward Said - Theory of concepts - Scholars that study the orient - The projection of western ideas and concepts onto no-western cultures - Orient: non- western cultures in general - Occidental Postmodernism:  Deletion of the boundary between art and everyday life  The collapse of the hierarchal distinction between elite and popular culture  A stylistic eclecticism and the missing of codes  Parody, pastiche, irony and playfulness o A deliberate mixing of styles and conventions, the eclectic ―mashing up‖ of genres without much knowledge or respect for the parent tradition o ―Deconstruction‖ o e.g., Andy Warhol—everyday life Rodney Stark: is a Sociologist  Religious economy o There is a market of current and potentioal religious believers and a set of organizations seeking to attract them o A competitive market is a health market  McDonalization: o The process by which the [principles of the fast food restaurants are coming to dominate more and more sectors of the world] Sacred space: a space that is constructed around a sacred object that is experience as the Holy Other; it is different than the rest of the world Sacred time: A time outside of time (separate). Ritual gives you access to sacred time because of the profane time. Secular humanism:  Idea that universal values can be articulated outside of a religious framework  Mickey mouse was ―the symbol of common humanity in struggle against the forces of evil‖  The disneyfication of religion then, is the erasing of anything that could be construed as offensive  Under the rubric of global marketing, Disney is trying to gain the biggest market share/ audience  Yet still promote ―family values‖ Secularization: is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious (or irreligious) values and secular institutions.  A society that doesn‘t focus on religion Seekers: example George Harrison John Lennon = postmodernist Snake charmers and child brides:  If you want to have a popular film in the west, one must show similar things  Does she use these images? And does she get away from this idea?  She exoticsize something that is exotic to us  ―The west refuses to acknowledge our achievements in any sphere, but is only interested in our snake charmers and child brides. And people like Deepa Mehta pander to them‖— The week magazine, 2000  Making films for the tourist gaze is important to gain audiences  Exotic locale—already there in world cinema  Focusing on child brides isn‘t something she started In what way can ―water‖ be considered orientalist? ―The west refuses to acknowledge our achievements in any sphere, but is only interested in our snake charmers and child brides and people like Deepa Mehta pander to them‖  She goes outside of the western gaze and actually writes films about things and issues that are actually happening like subjugation of women, children, and widows  These films are very different than Bollywood films Stompin‘ Tom Connors:  1970‘s Canadian musician, had a television show writes about Canada  Spent a decade hitch hiking across Canada, played guitar for money  Ended up in Timmins, realized there were no songs about Canada  Draws on symbols that
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