SCTR 19- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 21 pages long!)

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Published on 13 Oct 2017
Course
Professor
Santa Clara
SCTR 19
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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9/22 Lecture Notes
JCI = Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Quiz 1 Answers (given by teacher in class)
1. Who are the three main dieties in JCI
a. Judaism
i. Yahweh
b. Christianity
i. God
c. Islam
i. Allah
2. What human attributes does God have in common with Humans?
a. Hand of the Lord
b. God created man in His image.
c. If a brother strike one another let it not be to the face for Allah make
man in his own image
3. Why was it necessary for humans to have similar features to their dieties?
a. Difficult to relate to dieties who one cannot relate to must have some
similarities to gods in order to be able to comprehend what Gods are and
what they can in terms of human reality.
Why Study Religion?
- Hitler Principle: If something causes massive destruction, then it is worth
studying. The study of religion is worth it, even if God does not exist, because
religion causes wars and conflict.
- The study of religion is a misleading term, very difficult to study the meaning
behind the term itself
o Easier to study religions
o Differentiation between religion and religions
Religion singular is the study of the idea of religions
Religions plural is the study of individual religions and their
comparisons
i.e. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism.
How is the nature of God understood, interpreted, and disputed by the community of
believers and its detractors?
- There really is little empirical evidence of a God, so often people point to
personal experience.
- Beliefs between religions cause conflicts and religious ideas are often
extrapolated to moral arguments
o These moral arguments turn into political movements/policies
- Understandably human God and esoteric God balanced between religions.
o A difficult to understand yet all powerful God is more persuasive in his
power.
o Too difficult is alienating and worshippers are confused as to how to
react.
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9/22 Lecture Notes
What is Religion?
Clifford Geertz: "(1) a system of symbols (2) which acts to establish powerful,
pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men (3) by formulating
conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with
such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."
Critiques of Geertz’s definitions
- system of symbols seems to not be enough as a description for the entirety of
religion
- definition seems to be biased towards an agnostic/athiest interpretation
o “aura of factuality”
o “seem realistic”
- current definition is less inclusive of an aspect of “belief” and a leap of faith
- only deals with religion in the context of society, not of a religion in isolation
note: Geertz’ definition is the gold standard definition used in the class.
Examples of Applications of Geertz’ Definitions:
Christianity
1. Symbols of God
a. Eucharist
b. Crucifix
c. Ichthys (fish symbol)
2. Set of Motivations: Salvation
a. Heaven vs. Hell
b. Sin vs. Virtues
c. Presupposes humans are bad (original sin)
3. General Order of Existence: Rules of Religion
a. 10 commandments
b. Lessons in Parables
c. Heaven vs. Hell (punishment/reward system)
4. Aura of Factuality:
a. Rituals in place to show that the physical world of humans and the
superphysical world of God is connected.
b. Bible connects the word of God to his followers
i. John 1:1-10; Proof of a Holy Trinity
c. Ideas of Salvation
i. “People who believe in His name then henceforth born of God”
(Children of God)
d. Eucharist supposed to bring us back to connecting to Jesus
e. Baptism washes away original sin with a Christian life.
5. Realistic
a. Attempts to teach believers an ideal way of living that coincides with
the church’s beliefs
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Document Summary

Quiz 1 answers (given by teacher in class: who are the three main dieties in jci. Hitler principle: if something causes massive destruction, then it is worth studying. The study of religion is worth it, even if god does not exist, because religion causes wars and conflict. There really is little empirical evidence of a god, so often people point to personal experience. Beliefs between religions cause conflicts and religious ideas are often extrapolated to moral arguments: these moral arguments turn into political movements/policies. Understandably human god and esoteric god balanced between religions: a difficult to understand yet all powerful god is more persuasive in his power, too difficult is alienating and worshippers are confused as to how to react. Critiques of geertz"s definitions system of symbols seems to not be enough as a description for the entirety of religion.

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