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Study Guide

[M E STD M50B] - Final Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (35 pages long)


Department
Middle Eastern Studies
Course Code
M E STD M50B
Professor
Professor Westbrook
Study Guide
Final

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UCLA
M E STD M50B
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

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1-11-17 Lecture !
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Reading (for next week):!
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Oxtoby pgs. 79-89!
Genesis 1-23 (chapters)!
Exodus 19-20!
Leviticus 17-26!
!
In this course we are studying:!
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Origins of three monotheistic religions!
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam!
Abrahamic as monotheism, belief in worship of one deity (at most)!
"Origins"is a relative concept !
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The "Insider Outsider Problem" in the academic study of religion !
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The problem of how, if at all, an outsider (someone not in the religion) can fully comprehend the perspective of an
insider (someone who does practice the religion)!
We're all insiders to our own belief systems and outsiders to other traditions and ideologies !
Religious studies can have an eect of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar !
"He [or she] who knows one, knows none" Max Mueller !
What does it mean?!
The idea of comparing; if you only know one, it limits your ability to compare to others!
We will be looking at dierent ways of knowing!
ie. history, theology, sociology, economics, politics, legal studies, psychology, anthropology, linguistics!
academic study of religion = interdisciplinary ways of knowing!
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Who Practices these Religions?!
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Worldwide!
55.2% of all people on earth belong to one of the main three Abrahamic regions !
In U.S.!
70.6% of the population is Christian!
1.9% Jewish of some sort!
0.9% Muslim!
22.8% Unaliated or "nones"!
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Living vs. Dead Religions!
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Just as some languages die, some religions also do!
Means they are no longer being practiced !
However has potential to come back to life!
not often though!
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Religions of Antiquity !
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Why are these ancient dead religions relevant to understanding Abrahamic traditions?!
Many are polytheistic but many pave the way for monotheistic religions- there is an evolution!
They stand in contrast!
Akhenaten!
Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh!
Pushed for the worship of the sun god, Aten, alone instead of the whole Egyptian pantheon!
One of the first examples of monotheism!
Zoroastrianism!
Worship of one supreme being, Ahura Mazda!
Potentially influenced the ideas of Heaven, Hell, the messiah, and evil found in the Abrahamic traditions!
Could have also had philosophical and linguistic influence!
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Afterlife!
Greco-Roman views of the after life could have influenced Jewish conception of afterlife!
Sheol is a single destination where everyone goes after death!
Is later compartmentalized based on behavior in this life!
Christian and Islamic traditions- there is the emergence of idea of heaven and hell (and purgatory)!
Neoplatonism!
Idea of separation of soul/mind and the body!
Influences New Testament writers and Christian history!
Hebrew word for soul:!
!שֶׁפֶנ
(Nepesh)!
Refers to whole person in the body
Idea of the soul as bodiless entity that transmigrates After Death traced to Greek philosophy !
!
Terminology!
!
None of the ancient world had a single world equivalent to the word "religion"!
The word comes from the Latin religio!
Some claim the root translated to "to bind" as in the unbreakable bond between humans and gods!
Communal bind and sense of belonging !
Other possible translation for the root is"to go over again" as in the repetition of a sacred ritual !
These two notions are complementary!
The idea of having a certain belief was not originally a part of this meaning!
Superstition!
Religion was defined against "superstition"!
Defined real religion against fake religion !
Establishment of what is in/accepted and what is not!
I.e. Christianity is the real religion and everything else is Pagan and false!
Superstition ---> irrational behavior!
Also- intentional disregard of standard/accepted practices!
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Ancient religions and Syncretism!
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Ancient religions were largely syncretic!
There was a mixture of religious traditions that allowed the worship of multiple gods and goddesses !
There were many gods that could be adopted!
Early gods!
Often corresponded to natural phenomenon !
Each city has it's own patron deity !
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Abrahamic Movements against Syncretism !
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There was a movement towards monotheism and break with idea that we can just combine all these things and
religions together!
Judaism- when Moses comes down from Sinai the first time and see's them worshiping the golden calf and sets
them straight- this is not what we do !
The first commandment !
"I am the lord your God" no idealizing of Gods!
Christianity !
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6!
Islam!
Shirk is the gravest sin of idolatry and/or polytheism !
First of the five pillars of Islam!
"There is no God but god, and Muhammed is the messenger of God"!
In the Abrahamic religions, there is a distinct dierence between creator and creation, between one God and
humanity !
At the same time, there are strong prophetic traditions within all three!
!
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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