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Chapter 1

RLG203H5 Chapter 1: RL: RLG203H5 Chapter 1:NOTES


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG203H5
Professor
Kyle Smith
Chapter
1

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Ch 1: introduction
People know so little about their religion, they embrace a broad generic worldview
labeled as ‘moralistic, therapeutic deism’
One reason for religious illiteracy is that religion has been eliminated from public schools
Another reason = religious traditions ask very little from the people
Human nature = homo religiosus
o We seek fundamental questions about our being
Religion gives a sense of home, trust, strength and hope
Introducing Christianity
Largest religion today, dominant in western europe, russia, central and eastern europe
and latin america
Christianity has always been a religion seeking a metaphysic whereas buddhism is a
metaphysic generating a religion
Buddha wants to discover the nature of the universe, its cause and conditions
(metaphysics) and then created a religious movement around these teachings
Christianity formed as a community of believers in Jesus of Nazareth through whom they
experienced God’s salvation.
Christianity formed a religion around Jesus
Wesleyan quadrilateral
4 dynamic concepts, a framework that anglican church embraces as the ‘four pillars’.
Quadrilateral looks to the creative interplay of 1) reason 2) experience 3) tradition and 4)
scripture to make sense of faith
First, christians believe that faith ought to be reasonable
Second, its grounded in lived experience
Third, involves the religious continuity of the faith lived out by adherents as well as of the
authoritative voices held up by christians.
Fourth, bible is a pride of place in their faith. Word of God
The bible as authority
Relationship bt church leaders and traditions
Word authority comes from Latin auctoritas, which means origination or source’
o Its related to auctorare, meaning to bind
Thus to say the bible is a source of authority suggests that its a source book that has
binding power over believers
Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of itself it doesnt claim that scripture is dictated by God
or that there are no other important authoritative resources, it says its inspired by God
Authority has a domain. The bible's authority is intimately wedded to issues of
interpretation
Approaches to the bible
Secular scholars don’t see the text/bible as divinely and uniquely inspired. Secular
approach can’t represent christianity as it sees itself
Biblicist point of view. Believe bible was dictated by God, referred to the golden
typewriter theory.
Christian smith argues that biblicists embrace most of the claims:
o Divine writing: bible contains Gods speech
o Total representation: bible represents totality of Gods communication to
humanity
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