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Lecture and textbook notes on Hinduism

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Henry Shiu

RLGA01H 2010-09-14 to 2010-10-05 HINDUISM WEEK 1 HINDUISM and the term RELIGION Hinduism is the dominant religion of India. 85% of the one billion people in India are known to the world as Hindus Problematic terms in the statement: Hinduism Religion India These are not terms that originate from the indigenous words in Indiathere is no equivalent word for religion, they do not call their natural habitat India, and they did not name themselves Hindus Each one of these terms suggest uniformity and consistency that does not actually exist In the East, actual practices of the religion may differ, as well as the belief in different deitiesEastern religions are not as institutionalized When we study the religious tradition of the East, we must accustom ourselves to: Diversity; Discontinuity; Difference We must keep in mind that one label does not indicate that the practices and beliefs of these religions is also uniform and static th The Hindu and hence Hinduism are of Persian origin from around the 12 century CE The term Hindu was originally only used to refer to people living in India; not the religion they practicedas such, not all Hindus practice and believe in the same things As a result of this, the words Hindu and Hinduism have become synonymous with the religion In Hinduism, the phrase sanatana dharma means eternal law the closest term to religion Based on a principle of eternality that Hindus believe in Most Hindus see themselves as devotees as a particular god or goddess, such as Siva or Visnu People usually have tilaks or forehead markings to indicate which deity they are following In Eastern cultures, you typically did not find terms to mean religionafter many centuries these words were developedand did not find the concept of it either Religion is a Western concept that has much to do with a Creator God The word religion derives from the Latin religio Application of the term religion requires care as to what we mean by the word People have many different understandings and definitions of what constitutes a religious practice OUTSIDER vs. INSIDER If you are inside as a practitioner of a religion, you tend to understand the claims of your traditions better than an outside As an outsider, we can try to critically analyze the historical developments of a single traditions Such a historical analysis often leads us to draw conclusions that are in conflict with the insiders who actually practice the religions The insiders know things that the outsiders will never know, the outsiders know things that the insiders cannot know 1 www.notesolution.com
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