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RLGA02H3 (39)
Chapter 1

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Department
Religion
Course
RLGA02H3
Professor
David Perley
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 1 Few concepts shared by all human cultures related to religion: powerful gods, sacred places, a life of some kind after death, the presence in the physical world of spirits that interact with humans in various ways Three Worlds  The world consisting of three levels: sky, earth, and underworld  Sky: considered the home of the greater deities  Earth: the intermediate level where humans lived  Underworld: the spirits of serpents or reptilian monsters; thought to be evil Sacred Places  High places: ppl gathered at these sites to win the favour of the deities by offering them food, drink, praise, and prayer Animal Spirits  Human tendency to attribute spirits to animals, either individually or as members of a family with a kind of collective guardian spirit. The 10 Waves Wave 1: Shamanism  Shaman: a kind of priest; aka medicine man, soul doctor, and witchdoctor  A person who acts as an intermediary b/w humans and the spirit world  Hunting Rituals o Ancient cave drawings depict hunting scenes in which a human figure seems to be performing a dance of some kind; a shaman performing a ritual either to ensure a successful hunt or to appease the spirits of the hunted species  Coping with Unfriendly Spirits o Spirits taken the form of monsters or mythical beasts  The Shaman o To communicate with the spirit world, the shaman enters a trance state o The shaman’s soul leaves his body and travels to the realms where the spirits live (ecstatic) OR o The Shaman calls the spirit into her own body and is possessed by it, taking on the voice and personality of the spirit, or mimic its way of moving o The Shaman then tells what he has learned about the problem and what should be done about it; usually to perform a ritual sacrifice of some kind Wave 2: Connecting to the Cosmos  The wave that inspired the building of the Stonehenge  Discerning the Cosmic Cycles o Priests tracked the seasons and determine the best time for seasonal activities such as planting o The horizon was divided into segments named after the planet or constellation associated with that section o What we now call astrology developed as a way of understanding the cycle of the seasons and how humans fitted into it, collectively and individually  Hilltop Tombs o Ancient cultures favoured high places as burial sites o Shafts extending from the burial chambers towards important stars connected the deceased with the cosmos  Animals and Gods o Associating certain animals with specific deities Wave 3: Temple Religion  Brought larger temples, more elaborate sacrificial rituals, and the development of a priestly class with unusual power, prestige, and wealth  Indo-European Priests o Term referring to langu
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