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Chapter 1

RLGA01 Chapter 1 Notes for Exam.docx

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Henry Shiu

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RLGA01 Chapter 1 Notes
Few concepts that are common in all human cultures are: powerful gods, sacred places, afterlife,
presence of spirits in the physical world
There is a general belief that the world consists of three levels: sky, earth, and underworld
o Sky is where all the higher deities and gods lived
o Earth was the intermediate level where the humans lived
o Underworld was where serpents and other evil things lived under the Earth
People believed mountains and hilltops were sacred placed due to it being closer to the sky (i.e. God)
o It’s called the sacred place because they claim to feel the presence of some sort of unusual
Religion grows out of human experiences
The concept of God born in Human started by the first century of the common era
The ten waves represent the similar changes it brought to several traditions around the world
o Wave 1: Shamanism
A belief in spirits and it’s been evident since the time of hunters
There is belief that despite the death of any living thing, the spirits linger around and there
are rituals done to protect people from these spirits
These rituals are suggested and done by Shamans, who are priests that interact between the
intermediate world (earth) and the spiritual world
o Wave 2: Connecting to the Cosmos
Roles included calculating seasons to determine when it’s best to do things like planting
Burial was done at high places where the deceased will be connected to the spiritual world
o Wave 3: Temple Religion
Where the religion class/social class came into light
Priests were in charge of performing hymns and taking care of the temples
o Wave 4: Prophetic Religion
Where the prophets acts as an mediator/intermediate between God and humans
They were also seen as predictors of the future
o Wave 5: The Energy of God
A force, energy that is found by looking within
o Wave 6: Purity and Monasticism
To discover spiritual enlightenment through bodily discipline and purify the mind through the
act of nonviolence towards all living creatures
o Wave 7: Mystery Religion
The Greek and Roman traditions that were kept secrets from the outsiders
Thought to have developed Christianity
o Wave 8: God on Earth
Take the form of avatar when God is in full human form
Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu (=who is the protector of the Earth)
o Wave 9: Scriptural Religion
Manifestation of the religions in the world
o Wave 10: Fundamentalism
People of this group do not believe/accept other Gods and religions other than their own
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