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Chapter 2

RLG100Y1 Chapter 2: _s WRLG 100Y - Lectures

Course Code
Andre Maintenay

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World Religions - Introduction 09/14/15
Discussion in supreme court about if Muslim women should wear their religious wear while taking the
oath of citizenship.
- Hair: There are different kinds of people that have different styles of hair in relation to their religion
- Body: Tattoo their bodies, certain clothes, daggers, jewels, marrying in white clothing for purity/death.
^ All according to the religion.
- Food: Animals of certain kinds, animals killed in specific way, specific instruments, prayers over food,
vegetarian diet.
- RELIGION is a much more pervasive form
- RELIGION Dictates: what you do, eat, drink, wear, greet, work, love, marry, death, birth (and vice versa)
- RELIGION informs our practices in overt & covert ways.
- We are diverse and accepting of people of different faiths, traditions and cultures
^ Result: If we don't understand history, preoccupations, people, civilizations, customs, norms of
religion; we will never exactly understand the world we live in.
- Appreciate the fact that our world is open to different religions.
We will be learning: What is religion? Characteristics of religions, what questions do religions answer
Religion : Latin "religio" connected to Christianity, concept of joining oneself to something greater. The
study of religion is historically rooted in Christianity when the Catholic church started to send out
missionaries around the world. There are several Christian communities. The practice of studying other
people's religion. The hope was to expand the power of Christian in the 14th century exploration. Marco
Polo in the 13th century during the exploration in Europe to the worldwide.
Judaism : Mistaken processor of Christianity.
Islam : Mistaken for Christianity.
Voyages in the 14th and 15th century. May 1488 set sail looking for economic gain, goods and species.
- Europe trading with Indian etc.. help from the Arab merchants.
^ They tried to find a cheap route to Asia by boat to Bartholomew; 1488 was successful.
- Christopher Coloumbus discovered the Americas of which he discovered other communities & cultures
^ Beginnings of religious studies.
- The printing press was introduced in the 16th century.
- Europe starts to learn more of the religions of Asia
^ rudimentary elements of Asian practices
^ engaging in serious reflection in Asia
- Jesuits rigorous in studying other religions
- Encountering other religions, they would learn to speak their native tongue etc.. overtly to convert
them to Christianity.
^ Asian texts spread to Europe.
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- 16th century Europe = Reformation, war, renaissance , ideas of expansion
^ "Dark Ages" = Rediscovery of Greek philosophy, thought, arts etc...
The Age of Reason:
"The Enlightenment" : Tremendous modern western world history, evolution of liberation, democracy,
punishment, rights, intellectual government.
Two Dominant Ideas:
i) Rationality
ii) Science
Europe in "Dark Ages" (Renaissance) governed by nations of priority. Church is the determinate of how
they practice. New age of Thinking and Reason = Renaissance.
Critic: Catholic church, more than one strand of Protestant. Discovery of other religions, new texts,
scriptures etc.. India and Asia rise up like Christianity. Using their ideas to rise above, making people
think Christianity is superstitious and left in the dark.
- Christianity is more black and white
- India and Asia have religions more colourful, diverse.
Various new religions are on a new field, it is not enough to say, "church & God". People that do not
have any God even look like they have religious beliefs and purposes.
Lecture #2 09/16/15
19th century Christian scholars, Hinduism & Buddhism, they tried to differentiate between the two,
there is a lot of intellectual nourishment. This is the beginning of Religious Studies. (Late 18th - 19th
- Influencing the directions
- Science -> Enlightenment -> Industrial Revolution
Major Factors: i) IDEA - That there are other authentic and other reasonable cultures/traditions
ii) THEORY OF EVOLUTION - Publication -> Charles Darwin
Christianity Critic: - They only want Christianity
- Compared other religions to Christianity (god, tradition, rituals etc...)
CRADEL STATEMENT: How do we understand religions that don't have beliefs?
What is religion? -> Question that derived from Christianity, Hert Spencer
^ "Social Darwinism" -> Highly controversial.
- Europe thinks earths is 6000 years old.
CONTROVERSEY: How to think about emergence of all the diversity.
^ A lot of people excited about the diversity and evolution.
Idiom of Evolution: Darwin outlines evolution, scholars then want to apply evolution to EVERYTHING.
For example, Tradition development etc...
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19th Century = Theorizing the concept of race, diversity of humans, evolution applied to race, "pivoted"
varieties of race, discipline of Anthropology.
Three Major Races
i) Caucasian
ii) Asian
Race has been bumped not as being racist anymore, whites have evolved.
IDIOM: Theorizing what religion is, understanding so many religions in the world.
- Monotheism: Most sophisticated religion in the 19th century.
- 19th Century: Naive solution, "Primitive" forms of religion & humanity.
^ Evolutionary Theorists
- Secular & Atheists = Want to do this from various perspectives.
Anthropology: 19th Century
What is Religion?
- Studied in Mexico and Central America
- All cultures are more or less sophisticated forms of spirit worship.
- The most ancient sentiment of religion has an intuition that the world is alive with spirit.
- They believed Everything has a spirit.
"Animism": Edward's Theory -> Dead bodies and live bodies are different because live people have a
spirit, not the dead.
Essence and root of religion is Spirit.
- Development of Religion, religions in related to the phenomenon of, Magic!
^ Source of religious sentiment through magic" | "Believing that it is something unexplained."
Evolving Techniques that are fundamentally impossible in our power, such as prayers. They may not
work because there is not enough faith.
- Relationship to religions is like the relationship with magic.
- Clings to the notion of religion, religion senses a purpose not meaning it's true.
^ To explain how we can believe in religion.
Lecture #3 09/21/15
- Linguistic: Based on the study of language, studied the texts of India very well (scholar) 19th century,
that India was the cradle of religious origins.
- Sunskrit: Great resembles between Latin, Greek, German etc.. close correspondence between the
languages. Lead to excitement and theorizing because of the similarities. Agni - Godlike status (How
god's develop)
- Influential in shaping the 19th century; self - understanding.
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