Textbook Notes (381,202)
CA (168,393)
UTSG (11,042)
RLG (72)
RLG100Y1 (54)
Chapter 1

Study Guide Chapter1 - Indigenous Religions

13 Pages
164 Views

Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

This preview shows pages 1-3. Sign up to view the full 13 pages of the document.
CHAPTER ONE: INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS
x Indigenous religion: The particular type of tradition created by a particular group of
people for whom that tradition is part of what defines them as a distinct community
x Syncretism: new traditions that have developed that integrate ideas and practices
from both indigenous and foreign traditions
x AFRICA: indigenous religions still flourish despite centuries of proselytizing by
Muslims and Christians
x SOUTHEAST ASIA, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA: influenced by Hindu and Buddhist
traditions for nearly 2 millennia, by Islam for nearly a 1000 years, by Christianity for
nearly 500 years
x NORTHEAST ASIA: indigenous coexisted with Buddhism for well over a 100 years,
with Islam for about 800 years and with Christianity for about 500 years
x MONGOLIA, SOUTHERN SIBERIA, TIBET, JAPAN: the interaction between
Buddhism and indigenous religions has been so prolonged that it is difficult to
separate the one from the other
x SIBERIA: many converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity
x indigenous religious clusters generally developed in isolation until the 19th century
x only after the expansion of the Islamic and Christian worlds, that they were exposed
to other religious traditions
Indigenous Religions and Western Scholarship
x Totem: a spiritual kinship between a particular animal or species and a particular
individual, family or clan
x Mana: a free-flowing power in the universe capable of either enhancing or
diminishing life
x Applied to religious traditions all over the world
x Tapu or taboo: a sacred prohibition
x Shaman: the primary ritual specialists in that culture, whose souls could leave their
bodies and travel into other realms to encounter spirits
x General term for the visionaries in many cultures who use ecstatic trances and out
of body experiences to communicate with spiritual beings on behalf of the
community
x Accounts of indigenous religions often exaggerated their exotic aspects
x Minimizes their similarities to the dominant world religions and presenting them
as fundamentally different
x Perceive indigenous as living replicas of the traditions their distant ancestors followed
before embracing Judaism or Christianity
x Every indigenous has its own history, and some of them have experienced more
changes over time than some world religions
x Many early accounts of indigenous religions were written by explorers and traders
who did not stay long enough to learn the local languages
www.notesolution.com
x Relied on interpreters unschooled in religious concepts and terminology
Africa
x Edward Tylor saw Africans as animists (believing that there were souls in all things)
x Charles de Brosses and James Frazer thought that Africans worshipped fetishes
(objects endowed with special powers)
x Others suggested that Africans were polytheists (worshippers of many gods who were
often represented by statues and masks)
African Religious Thought
x Their diversity reflects the diversity of the communities in which they developed,
each of which has its own history, patterns of contact, ecological environment and
economic system
x African religions share a focus on a supreme being
x Traditions differ on whether the supreme being actually created the world or
delegated that task to subordinates
x Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin believe that Olodumare (lord of heavens) delegated
the creation to lesser gods called orisha
x Dogon of Mali believe that their supreme being, Amma, began the task of creating
the world but left it to be completed by spirits known as Nummo
x The Nuer and Dinka of southern Sudan, the BaMbuti of Congo, and the Khoisan
of South Africa emphasize that the supreme being alone created the world
x Different traditions also differ in their views of the role that the supreme being plays
in their daily lives
x Yoruba Æ Olodumare reigns but does not rule
x Igbo of southeastern Nigeria Æ supreme being is far removed from human beings
and has created lesser spirits, divine servants to handle specific problems
x Matters controlled by supreme beings are the most critical ones
x Ie, life transitions of birth and death, water (the precious, life sustaining resource)
x Some believe that the supreme being is the source of the vital force that enters into a
ZRPDVZRPEWRFUHDWHOLIH
x Most African religious communities do not have a specific shrines for the worship of
the supreme being
x But they do have many shrines dedicated to the lesser spirits or deities who assists
humans in daily life
x Nuer people of Sudan
x supreme being is Kwoth Nhial, lesser spirits are Kwoth
x Yoruba
x Recognize 401 orisha (can possess their devotees and use their bodies to make
themselves present and communicate information. Continue to develop new
functions in community life)
x lesser spirits have distinct personalities, extraordinary independence, and rich
bodies of sacred traditions or myths describing their activities
x Bantu speaking people of Equatorial, east, southern Africa
www.notesolution.com
x emphasize the importance of ancestors, people who have led good lives pass in
the realm of the dead but continue to influence the lives of the living
x Trickster deities are ones who loves chaos and disorder
x Encourages impulsive behaviour in humans and acts impulsively himself,
disrupting any kind of social order
x Yoruba trickster (Eshu) is the messenger god who summons the other orisha to
attend all major rituals in Yoruba religion
x For Yoruba, the forces that enhance life and detract from it are commingled
x These radically different world views are often described as conflict or
complementary dualism
Ritual
x Purpose of rituals are to communicate with gods or spirits
x Ex, prayers, animal sacrifice, offerings of grain and libations of palm wine, water,
milk
x Sacrifices may be offered for fertility, for adequate rain, for healing, for protection
against dangerous tasks or witchcraft, or to ensure a successful transition from one
life stage to another
x Often referred to as rites of passage, and have a 3 stage structure
o 1st, the initiates are separated from their familiar world
o 2nd, initiates are instructed in their new religious and social
responsibilities, and develop a feeling of solidarity with other initiates
o 3rd, reintegrated into their communities with added powers and
responsibilities
x images of gods and ancestors in the form of masks and statues are used in rituals
x the design of masks and statues are highly symbolic
x Africans dismissed such images as idols based on the assumption that the image
contains the god
x But god can be present in many places at once and is never contained in an object
x $FWLYDWLRQRIWKHGDQFHUV¶VSLULWXDOSRZHUPD\DOORZWKHPWRUHFHLYHWKHSUHVHQFHRI
the gods, spirits, or ancestors represented by the masks they wear
x Their bodies are merely a temporary dwelling place
Witchcraft
x Believed to be people whose souls travel outside their bodies to attack and consume
RWKHUSHRSOHV¶VRXOVRUREMHFWVWKDWDUHFRQVLGHUHGYDOXDEOH
x No material evidence
x Takes place entirely in the realm of the soul
x Witch-finders typically look to dreams, visions or divination
x $OVRXVHGWRH[SODLQFKDQFHPLVIRUWXQH³EDGOXF
Five Major Traditions
Diola
x Approximately 600,000 people
www.notesolution.com

Loved by over 2.2 million students

Over 90% improved by at least one letter grade.

Leah — University of Toronto

OneClass has been such a huge help in my studies at UofT especially since I am a transfer student. OneClass is the study buddy I never had before and definitely gives me the extra push to get from a B to an A!

Leah — University of Toronto
Saarim — University of Michigan

Balancing social life With academics can be difficult, that is why I'm so glad that OneClass is out there where I can find the top notes for all of my classes. Now I can be the all-star student I want to be.

Saarim — University of Michigan
Jenna — University of Wisconsin

As a college student living on a college budget, I love how easy it is to earn gift cards just by submitting my notes.

Jenna — University of Wisconsin
Anne — University of California

OneClass has allowed me to catch up with my most difficult course! #lifesaver

Anne — University of California
Description
CHAPTER ONE: INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS N Indigenous religion: The particular type of tradition created by a particular group of people for whom that tradition is part of what defines them as a distinct community N Syncretism: new traditions that have developed that integrate ideas and practices from both indigenous and foreign traditions N AFRICA: indigenous religions still flourish despite centuries of proselytizing by Muslims and Christians N SOUTHEAST ASIA, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA: influenced by Hindu and Buddhist traditions for nearly 2 millennia, by Islam for nearly a 1000 years, by Christianity for nearly 500 years N NORTHEAST ASIA: indigenous coexisted with Buddhism for well over a 100 years, with Islam for about 800 years and with Christianity for about 500 years N MONGOLIA, SOUTHERN SIBERIA, TIBET, JAPAN: the interaction between Buddhism and indigenous religions has been so prolonged that it is difficult to separate the one from the other N SIBERIA: many converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity N indigenous religious clusters generally developed in isolation until the 19 century N only after the expansion of the Islamic and Christian worlds, that they were exposed to other religious traditions Indigenous Religions and Western Scholarship N Totem: a spiritual kinship between a particular animal or species and a particular individual, family or clan N Mana: a free-flowing power in the universe capable of either enhancing or diminishing life N Applied to religious traditions all over the world N Tapu or taboo: a sacred prohibition N Shaman: the primary ritual specialists in that culture, whose souls could leave their bodies and travel into other realms to encounter spirits N General term for the visionaries in many cultures who use ecstatic trances and out of body experiences to communicate with spiritual beings on behalf of the community N Accounts of indigenous religions often exaggerated their exotic aspects N Minimizes their similarities to the dominant world religions and presenting them as fundamentally different N Perceive indigenous as living replicas of the traditions their distant ancestors followed before embracing Judaism or Christianity N Every indigenous has its own history, and some of them have experienced more changes over time than some world religions N Many early accounts of indigenous religions were written by explorers and traders who did not stay long enough to learn the local languages www.notesolution.com N Relied on interpreters unschooled in religious concepts and terminology Africa N Edward Tylor saw Africans as animists (believing that there were souls in all things) N Charles de Brosses and James Frazer thought that Africans worshipped fetishes (objects endowed with special powers) N Others suggested that Africans were polytheists (worshippers of many gods who were often represented by statues and masks) African Religious Thought N Their diversity reflects the diversity of the communities in which they developed, each of which has its own history, patterns of contact, ecological environment and economic system N African religions share a focus on a supreme being N Traditions differ on whether the supreme being actually created the world or delegated that task to subordinates N Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin believe that Olodumare (lord of heavens) delegated the creation to lesser gods called orisha N Dogon of Mali believe that their supreme being, Amma, began the task of creating the world but left it to be completed by spirits known as Nummo N The Nuer and Dinka of southern Sudan, the BaMbuti of Congo, and the Khoisan of South Africa emphasize that the supreme being alone created the world N Different traditions also differ in their views of the role that the supreme being plays in their daily lives N Yoruba Olodumare reigns but does not rule N Igbo of southeastern Nigeria supreme being is far removed from human beings and has created lesser spirits, divine servants to handle specific problems N Matters controlled by supreme beings are the most critical ones N Ie, life transitions of birth and death, water (the precious, life sustaining resource) N Some believe that the supreme being is the source of the vital force that enters into a Z42,38Z42-94.70,90OL10 N Most African religious communities do not have a specific shrines for the worship of the supreme being N But they do have many shrines dedicated to the lesser spirits or deities who assists humans in daily life N Nuer people of Sudan N supreme being is Kwoth Nhial, lesser spirits are Kwoth N Yoruba N Recognize 401 orisha (can possess their devotees and use their bodies to make themselves present and communicate information. Continue to develop new functions in community life) N lesser spirits have distinct personalities, extraordinary independence, and rich bodies of sacred traditions or myths describing their activities N Bantu speaking people of Equatorial, east, southern Africa www.notesolution.com
More Less
Unlock Document


Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


OR

Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit