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RE207 (6)
Chapter 1

Hinnells - Chapter 1

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Religion & Culture
Alexander Damm

 Introduction o many people do wish to study religion if they are religious, because they want to know more about their own religion, or be able to see their religion in the context of others (5) o some people find studying religion helps to develop their own spiritual journey (5) o persecution, the torture and killing of heretics and people of other religions have been major themes running through much of world history (5) o personal level a religion can be helpful, supportive and even joyous for people (5) o one does not have to agree with something in order to study it (5) o massive power that religions have wielded,something that no one can deny (6)  Defining Religion o no such thing as 'religion', there are only the religions (6) o an act or thought is religious when the person involved think they are functioning religiously (6) o people are what they believe they are (6) o see culture as something that includes religion, but has much wider connotations (6) o act is a religious act when the person involved believes it to be associated with their religion (7) o all "labels" have limitations and these must be accepted,so "religion" is a useful but potentially misleading term (7)  Religions and Politics o Margaret Thatcher argued strongly that religion was a private matter of belief ... should not get involved in political debates as they were doing (7) o Religions and religious leaders have rarely been outside politics (7) o Bush and Prime Minister Blaire, both of whom have made public their christian religious position, sought 'regime change' through invasion or 'a crusade' as Bush called it (8) o religions can also be at the forefront of movements for peace and justice (8)  Religion and Culture o often difficult to say which came first, the religion or the values and ideals...now part of an intricate network (8) o study of the history of Gothic churches or artefacts ... without setting them in their religious context is inevitably going to fail to understand their importance and 'meaning' (8) o important to know something of the culture in which the object was produced and used (8) o even if the people one meets from the 'other' culture are not religious, nevertheless their principles, values and ideals will commonly have been formed by the religion of their culture (9)
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