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An Introduction to World Religions

Essential Vocabulary for Theo IV:World Rel

Kathy Das Gupta

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of An Introduction to World Religions

Classifying the
World's Religions Describing the
World's Religions Abrahamic Judaism, Christianity & Islam
Faiths with smaller populations include
Bahai (1840's) and Rastafari (1930's) Indian Hinduism & Buddhism
Jainism Taoic Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism Halie Selasie 1892-1975 Sikkhism
Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
Most adherents live in Punjab, India
Monotheistic; emphasize faith and justice Jainism
Emerged in the 9th-6th Century B.C.
Emphasizes non-violence, truthfulness and abandoning materialism "The -ism's" Atheism - no belief in a deity (god)
Agnosticism - no knowledge (gnosis) of god
Monotheism - belief in one god
Polytheism - belief in many gods
Monism - belief in a single divine essence that pervades all forms of reality
Henotheism - devotion to a single faith system while accepting the existence of other deities
Deism - a form of monotheism in which it is believed that one God exists. However, a deist rejects the idea that this God intervenes in the world. A Question for You... Is the Catholic Church monotheistic or polytheistic? The Church's Answer... The Nicene Creed (325 A.D). I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
with the Father; Myths Sources of sacred truth that help give meaning to life.
Often start as oral traditions and become scripture when recorded.
Do not depend on science or history as they are "sacred truth" - not literal.
Not as powerful and magical as they used to be, but still essential. Rituals Not always religious, but all religions do feature rituals.
Consist of ceremonies or traditions that strengthen social bonds, demonstrate respect or submission, bring about social acceptance, and satisfy emotional or spiritual needs. Eternal Myths and rituals are powerful religious experiences.
Eternal Return is a theory proposed by Mircea Eliade, a scholar of world religions.
He asserts that there is both sacred and profane space and time.
The theory states that rituals and myths transport the practitioner out of space and time to the moment and place that the event first occurred.
Eliade posits that we find value in our lives by returning to the sacred time/place. This is why myths endure and rituals are so important. We have a deep need for this connection to relevance. Symbols Symbols are more significant than signs (e.g., words) because they convey more than a single concept or idea.
Symbols have multiple levels of meaning and attempt to convey a deeper reality. Sanskrit: su (to be good) + asti (to be)
essentially a good luck symbol Baalbek - 9,000 year old temple in Lebanon Universe "Ahimsa" Stop! Swastika; reincarnation Right knowledge, faith
and conduct liberated soul abode of the liberated Abrahamic
Taoic Bahai Founded by Bahaullah from Persia (Iran)
Believe that God has revealed himself through a series of messengers (e.g., Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus & Mohammad)
Professes faith in one god, one religion and one humanity
Believes in one world language (secondary to local language) Rastafari Developed in the 1930's, primarily in Jamaica
Basic beliefs include repatriation to Africa, rejection of Western society and use of cannabis
Haile Selassie is believed to be an incarnation of god (second coming of Jesus for some)
Selassie did not believe himself to be god incarnate; he was deposed as leader after famine and economic problems in Ethiopia; died in 1975 Return Eternal Return Sikhs believe:
"Only those who selflessly love everyone, they alone shall find God".
All adherents should observe the "5 K's":
Kesh (hair, God has given it to you to keep so why shave it - hence the turban)
Kanga (a comb to keep all of your long hair clean and hygienic)
Kirpan (a sword to defend yourself; some people wear a necklace which has a miniature kirpan on it)
Kachera (plain white cotton undergarment - reminds the wearer of high character and modesty)
Kara (a metal bracelet which reminds a Sikh of honest living ) Sikkhism is seen by some as a response to Hindu and Muslim traditions and conflict in India (rejects sati, rejects ritual slaughter of animals, emphasizes one god) and there is a weekly community meal at which all are welcome (langar) For example... The Genesis myth tells us we are:
Created by God
Created in His image
Created to be good
Have dominion over the Earth Color as symbol In Christian art:
Blue = Human
Red = Divine And now for something completely different...
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