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World Religions summative assignment

John Goff

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Jediism

Jediism An Examination on one of the world's newest religions Jediism may be one of the world's newest religions, but that doesn't make it a joke. There are many branches and philosophies of Jediism, but one of the largest and most well developed is the Temple of the Jedi Order. For simplicity's sake, most of the content of this examination will be from there, but the other branches will certainly not be forgotten. History of Jediism The history of Jediism is surprisingly long for a religion as new as this one. To hear a Jedi tell it, Jediism has been around in one form or another since the beginning of time, but has only recently been named. It is rooted in the code of chivalry from middle ages England, the code of bushido from the Japanese Samurai and the Shao Lin Monks from China. Obviously, the initial inspiration comes from the fictional Jedi Knights of the Star Wars universe and their ideals, but a real Jedi will be quick to tell you that they have little to no relation to the big screen Jedi. Jediism first gained public attention after the census phenomenon in the UK, where participants, angered with the inclusion of a question of religious faith on the census, encouraged others to put "Jedi" as their faith as a form of protest. this was done by so many people that it propelled the Jedi faith to the number four spot in the UK in 2001. However, very few of the people who report being a Jedi in the census actually would follow the faith. Beliefs Because of the nature of Jediism as a new religion and because of the master/apprentice way of passing down information, Jediism's beliefs are very much personal. There are a few linking concepts between each interpretation though. The Jedi of the Temple of the Jedi Order believe in the Jedi creed and the Jedi Code, as well as the Force and the 16 basic teachings of the Jedi. These are used to help teach new Jedi of the ways of the Force and to remind all who consider themselves Jedi of how to try to live their life. The Jedi code is as follows:

There is no Emotion; There is Peace.

There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge.

There is no Passion; There is Serenity.

There is no Chaos: There is Harmony.

There is no Death; There is the Force. The Force to the Jedi is a field of energy that links all living things in this world, and that life and the force is intertwined. Many Jedi feel that their Force is very similar to the Tao, and use resources such as the Tao Te Ching to help instruct Apprentices in the Force. However, the Force, like all parts of Jediism, is interpreted individually. Some Jedi prefer to interperet their faith as a philosophy or way of life rather then a religion, but most would consider it a religion. Groups/Symbols There are many different groups and divisions of Jedi faith, but beyond a few differences, they are mostly the same. From my findings, the largest branch of the Jedi faith is the Temple of the Jedi Order. They are a registered and recognized religion in the State of Texas and the UK. Their symbol represents the Orthodox Jedi Code (outer 5-point star, the 16 Basic Teachings (inner 16-point star), and the interdependence of light and dark. One of the oldest jedi communities on the
Net is the Force Academy. These Jedi are divided
into Light, Shadow, and Dark Jedi. Another community of Jedi can be found at the International Church of Jediism. These Jedi seem to be more focused on Jediism as an extension of normal life rather then a religious philosophy. Training and Structure One thing that remains constant amongst all the Jedi communities is the idea of an apprentice learning from a master. In the Temple of the Jedi Order, this apprentice process usually takes up to or more then a year. After apprentices are Knighted, they are given the title of "Teaching Master" and can in turn take apprentices. Once an individual has been deemed ready by their master, they will be Knighted after completing a few basic training excersizes. The structure of the Temple of the Jedi Order is laid out very hierarchical. The order goes, Grand Master, Master, Senior Knight, Knight, Apprentice, Initiate, Novice and Member. Each rank is earned based on training and community involvement. Clergy also have ranks, which have different powers and responsibilities. These go, Commissioned, Licensed Minister, Deacon, Priest, and Bishop. There are also the additional ranks of Pastor, Senior Pastor, Pastor Emeritus, Councilor, And Archbishops Cultural Impact For such a young religion, Jediism has had a large amount of media coverage and exposure. The first and foremost example of this is the census phenomenon in the UK. This was a large event where people listed their religion as Jedi as a form of protest. This lead the New Zealand government to dismiss Jediism as a "non religion" to much dismay. Another large event is the removal of The founder of the International Church of Jediism from a Tesco store in the UK when he wouldn't remove his hood, claiming it was a religious garment. The store issued the statement, "Jedi are more then welcome to shop in our stores, we just ask that they remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood."
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