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RELS 108 1nd EditionExam # 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 - 10Lecture 1 (August 28)- Homo Religiosus- Mircea Eliade o Sacred Dimension  Displayed in persons, objects, landscapes, and also in nature.  This was the predominant mode of indigenous & ancient cultures. Calls them Homo Religiosus or the creatures who are religious.  Says all the great textual traditions (many stemming from oral traditions) came out of this perspective, these creatures who are religious, prior to the rise of techno-industrial civilization. This was the predominant mode of feeling & thought that dominated the modes of these cultures.  Says this can be discovered in & through the writings, practices, rituals which they developed (these people). - 5 Approaches in the Study of Religion o The Study of Sacred Texts  Formally called: Hermeneutics  The art of interpreting a spiritual texts  Introduced via philosophy, particularly through Aristotle  Early usage of Hermeneutics places it in the boundaries of the sacred.  One would hear/perceive the divine message/revelation, it would be up to the hermeneutic to interpret this message/revelation. "What is this message saying?" o The Historical Method  Refers to the emergence of religious behavior in pre-history, before written texts.  Attempts to get at the origin(s) of the tradition in question.  Attempts to go as far back as possible to try to discover how the religion in question may have developed.  Who founded this religion? What can be said about their lifetime? etc.o The Comparative Approach  Focuses on various types of religious behaviors such as ritual, prayer, and meditation.  Compare and contrast religions & the elements that characterize those faiths.  May look within the religion itself or may take a broader approach.  How does Catholic prayer compare to Protestant? How are the elements of Hinduism and Islam different/the same?o Philosophical Approach Attempts to evaluate arguments for and against religious faith.  (Not all philosophies are necessarily religions.)o Socio-Historical Approach  Traces the development of religious ideas or institutions over time. 2. What is Phenomenology? o Logus= Study, Phenomena= That which appearso Founded in early 20th centuryo Attempts to bracket the idea that the subject (the perceiving self) is wholly distinct from the object. o Experience-centric  Deals sympathetically with the faith in question.  Calls us to enter into the faith itself or the person who is living that faith &see it through their perspective, rather than seeing it as a social-scientist would. o Phenomenology resists reductionism  Resists saying that this faith can be explained through psychology or this idea can be explained away by some scientific theory. o Sui Generis- Of its own kind/class. Rudolf Otto says "religious phenomena are of their own kind/class"o What are the Four Stages of Phenomenology? 1. Gathering Religious Data  Want to learn about Islam, go & observe practitioners performing salat. Want to learn more about Buddhism, go to see monks meditate.  Observe behavior. From that encounter, will gather religious data. 2. Search for Patterns  Sacred place, sacred time, sacred persons Discussions of morality - What it means to be good & lead a good life3. Analysis of the Structure of These Patterns  Distinguishes between the context of religious behavior and its universal meaning. 4. The Suggestion of Generalizations  Attempts to make a coherent or unified theory regarding religious behavior.- Comparing Eastern and Western Worldviews o "On what there is"- What reality consists of  Eastern:  Monism  One Reality  Everything is one. No distinction between material & nonmaterial (nonmaterial being spiritual). Divine is present in material reality as well.  All beings have value. All forms of life have value.  This is because that life may have been reincarnated.  EX: Jane Religion, sweep in front of them as they walk. Don't want to breathe in microorganisms or step on bugs because that would be killing.  Western:  Dualism  Material vs. Non-Material Reality Separation between material & nonmaterial. Sharp distinction between human being & the rest of the natural/animal world.  The human in western religions is elevated (within a hierarchy). o "On Divine Nature"- Nature of God or sacred being  Eastern:  Immanence  The Divine is contained within material reality, contained within this one reality.  Western:  Transcendence  Standing over or above. Father imagery.  The Divine is essentially separate from us. A separate being. o "On Creation and Change"  Eastern:  No beginning, no end.  The universe is infinite. View of time is called "cyclical," based on cycles with no beginningand no end.  Change is natural, not positive but not negative (neutral). Western:  Eschatological Outlook  Beginning, middle, end.  The universe came into being at a specific point, throughout course of history will eventually come to an end.  View of time called "linear." Change is seen as negative o "Karma"  Eastern: Karma means "action." Karma refers to the universal law of causeand effect. Western: do not have the idea of karma. Not stressed. This human world is not the arena of which our moral destiny is played out. Emphasize instead a reward/punishment system after death. o "On Human Nature"  Eastern:  The individual self is an illusion.  Individual self/subjectivity is illusory. Don't talk about sin, rather about ignorance (called avidya). Don't realize their one-ness with the world.  The good life consists of following one's "dharma" or duty.  Western:  The individual is real and remains the individual throughout eternity.  Talk about sin. Inherited this condition called sin.  The good life consists of obeying God and the rules/commandments. o "On Enlightenment/Salvation"  Soteriology Eastern  Stress enlightenment aka awakening Enlightenment is found within the individual  Reincarnation/Transmigration of the soul.  Western  Salvation is found in and through God.  One life to live. Lecture 2 (September 2)Spirituality and Human Thought- Dimension of feeling, human interaction, morality (ethical thinking). Includes all & yet transcends all. - How to think about Spirituality o 2 types of thought Calculative


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