Lesson 1 - Lesson One Introduction HUM 216"World Religions...

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Time  in Religious Studies B.C.E. “Before the Common Era” which is the same as B.C. “Before Christ.” C.E. “Common Era” which is the same as A.D. Anno Domini or “In the Year of the Lord.” Lesson One Introduction HUM 216 “World Religions” Spring Semester 2008 Discussion Outline 1. Introduction 2. The Language of Religion The Family of Terms and Concepts 3. What is Religion? A Working Definition of Religion 4. Basic World View of Religion 1) The human condition 2) The cause of the human condition 3) The given reality for life 4) The goal in life 5) The transformational path 5. Textbook and Handbook Study Questions Introduction Our study of world religions will utilize the comparative religion method. The approach will survey each selected religion and, in the process of describing each religion, we will compare the findings with other religions. A comparative method enriches our discussions and assists the student’s horizons of understanding and appreciation of complex nature of world religions and the human experience. The basic methodology is phenomenology of religion (See Handbook “Introduction”). Consider the following: Introduction 1 Reading Assignment: Molloy: Chapter 1 Handbook : “Introduction”
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1. We will survey the major religions of the world from three major cultures: India, East Asia, and the Middle East. 2. From India we will survey the great religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. 3. East Asia provides the great traditions of Confucianism and Daoism (Note the modern spelling of Taoism with the D). 4. In the Japanese traditions, Shinto and Japanese Buddhism present an important religious world view. 5. The typical religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will conclude our look at the Middle East. 6. The logic for our selections is basic upon the importance of a religion’s contribution to the development of world views of a particular culture. Therefore, sub-sects or lesser branches of a religion will not be covered in the course. Religions, such as Mormonism in America or Jainism in India, will not be covered in our lessons but may appear in the textbook readings. The Language of Religion The nature of religion is complex, just as the human language is complex. The study of world religions begins with a basic principle: Religion cannot be understood and appreciated without an adequate knowledge of the language of any particular religion. Thus the terms and concept used by a culture to express religious beliefs are essential. The student from the West cannot expect that foreign terms can be translated into an English equivalence to facilitate recall. Rather, our study of religion requires that we engage in the language of the culture of a religion. For example, the Indian concept of KARMA is defined, in the most narrow sense, as the cause and effect of all human actions, attitudes, and intentions. But we find no English equivalence for such a concept. We must learn not only the meaning of a concept but also we must become familiar with the
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Lesson 1 - Lesson One Introduction HUM 216"World Religions...

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