Religion - Religion 3/18 Questions abt religion in a modern...

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Religion 3/18 Questions abt religion in a modern world Religion has alternately been associated with: Freedom & total dependence Desire & freedom from desire Wealth & poverty Quiet contemplation & vibrant worship Characteristics of traditional religious forms: 1. Group phenomenon 2. Concerned w the sacred 3. Body of beliefs 4. A set of practices 5. Moral prescriptions Course def : Religion - sets of beliefs, symbols, practices oriented toward super-empirical orders that make claims to organize, guide, and make human life meaningful Super-empirical : not normally observable with five human senses …the concept of “supernatural” is too confining. And humans treat many things in life as sacred that are arguably not about unseen things. We “worship.” …we do things for the things we worship, don’t always analyze Rather, religions are moral orders rooted in beliefs about super-empirical realities. They are inclined to talk abt good/bad, etc. How does religion function? 1. First, religions create action orientations - ways people think they ought to act: ritual and moral action systems So why doesn’t religion entirely and consistently govern the lives of believers? 2. Second, religions consist of systems of discourse - structured ways of talking abt and describing the world, which becomes a part of the lived experience of adherents The symbolic expressions of religion include more than just speaking, includes visual signs. Speech is often symbolic and culturally specific: the Lord is my shepherd…” 3. Third, religion involves subjective experience - all but those who have never been introduced to religion have a subjective experience of it (emotion like) 4. Fourth, religion concerns significance and meaning Religious communities are communities of “memory” Is this an increasingly irrelevant thing? Religion: helps people discover new forms of significance when old ones are lost Tells stories of who you are, where you come from Theodicy : the problem of explaining evil Varieties of answers: battle bw good and evil, evil only apparent bcs we do not see entirety of god’s plan, no explanation possible, judgment
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Pressing, core existential questions- how should one meet death? What is the meaning of tragedy? Religious sources- rather than nonreligious ones- remain the preferred option to answer certain recurrent, pressing existential questions - Not true of everyone, but certainly a majority of both Americans and the world’s citizens 3/20 Religiosity Has multiple facts: - Objective forms - Subjective forms Religious rituals also build confidence in religious explanations. Participation builds faith. Types of Religiosity Five distinctive types: 1. Intellectual aspect- how much you know abt your faith 2. Ritualistic aspect- how much you practice/participate 3.
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