Intro to Rel Exam 1 Review Spring 2017 - Introduction to...

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Introduction to Religion Spring 2017 Exam I: Review Terms/Vocabulary The Academic Study of Religion and the History of Religion - Descriptive versus normative approaches to the study of religion * scholar makes descriptive claims - cultural and historical phenomenon * theologian makes normative claims - claim what you should do because it is inferred to be normal - tells how things ought to be and presents judgements The Academic study of religion is descriptive not normative - anthropology /ethnology: study of religion is human centered; compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationship between them - types of definitions : - stipulative: In advance - substantive/descriptive: identifying the contents of religion, call for interpretation - functional : no need to content, ask “ what does a religion DO in a society?”, call for explaination - naturalistic approach to the study of religion (defining, describing, interpreting, or explaining religious beliefs and behaviors without appeal to divine or supernatural causes) - academic/methodological/scholarly agnosticism ** Agnostic= a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. - The study of religion and culture requires a measure of theoretical and methodological relativism (or agnosticism). Although it is, perhaps, unavoidable, the student should resist the temptation to assert one set of truth claims over any other – whether they are claims of metaphysical or cultural truth or superiority. 1. academic 2. methodological 3. scholarly -Supreme Court case Abington v. Schempp 1963 * religious instruction vs instruction about religion * non believing family successfully sued school * justice Clark * everyday class asked to participate in stating 10 verses from bible * violated the establishment clause - went towards establishing christain religion in school - public places suppose to reside from religion as a whole 1
- Clark said religious instruction was separate from instruction about religion - theory * closer to religious instruction * generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion. These theories define what they present as universal characteristics of religious belief and practice. - theology = study of god(s) - metaphysically - “explainatory account of X” - systematic - plausible , scientific hypothesis 1. F. Max Muller - Father of comparative - “ science of religion” or comparative religions - specialized in Sanskirt - hired by british india company - translates works into English - founder of the field of religious studies that compares religions - “ he who knows one knows none” - Gendered words @ - hermeneutics ; Verstehen ; empathy * hermeneutics is the science of interpreting meaning/messages 1. Freiedrich Nietzsche (1900) - “all knowledge is interpretation” - knowledge passed on may have gaps or missing pieces - hurdles of hermeneutics 2. Wilhelm Dilthey ( 1911) - “ human understanding is of things human” -

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