Class Notes Exam 1

Class Notes Exam 1 - September 1 2008 Why Bother to Study...

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World God God God God God God God September 1, 2008 Why Bother to Study Religious Worldviews? 1. Self-enhancement: understanding in order to conquer 2. Global self-preservation: understanding in order to lessen conflict 3. Self-interests: understanding to enhance business 4. Self-interests: understanding of others to understand self better 5. In order to determine or discover truth 6. To understand people in order to help them with their problems 7. To understand people in order to communicate a truth more clearly Three Areas of Religious Philosophy 1. Metaphysics : the philosophical science that answers the question, “what is real?” a. Nature of God, theology, belief systems, the unseen spiritual world 2. Epistemology : the philosophical science that answers the question, “How do we know what is real?” a. Revelation, inspiration 3. Axiology : the philosophical science that answers the question, “what is good?” a. Values, ethics, behavior on right and wrong September 3, 2008 Definitions of Religious Pluralism 1. A recognition of religious freedom and tolerance a. “It’s a fact, we live in mixed populations.” 2. A call for respect and non-offense a. “Live and let live.” 3. A conviction all religions should be studied to discover a new eclectic religion to unite humanity a. “We have so much in common. At the core, we are the same.” 4. A belief that all (theistic?) religions are valid roads, that each works within its own system, and should be maintained independently a. “All roads lead to God.” Problems when Studying World Religions 1. There are different bases for definitions a. Some based on history and scripture b. Some based on philosophy c. Some based on folk-religion practice
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2. All world religions have great diversity 3. Comparing religions seldom works 4. Original scriptures don’t help if we don’t understand context or meaning 5. Not everything has “meaning” or “symbolism.” Much is simply “tradition.” 6. Every world religion has new and hard vocabulary 7. We can’t always have personal contact Helpful Attitudes in the Study of World Religions 1. Meet them at their highest a. Clear, moral examples 2. Meet them ready to learn 3. Meet them with self-awareness a. Reflect on out presuppositions b. Be aware of differences 4. Meet them with humility a. Recognize there has been a general revelations b. Recognize we often analyze and practice Christianity with imperfection September 5, 2008 Approaches to Study Religions (Winfried Dorduan) 1. Psychological approach a. Freud 2. Evolutionary approach a. Religions change as we head toward a superior religion b. Not accepting truth claims c. Racist (highest, most evolved to the lowest, most primitive) i. Monotheism ii. Henotheism 1. Worship one deity, but acknowledge there are many iii.
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