Reworked Notes - Cumulative

Reworked Notes - Cumulative - 20 January 2008 theism = a...

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20 January 2008 theism = a suffix for belief in a god/goddess or gods/goddesses “poly” = many; believing in many gods/goddesses. It is implied that they are equal in power & status. “heno” = the Greek root for “one;” people acknowledge other peoples’ gods, but believe that theirs is the most powerful. “mono” = one and only one god “A-“ = not a theist/ believing in no gods, only god-myths civil religion: Borrows the term to describe situations that are not religious (e.g. nationalism); describes any source of value/what one lives for -gnostic = having to do with higher knowledge; “to know” “agnostic” = someone who “doesn’t know” (if there’s a god) *History of Religion Tribal = original ways of ancestors/primal (still remotely preserved) o may have had “god-ideas” o had power objects (a place, object, person, or time that brings something) such as a hunter, warrior, healer, or water finder; has enormous potency o rituals were based upon power objects o most/all thought in terms of gods/goddesses/spirits polytheistic peoples Historical = dynasties/empires/kingdoms imperial o polytheism originated with the Chinese/Indian/Nubians; believed gods/goddesses were transcendent or far away o gods/goddesses were unremote, more powerful, & power was exercised through bureaucracy (between both the gods & goddesses & humans) o polytheism as natural everything was separate, so every god/goddess had a different function; use of myth was the unempirical way of explaining where things came from/reality monotheism o Egyptian pharaoh tried to institute the sun god as the only god and “monotheize” Egypt went against political, religious, and social life as it was established o Israel 12 tribes escape from Egypt with the help of the Messiah (Old Testament – Exodus the formative event of the tribes during 1250 BCE); became Judaism
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o monotheism was taught as the god of the fathers of Jacob, Isaac, & Abraham who brought the tribes out of Egypt o “problem of evil” if God is all powerful and all-good, where does evil & injustice come from and how does it exist? o polytheistic religions justify evil because the gods duel and one must lose this translates into half of all things turning out badly for at least someone o Jesus emerges unschooled as a freelance rabbi o people acknowledged need for earthly king Solomon builds temple leading to the emergence of priests & kings for social & political power o Jesus defies them o Roman empire pluralistic in religion, accepting all peoples of all religions upon conquest under the condition that they pledge allegiance to the Roman king Jewish people could not do this with their beliefs o Messiah was the one god for universal salvation and was looked to as the Messianic symbol to lead them away from polytheistic people (aka Rome) o After Jesus dies, there are regular Jews & Nazarenes o Nazarenes become various groups of Christians 27 January 2008
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