Dimensions of Religion

Dimensions of Religion

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The Seven Dimensions of Religion
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How does a religion answer the big questions? Different elements of religion answer these questions in different ways. Ninian Smart’s 7 dimensions could be considered the basic elements of religion. Experiential Mythic Doctrinal Ethical Ritual Social Material The 7 dimensions are not exclusive of each other.
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Experiential Religious experience of individuals This is how all religions begin. Faith is experiential (and a little doctrinal) Individuals experiencing a god’s self revelation (theistic religions only) Mysticism— becoming one with or physically experiencing the divine
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Mythic Myth – a story that tends to answer questions of origins and is a source of sacred truth. Non-historical Non-rational Origin Stories Passed down orally or in written scripture
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Doctrinal Doctrine - Element of religious belief Especially strong in creedal religions (ie.
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  • Fall '15
  •  Ninian Smart

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