TaxonomyOfRel70B2.09.09

TaxonomyOfRel70B2.09.09 - Taxonomy of Religions Flow Charts...

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Taxonomy of Religions Flow Charts to Believe In!
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TAXONOMY OF RELIGIONS Taxonomy = the science or technique of classification To perform taxonomy, one must develop a variety of categories, which function as vectors of classification
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Vectors of Religious Taxonomy Distance between Sacred and Human Realms Number of Deities Philosophic Cosmology Scope of Membership and Recruitment Social Organization (Basic Types) Social Identities and Locations (class, race, status, gender, education, etc.) Types of Practices and Modes of Knowledge (literate/oral, legal/mystic, ritual/philosophy)
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Micro- and Macro-Levels Religion functions at the level of organizing daily existence (micro), through such mechanisms as formulating codes of behavior, marking life-cycle events with rituals, and dictating community norms. Religion also functions at a larger ideological level by providing a framework for meaning, determining what is significant and what is inconsequential.
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SIGNIFICANCE The word ‘significance’ is related to ‘sign’ Religious world-views recognize life-cycle events as significant (birth, death, war, illness, coming-of-age, etc.) Each religious world-view also accords unique significance to persons/events/places that would not be immediately understood as significant - these instances of created significance form incommensurate differences between religions Examples: who Jesus is to Christians, what Mecca means to Muslims, what Mt. Tamalpais means to Coast Miwok, etc.
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Hierophany Word derived from hieros = sacred, phanos = to see, know Means any manifestation of the sacred Grand hierophany defies our perceived rules of nature (i.e. a miracle) Intimate hierophany is a deeply-felt experience with cosmological dimensions and insights
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Hierophanies reveal the universe
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C o s m o l o g y In religious studies terms, all religions are socially-constructed cosmologies. A cosmology interprets the universe by providing organizing principles. These principles distinguish between what is significant and what is considered unimportant, accidental, or inconsequential. Astronomers, physicists, and philosophers also use cosmology, but do so in a less socially- constructed and behavior-motivating manner than religions. The use of the term in these fields is more descriptive than prescriptive. In religion, cosmologies often lead to normative regulation
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Examples of Cosmological Organizing Principles Afterlife Justice, Balance Hierarchy Stasis and Motion (Being and Becoming) God/desses, Supernatural Beings Distance between Humans and Gods Status of Animals and Nature Conflict or Harmony (War and Peace) Gender, Sex, Sexuality
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Social Organization TYPE Gathering/Hunting Nomadic Raiding Small-scale Agricultural (Villages) Urban (Large-scale Agricultural) SOCIAL EFFECTS Relative equality and little job specialization Preference to young,
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course ASIA 70B at San Jose State University .

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TaxonomyOfRel70B2.09.09 - Taxonomy of Religions Flow Charts...

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