RLG280 Lecture Notes - Introduction What is religion? How...

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Introduction 22:08 What is religion? How do we study it? Theories of religion.  Religare (Latin) : “to tie/bind”; “to join/reconnect” W.C. Smith- challenges the notion of some ‘essence’ of religion Instead- religious people ‘faith’ and ‘traditions’ can believers recognize themselves in your description?   The Study of Religion: Insider/outsider debate  Comparative religions? o At the end of the day there is no winner ‘Western’ vs. ‘Eastern’ religion ‘most profound expression of the human spirit’ vs. ‘blight on civilization’ religious vs. secular o separation of church/religion and state Ninian Smart’s 7 Characteristics of Religion: o Ritual o Mythical o Doctrinal o Ethical o Social  o Experiential  o Material 
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Judaism 22:08 Lecture #2:
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Judaism 22:08 BC and AD vs. BCE and CE BC= Before Christ AD= The Year of the Lord. BCE= Before Common Era CE= Common Era Judaism- Early History: First major Monotheistic religion (religion of one God) Range of belief/ practice- from Ultra-Orthodox to Secular Jews o Ethnic religion: Judaism can be seen as a culture vs. a religion o Wasn’t practiced as is today thousands of years ago, although there were people  practicing what would one day become Judaism o In the earliest days it is not as specific and organized as it is today o The basic belief system in Judaism hasn’t really changed over the years Shema  (“hear”): “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4) o Main  creed  of Judaism Creed = structured statement of belief Belief in one God, in which you must serve and obey Israel in this verse is not a reference to the contemporary country of Israel. This is instead a term associated with the Israelites, the people. o “Judaism is quintessentially a historical religion” (pg 61)
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Judaism 22:08 o “The myth of history begins with Judaism” o the study of Judaism is the study of the sequence of historical events, history is linear  (beginning, middle and end) this is the way history is understood in Judaism. o Historical events of importance are marked by God’s interaction (make deals with, send  prophets to, etc.) with humanity or the world at large o Practically speaking the study of religion is studying the history o The only sources that we have for early history are archaeological and oral histories that  has been passed down and written down Early Jewish history- biblical (written in scripture) Pentateuch:   (“five scrolls”): first five books of the Hebrew bible. Torah:
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This note was uploaded on 07/07/2011 for the course RLG RLG100Y1 taught by Professor Saleh during the Summer '09 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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RLG280 Lecture Notes - Introduction What is religion? How...

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