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SacredCommunity - Sacred Community Overview Religion as a...

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Unformatted text preview: Sacred Community Overview Religion as a Social System Log in to Blackboard Go to: Extended Learning Institute Telecourses Exploring Society SOC201 video #16 (3.5 – 10.5 min) Natural vs. voluntary religions Denominations Monastic communities Sects New Religious Movements (NRMs) Cults Religion as a Social System Institutionalized religions maintain aspects common Institutionalized to any social system: to Groups: e.g. a church or temple community Roles : religious leaders, lay persons Values: e.g. social justice, the Golden Rule, the e.g. Ten Commandments, etc. Ten Norms: expectations for participation, dress, etc. Fulfillment of needs: providing a sense of providing meaning and purpose, a support group, etc. meaning Religion as a Society The social structure of sacred communities Natural or Ethnic religions: Bound by kinship, family, culture, a common history Bound and ancestry and Membership is automatic, through marriage and birth Do not proselytize nor actively seek converts Examples: Judaism (the religion of the Hebrew people) Judaism What is Judaism? What Hinduism (the religion of the Indian people) Shinto (the religion of the Japanese people) African and Native American tribal religions African Traditional Religions Religion as a Society The social structure of sacred communities Universal or voluntary religions: Universal Bound by common belief, doctrine, and/or religious Bound experience experience Joined voluntarily through proselytizing and Joined conversion conversion Begin as breaks from pre-existing ethnic religions: Christianity broke from Judaism Christianity Jewish Origins of Christianity Jewish Buddhism broke from Hinduism Islam broke from Arab tribal religions Founded by charismatic leaders: Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad Jesus, Muhammad Division and Reform movements (Denominations) Division within Division within Christianity: Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant Divisions of Christianity Orthodox & Catholic Christianity Judaism: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative Islam: Sunni, Shi’ite Sunni-Shi'ite division Hinduism: Vaishnava, Shaivite, Shakta, Smarta Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana Develop during the historical unfolding of the religions Monastic Communities A legitimized option within a religion Individuals take vows of celibacy, poverty, obedience Individuals to become monks or nuns to Separate out from, but remain associated with the Separate larger religious body of which they are a part: larger Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism Mepkin Abbey (on tape) Called to be a Nun (Christianity) Becoming a novice monk (Buddhism) Not all religions have monasticism: Judaism, Islam, Sikhism These religions live their faith in the world These in Sects Break from (further sub-division) from Tend to be smaller than denominations Tend to be younger breaks from larger denominations Tend toward more dramatic reforms to the point of Tend being labeled “heresy” by the larger and older groups they broke from they May separate from the larger society (to avoid May persecution and/or to divorce themselves from a society they consider to be “evil” or “impure”) society May develop into new religious movements, remain a May sub-division of the larger religion, or die out (Shakers) sub-division Examples: The Amish, Mormons (Christian) The Mormons Druze, Ismailis, Ahmadiyah (Islam) New Religious Movements All religions were, at one time, “new religious All movements” movements” Independent religions or sects that are less than 100 Independent years old years Often considered with suspicion, especially when the Often charismatic founder is still living and drawing a large following (may be labeled a “cult”) following Will need to outlive their founders and first generation Will to prove their worth and develop into full-fledged denominations or independent religions (Mormons) denominations Examples: Scientology Eckankar New Age Spirituality (on tape) Cults One person’s “cult” is another’s “religion” Many meanings: Simply any small religious group centered around a Simply charismatic leader, spiritually innovative (Christianity while Jesus was alive, the Unification Church today) while Not necessarily a bad or destructive group but often Not the term is used pejoratively against suspect groups (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Falun Gong) (Mormons, Used especially in reference to new religious groups Used or sects that “go bad” harming themselves and/or others (Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians) Branch Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups: http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm Explore more on the Web: Overview of the World’s Religions: http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/ Shows divisions of http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/ major religions of the world as branching “family trees”, outlining basic history and beliefs of each sub-group outlining Religious Movements: http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/profiles/listalpha.ht http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/profiles/listalpha.h provides profiles of over 200 sects, cults and new religious movements religious Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups: http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm (many of http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm which are also characteristics of most legitimate religions) which Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance: Cult Menu: http://www.religioustolerance.org/cultmenu.htm provides http://www.religioustolerance.org/cultmenu.htm definitions and clarification of issues related to this touchy subject subject ...
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