ReligionMidTerms - The religious dimension in human history...

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The religious dimension in human history: Identify the following expressions of the religious dimension in human history: Animism: Definition: The belief that souls exist in all natural objects and phenomena. One of the earliest developed theories on ‘the origins of religion’ formulated in 1871 by Taylor . Proposed that: The belief in all natural objects , including living creatures had a soul or spirit. It was a force the prehistoric people believed ruled the natural world . The belief that natural events could be attributed to the actions of the spirits. Prehistoric connections: Prehistoric people began to worship them, as they believed they ruled their lives. It was developed through there witnessing of death and dreams and other unanswerable matter . Through the worship of elements it is believed that the beginnings of polytheism evolved. Transition from the basic to sophisticated. Implications of animism: All facets of the natural world were considered equal . Human beings must treat animals with respect. Contradicts the modern thought of Cartesian . Belief that the spirit survives physical death . Many scholars rejected the idea of animism yet animism is still prevalent in some cultures today, e.g. Aboriginal culture . Polytheism: Definition : Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple Gods or deities. (Developed from animism). Polytheistic Characteristics: Are more personal and acceptable than the typically distant high god of monotheistic religions. Gods are rarely all powerful and all knowing. Each God is given a specific position within the pantheon. Ancient Societies: Existed in many ancient societies. Examples include the Egyptians whom had multiple God’s. Hard Polytheism: Hard polytheists conceive of their Gods as being distinct and separate entities.
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Soft Polytheism: Gods are understood as represented certain facets of the one God. Monotheism: Definition: Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. This God is all-powerful and all knowing whom created the world. He sets religious and moral codes. Monotheism is generally regarded as having developed from polytheism. Theologies within Monotheism include Deism and Pantheism. Evaluate the place of the religious dimension in human history to provide: Meaning and purpose for the individual: Key Religious questions : Existence is characterised by a search for understanding of the great questions (origin, purpose and destiny). Religion attempts to create guidelines and a strong foundation for exploration of these questions. The answers are often quite complex however. Religion provides certainty in an ever-changing world: It provides a consistency and certainty for the individual. As it is a framework of consistent meaning and is uplifting during times of turmoil.
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