What do you need in a religion?
faith, creation theory, social teaching/culture, history, afterdeath (judgment),
someone/thing to worship, texts, members, prayer/chanting, good + bad
priests/teachers, tenets/rules, rituals, traditions, meaning, answer to suffering
Evolution of Religions
- The actual formal study of religion didn’t begin till the late middle ages.
- When Colombus landed, he perceived the Native American as the “inhabitantes went
naked, without shame, religion, or god.”
- For Colombus, religion was basically something with an abstract god, Christianity.
- To European explorers, Christianity made people civilized, as they thought when they
changed the cannibal-like Native Americans to clothes-wearing civilized people.
-This is when people actually began thinking about religion.
-Europeans had trouble with the mythology of non-European people, but had the most
trouble with understanding their rituals, like the dancing around fire, etc.
- They thought other religions weren’t proper religions, they were primitive.
-They thought religions could get better the more European-like they got.
-Roman and Christian usage: cubic terms referring primarily to the careful performance
of ritual obligations
-English adverbial construction “religiously” designating a conscientious thought
How did religion begin?
, (a Protestant) a learned scholar thought. If god gave people religion, then he
must have given them the intelligence to practice it. All believers thought there was only
one true religion. He believed that belief in God was the one true religion, and since God