Terms Definitions
The word religion goes back to what period?
Roman Period.
They called it by the Latin word AWE RELIGIO.
The latin Word religio is made of two roots, what do they mean?
re: means again
ligio: means to join or connect
What is the SACRED?
The joining together of the ordinary world with that sense of awe felt during worship. This mysterious, indescribable force is called the sacred.
What is the purpose of religion?
To connect us with something beyond our ordinary world
Is the SACRED different in all religions?
Every religion has its own understanding of what is sacred.
What did the 20th century Jewish scholar Rudolf Otto say about the SACRED?
Ancient people felt overwhelmed by nature. They felt both fascination and dread when they contemplated the forces of nature.He suggested that ancient people regarded the combination of these two feelings as as an indication that they were in the presence of the sacred.
All of the world's religions have two things in common. What are they?
All of the world's religions stress morality because they all teach that morality is grounded in the sacred.
They also include a belief in some mysterious, indescribable power or force that governs human destiny.
What is the basic goal of all religions?
To tie people to the mysterious power
Western religions tend to use what to point toward the ultimate mysterious force they believe guides the universe?
Eastern and primal religions often view the ultimate force that guides the universe as________________.
present in nature
Some religions use ________ or _________ to understand and relate to the mysterious force they hold sacred.
What are religious actions?
Religion is not just something that people believe, it is something that people do. Religion is about action.
What are examples of religious actions?
eating certain foods
wearing particular clothing
The major religions of the world require that people do things to show they believe.
Muslims do not eat pork
Hindus paint markings on their foreheads to show what deity, or god, they revere.
Religion includes both belief and action
What are sacred stories?
These stories are the basis for belief and practices of reach religion. These stories teach adn communicate truths about the sacred as well as to help people make a connection with the sacred. They are told verbally and may also be written down.
What is scripture?
Sacred stories that are written down.
Sacred writings of a religion that are considered authoritative because people read scripture to learn what is right and wrong and tells them what to do.
Scripture is treated with great respect. Scripture is used both public and private and for meditation adn devotion.
What is oral scripture?
Sacred stories of the primal religions. They are not written down.
When scholars use the word scripture, what are they referring to?
Sacred stories teach what?
Teach the cultural concepts and language of a religious tradition. Most religions believe that the stories contained in their scriptures are of divine origin or are the product of humans who possessed some special insight or direct connection with the sacred.
What is closed scripture?
the belief that people cannot write new scriptures.
Most religions have closed scripture.
What is the bible?
Collection of scriptures which some believed were more authoratative than others. These texts were organized and recognized as scripture.
What is canon?
The official list of sacred scriptures
What religion has open scripture?
Taoism. People continue to write scriptures. There is no officially recognized canon of scripture.
Taoist canon's last printing was when?
1926. It contained 1,120 volumes and is still under development since it did not include all of the scriptures used by Taoists.
Why are there many ways to practice the Taoist movement?
Because the Taoist canon is still open, each Taoist movement has its own scriptures
In christianity, is the scripture considered closed?
Although there are many different types of christianity, they all use the Christian canon of scripture (the bible) to determine how to live
Religions with a closed canon tend to have what?
more uniformity
the pracrtitioners tend to act alike because they read the same scripture
What is apocrypha?
Other sacred texts.
Not part of the official canon but considered sacred.
Revered for their inspirational value.
Apocrypha help people to understand the sacred texts of scripture.
Religious language found in scripture describes what?
religious beliefs and practices
In worship, religious language is used to what?
connect people with the sacred
Why is religious language symbolic?
because religion seeks to connect people with something that cannot be described, only experienced
What is metaphor?
A figure of speech, a symbolic expression frequently based on comparison. Metaphor is the use of something familiar to help people understand something that is unfamiliar to them. Metaphor can also be thought of as a symbol that refers to the sacred
What is analogy?
Refers to the direct comparison of the sacred with something that is familiar.
True or false:
When you study religion, you also study culture.
the world's religions reflect many cultures
they use the language of these cultures to describe their practices and beliefs
What are the 3 western religions?
In western religions, what is the primary tool used to understand the sacred?
Name 2 Eastern religions.
Eastern religions use the language of negation. What does this mean?
They try to describe what the sacred is NOT like. They acknowledge that language cannot describe what is ultimate or sacred. They frequently call it nothing to show that language is limited.
Most divisions of religions are due to what?
differences over the interpretation of its scripture
What is hermeneutics?
the method of the interpretation that we bring to scripture
(based on our likes and dislikes)
What is exegesis?
interpretation of a specific passage of scripture
Define orthodox.
People who try to follow an established religious tradition. They read scirpture LITERALLY. They believe that scripture is devinely inspired and cannot be changed. Their lifestyle will closely follow the customs and laws reflected in scripture
What is fundamentalism?
used to describe people who follow an orthodox form of religion
What are fundamentalists?
They try to live by a strict interpretation of scripture and tend to be slective in what they follow. They try to adhere to what they think is the historical core of their religion. They sometimes add teachings or laws to their tradition to help them follow what they believe are the central teachings of their religions
True or False:
Fundamentalism by its nature is more exclusive than most orthodox forms of religion.
Used to describe some conservative forms of christianity that emphasize what they believe to be the fundamentals of faith. They avoid excessive modernity. They perceive change as a threat to religious belief and practice. Some have an attitude of rigid exclusiveism
What are liberals?
They take a more flexible approach to their religious traditions.They believe that religion is written in metaphor and is not meant to be taken literally. They believe scripture is a guide.They feel free to ignore passages that reflect ancient cultural practices
What are heretics?
People who pubicly assert controversial positions or disagree with orthodox forms of worship are sometimes labeled this.
Historically, heretics have tended to be people who adopt a liberal reading of scripture
Who are mystics?
People who use their own spiritual experiences to interpret scripture. They seek a personal encounter with the supernatural to guide them
What is mysticism?
An individual form of religion. Some mystics do not even read the scripture they instead believe that they are told what they must do through their own personal encounters with God
What are the 4 methods of interpreting religious scriptures?
What are the 4 arguments used for proving the existence of God in Christianity?
Cosmological proof
Teleological proof
ontological proof
Moral argument
What are ethics?
moral codes that help people distinguish between right and wrong
What are norms?
standards of behavior for their religion.
What is a doctrine?
A statement or teaching about the beliefs of a religion. Usually based on sacred scripture and cannot be proven. (like Jesus rose from the dead)
What is theodicy?
theological speculation about the problem of evil
What is faith?
the belief in religious doctrine.
most religions are based on events or teachings that occurred in the past and cannot be proven.
What is dogma?
An authoritative opinion based on sacred scripture or teachings of a religious group that is considered authoritative. (i.e. christian belief in trinity)
Religious dogmas are frequently hard to understand. They require interpretation and people frequently disagree about how to interpret religious dogma just like the disagree over how to interpret scripture
What 2 things for the basis for religious teachings?
What are creeds?
short simple statements that people can learn to recite as a way to profess their faith
(i.e. the Nicene creed of 325 c.e.)
What are theologians?
religious scholars.
study of the divine.
they study the belief system of a religion and use philosophy and reason to defend religious beliefs.
What is the purpose of a creed?
make certain that people share the same beliefs
What is philosophy?
the study of wisdom and knowledge
What 2 things do theologians use to defend the truths of a religion?
What is apologetics?
the use of theology to defend a religion
Discuss Cosmological proof as developed by Thomas Aquina (1224/5-1274).
Cosmogony, or cosmology, is a story about the creation of the world. Aquinas thought that the universe must have a cause and that everything in the universe could be traced back to this origin. He called this beginning the FIRST CAUSE and he believed that to be God.
Discuss Telelogical proof as explained by English philosopher William Paley (1743-1805)..
This is sometimes called the argument from design. Paley thought the universe was so complicated that it must have been designed by an intelligent mind. He believed that the design of the universe was visible proof of God's existence.
Discuss Ontological Proof as developed by the Christian Theologian Anselm (1033-1109).
He questioned what God is like and he decided God is a "being that which nothing greater can be conceived". He believed God is the most perfect of all beings and that language cannot descibe God. He believed that there must be an eternal and perfect force beyond the reality of our ordinary world and he called the force, or being, God. Because God is perfect, God must possess all the qualities of perfection and one quality of perfection is existence. Therefore, God must exist because God is perfect.
Discuss Moral Argument as developed by German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).
He wandered why people want to be good. He believed people want to be good because they want to be rewarded. They believe in the presence of a divine being who will reward them for living a moral life. Because good actions must be rewarded, we must assume the existence of a just God who will recompense humans for being good.
What are the 3 types of skepticism?
What is monotheism?
Belief in a single deity. The belief in a single GOD.
What are some examples of monotheism?
What is polytheism?
Belief in the existence of many Gods. The practices or beliefs of polytheistic religions are more diverse than those of the monotheistic religions because each God or Goddess may require different practices.
Monotheistic religions believe who created the world?
What is transcendent?
God is beyond our world and existed before creation. God exists outside of the material world
What is deism?
the belief that God is distant and is not actively involved in the world
what is theism?
belief that God is a personal, loving deity who responds to prayer
People who are theists believe what is the best way to communicate with God?
through prayer
Monotheist religions are also dualistic. They believe that reality is made up of what two different substances?
What is the spirit?
the pure world of the sacred
What is the flesh?
represents the material world
What do monotheistic religions believe happens after we die?
God will hold us accountable for our choices. Those who have rejected God will be punished while those that have followed God's laws will be rewarded
Monotheists believe we must choose between what 2 things?
the world
true or false:
monotheistics believe that the world is inhabited by evil
What is omnipotent?
having total power over the universe
What is theodicy?
the theological speculation about the problem of evil
How do monothistic religions use the concept of dualism?
they believe in lesser beings. beings that were created by god but they were not gods (like angels)
What are angels?
spiritual beings
Who is Satan in a monotheistic religion?
An angel who is responsible for eveil. Satan is believed to be a fallen angel who now tempts humans and brings evil to earth. The difficulty with this explanation is that it still does not fully explain why the world is not perfect and why God permits evil (or Satan) to exist.
IN many polytheistic religions, how are the gods arranged?
arranged in a hierarchy, a ranking a deities called pantheon
(i.e. Greek mythology)
What is henotheism?
believing that some gods are more important than others and only worship these deities
What is the most common way that scholars divide the world's religions?
into those that worship one God and those that believe in many gods
Another way to compare the religions of the world is to group them according to how they view the sacred which would be__________________ and _____________________.
What are theistic religions?
religions that believe in one or more gods
All of the monotheistic religions are theistic religions and they believe what?
Believe that God is sacred and teaching that God interacts with humans
Hinduism is a polytheistic religion but why is it also a theistic religion?
stresses the worship of many gods. In hinduism, the gods are also believed to interact with humans.
What is a nontheistic religion?
religion that teaches that the universe has always existed. religions that believe in a spiritual reality but not in the existence of a personal god or gods
What are 2 examples of nontheistic religions?

they believe in a sacred reality, but do not require a belief in any deities. gods are not important in these two relgions
What is pantheism?
a form of nontheistic religion.
everything is god. nothing exists apart from the deity.this belief largely emerged in one form of hinduism which taught that the deity is immanent
What is the doctrine of immanence?
holds that the deity is in everything and is everything.
In pantheistic religions, god is not transcendant why?
because god IS the material world, rather than just existing outside it
What is monism?
teaches there is one unified sacred reality beyond the many forms of gods and goddesses, all reality is the same. the gods may be merged together. combination of monotheistic and polytheistic religions. (i.e.Hopi)
What is animism?
the belief that the entire world is alive with spirits.
It is most common in religions with no written scriptures.
Discuss monism in the Hopi of North America.
they worship one spiritual substance that manifests itself in many types of being. The deity is viewed as both transcendant (beyond this world) as well as immanent (part of the world)
True or false:
Are the primal religions of the native peoples of North America and Africa polytheistic?
they believe the world is full of spirits. most primal religions do not believe in one god
What are skeptics?
those who do not choose to practice or believe in a religion.
they doubt religious truth.
What is atheism?
the belief that there is no supernatural power. Because there is no proof and God can't be verified, they do not believe. atheists tend to adopt a materialistic point of view.
What is agnosticism?
believe that we do not have sufficient proof either to doubt or affirm god's existence. middle of the road posiyion. agnostics choose to wait for proof before they make a decision about god's existence
What is humanism?
they put humans, rather than god, at the center of their existence. the belief that people are basically good and can save themselves. they respect all humans and all things made by humans. Many atheists are also humanists.
What is materialism?
the belief that nothing exists apart from matter. there are no supernatural deities.
What did german philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach say in his book "The essence of Christianity" (1841)
god is simply a human projection: what we call God simply represents our own fears or desires. He thought that any statement that a person makes about god, or gods, is actually a statement about oneself
Is religion based on faith or belief?
What is belief?
the acceptance of factual statements
What is faith?
is the confidence that something is true without any visible evidence to support it
What is the profane?
opposite of sacred. represents the ordinary. We live in profane space. The goal of religion is to help people carry part of the sacred experience they feel during worship with them into the profane world
The ritual of the passover meal represents what?
In judaism, it reenacts the exodus from egypt, when God delivered the Jewish people from slavery
What is a ritual?
are actions that eneact the sacred stories of religion. Ritual is the way in which people act out their beliefs
What are rites of passage?
Ritual acts or ceremonies that mark and celebrate significant events in the life cycle
What are myths?
the sacred stories that religions tell about their past. Most were passed down orally before being written down. Followers of a particular religion view their myths as stories that contain eternal truths about what they hold sacred or ultimate.Because myth rests on faith, and many myths are the basis for religious ritual, myth is central to religion.
What is the definition of history?
the study of what actually occurred in the past
What were the two major reasons religious organizations developed?
they communicate belief.
help the community make a connection with the sacred.
Religious organizations also resolve problems and determine doctrine
What are the two types of religious people?
What are the laity?
ordinary people who practice a religion
What are the clergy?
the leaders. the specialists in the traditions, beliefs, and rituals of the religion. In most religions, the clergy conduct the worship services and they are usually paid for their services.
What is an ordination?
formal ceremony to mark the end of a clergy's period of instruction. Ordained people are recognized as religious professionals by the organization of clergy in charge of their religion
Name 4 types of clergy.
What is a priest?
Professional religious leader who performs religious rituals. Thier main function is to serve as intermediaries between the community and the sacred. They are responsible for teaching religious doctrine.
What is a shaman?
similar to a priest. Intermediaries between the community and the sacred and are common in the primal religions.They are not a medicine man.
What is the main job of a shaman?
contact the spirit world to assist the tribe. Shamans may be women
Explain how shamans use magic.
They use magic to manipulate the spirits. This may involve the use of ritual objects. They may use magical sounds that imitate or mimic what they want.Some religions believe that shamans can use magic for both good and evil
What is divination?
using ritual to predict the future. Shamans accomplish this by using mediums. The spirits enter into the body of the shaman and the powers that the spirit pass on to the shaman are then used to predict the future
What is a psychic?
Shamans have a direct connection with another reality that ordianary people lack. In some cultures, a person who possesses the ability to predict the future or contact the dead is called a psychic
What is a prohet?
Messenger of a deity. They claim to have direct connection to the sacred. They sometimes predict he future but their primary function is to speak the will of the deity. They are inspired by teachersand they can be laypeople or clergy
Prophets are most common in the monotheistic religions which are?
Judaism, Christianity, Islam
What are mystics?
A person who seeks an intimate union with adeity. Mysticism looks inward. They practice techniques like meditation to help them achieve a direct experience of the sacred.Because mystics are guided by their own religious experiences, they are frequently not trained clergy
Mystics are most prominent in what two religions?
What is morality?
Refers to a set of codes or laws that are intended to guide behavior in accordance with the sacred.
What is the basis for religious morality
the sacred
What is ethics?
discussions about what is right or wrong
What are moral codes?
Rules that govern behavior to help people distinguish between right and wrong behavior. These codes are based on morals.
What are morals?
principles about what is right and wrong
What is supernatural reward?
a divine punishment or a mystical unity with the sacred that is believed to govern all behavior
Discuss secular.
Ordinary people.
Secular people, who do not stress religious beliefs and practices, do not model their conduct after moral codes of a religion in order to maintain some relationship with the sacred or ultimate
What is eschatology?
teachings about the end of the world
religion is rooted in what?
The world religions can be divided into 3 groups. Name them.
Western religions
Eastern religions
Primal religions
What is included in the Western religions?
How do western religions view time?
linear fashion
it has a beginning and an end
What is included in the Eastern religions?
How do Eastern religions view time?
viewed like a circle
it has no beginning or end
How do primal religions view time?
stress nature in their explanations of time and the sacred
The Western religions all began where?
Middle East.
They spread to Africa and Europe before migrating to North and South America
Why are they called the Western religions?
becasue they moved from their place of origin to the West
What is central to the Western religions?
stories focus on people and that God sought a relationship with certain people
True or false:
Western religions believe that god exists outside of time and surrounds it.
god controls time and because god is not subject to time , god can intervene in history and perform miracles. god can also give people the ability to perform miracles.
Linear time drawing
GOD (outside of time)

What is the day of Judgement?
the end of time when you are to be rewarded for doing good
Western religions are apocalyptic. What does this mean?
they share a belief in the end of time and the Day of Judgement
What is the biggest difference between the 3 western religions?
they each have a story about how to establish a relationship with the One God
Where did the Eastern Religions emerge?
India (Hinduism,Buddhism)
China (Confucianism, Taoism)
The religions that emerged in India view time how?
like a circle
this is sometimes called cyclical time which is the belief that time is repetetive with no beginning or end.
What is reincarnation?
The religions of India believe that we are trapped in the circle of time. After we die our souls move into new bodies and this cycle constantly repeats itself. In a sense, we never die because we are constantly reborn.
The religions of India seek liberation from what?
the circle of time
What is the goal of Hinduism and Buddhism?
to break free from the confines of the cycle of death and rebirth
The teachings of Hinduism and buddhism are based on philosophy rather than what?
Eastern religions teach people to adopt a philosophical outlook on life and appreciate what?
the present rather than focus on the future
The religions of India also teach that we suffer. Why?
because we do not realize our true nature
What is the goal of India religions?
to obtain release from the endless cycle of death and rebirth and to be reunited with the ultimate
In hinduism, the key to achieving enlightenment is to what?
uncover the nature of our true selves.
buddhism teaches that this release is obtained only through the removal of all attachments to the world
The early religions of china focused on what?
they taught that there is a great cosmic force in the universe
What is the Tao (pronounced dow)?
the religions of confucianism and taoism seek to connect us with the hidden force in the universe which is called the Tao
the word tao also spelled dao means what?
the way
it is something that cannot be understood or described
Confucianism and Taoism believe that the problem of our existence is what?
disharmony, which occurs when society or the universe is out of balance
the goal is for nature and society to be in harmony with one another.our actions should be guided by tradition and our mutual obligations to one another rather than by individual concerns
What does Tao teach?
we must achieve a mystical balance with the Tao. The way to achieve this is by understanding the rhythms of nature
Confucianism teaches what?
harmony with the world is the key to achieving a balance with the the mystical forces of Toa. People must fulfill their proper role in the world to help society achieve balance. When social harmony is achieved, everyone will live spontaneously in harmony with the Tao
Primal religion is the beliefs and practices of what peoples around the world?
The primal religions of North America and africa are closer to the which religions?
Eastern religions
Primal religions focus on what?
mysticism and nature
nature is considered alive with spirits
Primal religions look at time how?
since primal societies were intimately connected to the land through hunting and farming, they focus on the rythms of nature. Time is both scared and cyclical. It is eternal. Everything returns to its origins for renewal.
IN primal religions, death is considered what?
a transition and ancestors are still connected with the tribe though they inhabit another plane of existence.
In primal religions, why is it important to mark significant life events with some ritual?
connects the tribe with sacred and eternal time
events in the present have always occurred in the past and will continue to occur in the nature, with its cycle of seasons, the life of the tribe continues on and on like a circle
What are the 4 major approaches to the study of religion?
The Theological Approach
The Scientific Approach
The Historical Approach
The Descriptive Approach
Who practices the theological approach to the study of religion?
Discuss the theological approach.
stresses theology, looking at faith and practices of a religious community and finding evidence of the sacred.religion must be studied from the inside and a person must believe in a particular religious tradition in order to study it
the theological approach is sometimes described as what?
faith seeking understanding
by its nature, the theological approach to the study of religion is what?
seeking to teach a clear and logical understanding of a religious tradition that can be defended and taught
the theological study of religion is conducted within what?
a community of faith
Discuss the scientific study of religion.
It examines religion as a human phenomenon and attempts to adopt a neutral perspective. it explores the scientific study of religion explores religious behaviors and beliefs like a scientist, using the tools of anthropology and archaeology to understand religious beliefs and practices around the world.
anthropology examines what?
culture. they look at such tpoics as marriage, social hierarchies, and division of labor.
the scientific study of religion grew out of what fields?
what is sociology?
study of society and is frequently related to anthropology because society also includes one or more cultures.They examine how diverse cultures have joined together to create a society.
Archaeology does what?
searches for the remains of earlier civilizations. uncovers evidence of past religious activities that helps us to understand modern religions
The scientific approach uses the methodology of comparative religion which is what?
examination of religious phenomena as expressions of cross-cultural religious patterns and types
What are a few problems of the scientific approach?
largely subjective discipline. Scholars disagree on how to interpret the evidence. i.e statues could be religious or decorations
true or false:
because religion is about the sacred, scientific methods of investigation can never ultimately prove or refute religious truth
What is the academic study of religion?
scientific approach to the study of religion done in a secular university (secular community)
Professors who teach religion in a university that is not connected to a religious group are more like what?
scientists. They try to describe religious beliefs and practices in a neutral manner, and they try to explain each religion similarly. The scientific approach to the study of religion stresses either the historical or the descriptive approach, and does not not attempt to convince students that one religion is correct
Describe the Historical approach.
examines a religion from its beginning to its end or the present day. It views religious behavior as part of history and human culture and tries to understand the historical events that contributed to the development of religious practices.
the historical approach is useful for comparing religions beacuse of why?
its focus on chronology
Scientists who practice the historical approach to the study of religion believe what?
that it is a neutral way to examine religion around the world
The historical approach examines events how?
that occurred at a particular time and place. It stresses the importance of historical events in the development of religion and tends to adopt an evolutionary perspective, believing that religions become more complex over time.
Critics of the historical perspective believe what?
that the historical study of religion implies that earlier forms of religious practices and beliefs are inferior to more recvent forms of religious practices and beliefs
Discuss the descriptive approash (also called phenomenological approach).
this method borrows heavily from anthropology, focusing on description and seeking to document the unique beliefs and practices of each religion. The goal is to record them without rendering an any opinion. It simply tries to describe the religion
Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), author of The Sacred and the Profane, was a major proponent of the descriptive apporach. What did he want to do?
wanted to examine patterns that were common to all religions.He said that all religions distinguish between the sacred and the profane. He organized his book according to ideas, not chronology, believing the goals of religious study should be to suimmarize religious beliefs and practices.
What is thick description as noted by anthropologist Clifford Geertz?
describes the investigation of behavior that also attempts to explain its meaning. the descriptive approach attempts to determine why religious beliefs and practives are important for the people who practice a religion. It asks religious people why they are religious.
What is the problem with the descriptive approach?
it can never be free of bias: people who practice a religion do so for many different reasons, and pure description is impossible
What is ancestor veneration?
worship of dead family members
What are the major theories of how religion began?
Animistic theory
theory of original monotheism
magic theory
nature worship theory
psychological theory
sociological theory
materialistic theory
Discuss the animistic theory as mainly developed by British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917)
He believed that religion emerged from animism, the belief that nature is alive with spirits and souls. These spirits also appeared in dreams. People over time began to ask about the origin of these spirits and religion emerged from this early speculation
Discuss the Theory of Original Monotheism as developed by Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954).
He was greatly influenced by Tylor. He observed that many primal religions believe in a single High God. He thought that the primal religions originally worshipped this high god. Polytheism, he believed, emerged much later as religions became more complex over time. In the beginning they were simple because they worshipped a single deity
Discuss the Magic theory as adopted by James Frazer (1854-1941).
He adopted the basic evolutionary framework of Tylor's model.He believed that religion got more complex over time. Frazer, however, viewed religion as the 2nd stage in the development of human explanations of the world.
What 3 ways did Frazer think people explained the world?
He thought that early humans first attempted to explain and control the world through magic, trying to appease the forces of nature through ritual. When magic failed, he believed they turned to religion. According to his model, humans then created science when religion did not solve their problems
Discuss the psychological theory.
views religion as a human phenomenon. Teaches that the supernatural world does not exist.
Discuss Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) theories on the psychological theory.
Believed that deities were simply projections of people's fears and desires. He thought that humans created God in their own image. All religious statements about God are actually about humans.
Discuss Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the father of psychoianalysis, and his thoughts on the psychological theory.
also viewed religion as a human phenomenon. Thought that religion is nothing but a cosmic projection and replaying of the loving and fearful relationships that we had and have with out parents. Religious belief is an illusion that sprang from one's infantile insecurity and neurotic guilt. He thought that religious belief closely resembled many forms of mental illness.
Discuss the nature worship theory as developed by Max Muller (1823-1900).
Believed that ancient people personified nature and created myths to describe the deities of nature. Religion then developed fromt hese myths. Religion essentially emerged from the stories of the primal religions
Discuss the sociological theory by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).
Used sociology to understand the origin of religion. Sociologists are interested in religion because it is found in every society. He looked at religion as a social phenomenon and believed that societies were more important in creating religions than any founder of a religion. Religion was originally a celebreation of the tribe by the tribe, created to bring people together. The original purpose of religious rituals was to celebrate and strengthen society.
Discuss the Materialistic theory.
Believe that humans view material possessions and comforts as more important than religion. Some believe that religion has been created or used to manipulate people.
Who is the most famous and important materialist thinker?
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
he was greatly influence by Feuerbach and used history and economic theory to explain religion as a projection of human needs. He saw religion as a tool that was created to manipulate and oppress people. It was a mirror of an unjust society
Discuss Marx's thoughts on religion.
religion is like the symptom of an illness that can be cured.People hold on to their religious beliefs to find comfort fromtheir troubles because they live in an unjust and imperfect world.He believed that when social problems are removed, life will become harmonious for all citizens, and people will no longer have any need for religion.
Discuss the nature worship theory as developed by Max Muller (1823-1900).
Believed that ancient people personified nature and created myths to describe the deities of nature. Religion then developed fromt hese myths. Religion essentially emerged from the stories of the primal religions
Discuss the sociological theory by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).
Used sociology to understand the origin of religion. Sociologists are interested in religion because it is found in every society. He looked at religion as a social phenomenon and believed that societies were more important in creating religions than any founder of a religion. Religion was originally a celebreation of the tribe by the tribe, created to bring people together. The original purpose of religious rituals was to celebrate and strengthen society.
Discuss the Materialistic theory.
Believe that humans view material possessions and comforts as more important than religion. Some believe that religion has been created or used to manipulate people.
Who is the most famous and important materialist thinker?
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
he was greatly influence by Feuerbach and used history and economic theory to explain religion as a projection of human needs. He saw religion as a tool that was created to manipulate and oppress people. It was a mirror of an unjust society
Discuss Marx's thoughts on religion.
religion is like the symptom of an illness that can be cured.People hold on to their religious beliefs to find comfort fromtheir troubles because they live in an unjust and imperfect world.He believed that when social problems are removed, life will become harmonious for all citizens, and people will no longer have any need for religion.
Discuss the nature worship theory as developed by Max Muller (1823-1900).
Believed that ancient people personified nature and created myths to describe the deities of nature. Religion then developed fromt hese myths. Religion essentially emerged from the stories of the primal religions
Discuss the sociological theory by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).
Used sociology to understand the origin of religion. Sociologists are interested in religion because it is found in every society. He looked at religion as a social phenomenon and believed that societies were more important in creating religions than any founder of a religion. Religion was originally a celebreation of the tribe by the tribe, created to bring people together. The original purpose of religious rituals was to celebrate and strengthen society.
Discuss the Materialistic theory.
Believe that humans view material possessions and comforts as more important than religion. Some believe that religion has been created or used to manipulate people.
Who is the most famous and important materialist thinker?
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
he was greatly influence by Feuerbach and used history and economic theory to explain religion as a projection of human needs. He saw religion as a tool that was created to manipulate and oppress people. It was a mirror of an unjust society
Discuss Marx's thoughts on religion.
religion is like the symptom of an illness that can be cured.People hold on to their religious beliefs to find comfort fromtheir troubles because they live in an unjust and imperfect world.He believed that when social problems are removed, life will become harmonious for all citizens, and people will no longer have any need for religion.
What are primal (primitive, tribal, native) religions?
Religions of the indigenous people. They include both the religions of prehistoric people and the current religions of indigenous societies around the world.
Some scholars use what terms to describe the primal religions?
Primal religions use what kind of language to pass down their religious traditions?
oral language
Why is priaml the most accurate term?
It acknowledges the oral nature of these religions that,even if practiced today, remain close to their original traditions
Discuss who can practice a primal religion?
Primal religions are different than the other world religions. Primal religion is based on the tribe, a group of people who trace themselves to a real or fictional ancestor. A person must belong to a tribe to practice primal religion.
Are tribal religions polytheistic?
They teach that sacred powers exist throughout the cosmos.
What is the major concern of primal religion?
Connect the tribe with the sacred, and each tribe tends to have certain deities who are responsible for protecting their own tribe. Almost all of the major religions of the world practiced today were originally forms of primal religion.
What are the world's oldest religions?
primal religions
many primal religions no longer exist
Primal religion is mainly oral with many primal religions based on what?
stories and myths that are NOT historical
What is the prehistoric era?
Where all primal religions began.
The period before writing. Because of this, it is impossible to study their early history
People who practice primal religions believe what?
That their rituals and beliefs have always existed or were developed in a mythic past. History is generally not important for the primal religions
Primal religions emphasize what?
The forces of nature. They are closely associated with the surrounding landscape; the deities of religion each reflect the tribe's local geopgraphy. The deities of primal religions also reflect the lifestyle of the tribe
Tribes who live by hunting tend to worship what?
animal gods
Planters, who live by farming, tend to worship what?
deities associated with nature
Primal religions did not develop written scriptures but instead kept their oral roots. Because of this oral basis, primal religions are difficult to study. There are two sources of information about the primal religions, what are they?
contemporary primal religions
What is the major source of information about the early primal religions?
They have uncovered anciet settlements and cities where early humans lived going back nearly 100,000 years. Objects such as burial artifacts, anciet paintings, and statues clearly show signs of these early cultures.
Burials show what?
a ceoncern for the dead
reflect a belief in the afterlife
Art shows what?
people apprciated beauty and many objects of art appear to be representations of deities. SOme artistic objects like masks were apparently used by priests in worship
What is Mother Goddess?
female figures that likely represent this deity who was in charge of the fertility of the crops, nature, and creation. SOme scholars even believe that many primal religions emphasized or worshipped female deities early in their history.
What are megaliths
stones placed upright in the ground. Many megaliths also contained benches for offerings or were constructed near burials. Though most are small, some megaliths are quite large (Stonehenge in England)
because primal religions are so anciet, they have undergone changes. Discuss these changes.
the indigenous people of North America have been forced to change their religios practices because of the loss of sacred lands. Many were forcibly moved to other regions of the country and could no longer visit their sacrd ancestral places. Some primal religions absorbed elements of other religions, as did some native peoples of North America, who still practice primal religion alongside Christianity.
What is syncretism?
combination of elements from different religions. Although it refers to religions other than the primal religions that have also combined elements from other religions, it is especially common in primal religions
People who practice a tribal religion believe what?
Believe they are related through a common ancestor. When a person marries into a tribe, he/she adopts the religion of that tribe. Each tribe has its own protective deities.
Early tribal societies were based on what two things?
hunting or agriculture
Tribes who were hunters obtained most of their food by?
pursuing wild animals. They had to be mobile in order to follow the herds
Tribes who were gatherers got their food how?
supplemented their food supply through gathering plants that grew naturally. over time, some tribes began to construct temporary settlements where these plants grew. they began to move less and less
With the invention of agriculture, many tribes abandoned hunting altogether which caused what?
permanent settlements to grow until they became cities. These cities still relied on products obtained from pastoral tribes who supplied them with meat and wool.
In the bible, Abraham was a pastoralist. What is that?
He lived outside of the city with his flocks and originally practiced the primal religion of his ancestors
The deitites of the primal religions tend to reflect what?
the lifestyle of the tribe. When scholars stufy primal religions they also examine lifestyle of the tribe to learn more about its deities.
Primal religions distinguish between the sacred and the profane. Discuss this practice.
They believe that certain places were special.
most early primal religions were also animistic meaning?
they thought that people, animals,and things had souls.
What is totemism?
because Animals are important to many tribal societies, they consider certain animals and objects sacred and think they possess a special relationship with these animals. Tribes who believe in totemism make totems, or symbols, of the animals that protect them.
Aborigines of Australia believe in Dreamtime. What is this?
what they call the time of creation when their ancestor heroes lived at the beginning of the world. The ancestor-heroes were responsible for shaping the present world, and their powers exist in natural objects.
Aborigines also teach that their their ancestors are responsible for nature and seasons.
The ancestor's power and precense remains in a mysterious dreaming state that manifests itself in natural objects. They feel that when they apporach many of these objects, they can feel the presence of their ancestors
Because of the belief in Dreamtime, many natural sites are considered sacred and have become the focus of what?
pilgrimage, ritual and stories to the present day
Primal religions emphasize magical powers.
practitioners of these religions believe that nature is full of spirits and these spirits need to be appeased through worship and rituals.
Magic is also used to manipulate spiritual forces.
When tribes need rain, for example, they seek to appease the deities in the sky so that they will bring rain.
Shamans have traditionally been very important in primal religions.
they practice divination to predict the future.
What is augury?
one of the most popular methods of divination. It examines signs in nature, such as the flight of birds, in order to learnthe future
What is necromancy?
communication with the dead through a trance or vision. It is another method of divination
What is the shaman's major function?
to keep the community in contact with the spirit world. they know which rituals need to be perfoprmed and are also healers of the tribe. the spirits consulted by the shamans could be good or bad.
Sometimes people seek the power of evil through the use of what?
What is exorcism?
when evil spirits possess people, they consult shamans to remove them. during the ritual of exorcism, evil spirits that have possessed a person are cast out
What are fetishes?
things that people make. special objects, to protect them from evil spirits
What is mana?
Primal religions believe in it. It is the sacred power that fills certain people, places, or objects.This force can be transmitted from objects in nature to humans or from humans toi nature.
Explain taboos.
Certain places, people, or things are believed to have special powers to make them dangerous. In order to protect the tribe form this power,which in some instances could be evil, certain people, actions and things are forbidden or to be avoided. many of these prohibitions are called taboos.Examples of taboos would be not uttering certain words or avoiding particular sites thought inhabited by evil spirits.
What is polluted?
When people violate the taboos of the tribe or offend the spirits, they become polluted or ritually defiled. This offends the spirits. The pollution somehow has to be removed or else the angry spirits cpould do terrible things to the tribe.
What are purificaiton rites?
rituals intended to remove pollution. many of these rites involve water. A person could be required to wash in water blessed by a priest or in a waterfall the tribe believed possessed sacred powers.
What are tricksters?
these are deities, either good or bad, who use their cunning and tricks to obtain what they want. Some even perform offensive acts or play practical jokes on humans.
What is the role of tricksters i the development of a tribe?
Tricksters performed a role in creatingthe tribe and even fought demons and evil powers. Some scholars believe that tricksters are important because they serve as a safety valve. Telling stories of a trickster deity is a way of symbilically breaking the laws and codes of the tribe
What is the High God?
The source of life. In many of the primal religions, this deity is no longer active and has removed itself fromt he world. The high god is not always worshipped.
Worship in the primal religions usually focuses on what?
lesser deities or spirits who are believed to be still active in the world
Discuss the afterlife in primal religions.
Generally focus on the present. Tribal memebrs view salvation in the context of the entire tribe. Ancestoirs are believed to live on in the spirit world and are to be venerated.
Ancestor veneration includes what?
practices such as prayers and offerings to the dead. The tribe will bring in th shaman or medium to attempt to contact the dead and rituals will be performed to carry out the wishes of the ancestors.
Primal religions celebrate many festivals that followed
the rhythms of the year.religious rituals are conducted at certain times, such as the beginning and end of harvest.
What are the rites of passage?
Triabl societies commemoprate significant life events such as birth, marriage, and death. Although they are held for the individuals, the focus is still on the tribe. Because events in the life of a person affect the entire tribe, they are celebrated by everyone.
What are native american religions?
refers to the religious practices and beliefs of the indigenous people who inhabited predent day Canada and the US.
Native American religion is based on what?
It is one ot he world's oldest faiths. People are connected with each other through membership in a tribe and are related to one another by a common ancestor.
What is the goal of Native American worship?
to teach the tribe how to live in harmony with natural and supernatural powers
Why has Native American religion gone through so many changes?
Many tribes no longer exist, while others were forced to move from their sacred lands during the European settlement of the US ans Canada.Native american religion has experienced more changes during the last few centuries than at any time in history.
The religions of the Native Americans are polytheistic, though most believe in a single High God.
This deity is not involved in the operation of the earth and is generally not worshipped except sometimes during emergencies, when Native Americans pray to the High god for assistance. IN some tribes, the high god is believed to be a general spiritual power that is present in the world.
What is Mother Earth?
the center of nature. Native american religion teaches that in addition to being full of spirits the earth itself is a living spirit
Becaus the high god is not involved in the world, Native americans worship these lesser spirits.
they pray to the spirits of nature and the spirits of ancestors for help.
because of the belif in animism, what is the goal of the religion?
the goal is to live in harmony with the land and the spirits that live in the world
What are guardian spirits?
frewuently animals who protect people
What is Mother Earth?
the center of nature. Native american religion teaches that in addition to being full of spirits the earth itself is a living spirit
Becaus the high god is not involved in the world, Native americans worship these lesser spirits.
they pray to the spirits of nature and the spirits of ancestors for help.
because of the belif in animism, what is the goal of the religion?
the goal is to live in harmony with the land and the spirits that live in the world
What are guardian spirits?
frequently animals who protect people
What are tricksters?
In some stories, they appear foolish/stupid and are like clowns. They can change into any form or creature they wish, use cunning to achieve what they want, and frequently have uncontrollable appetites for food and pleasure.
Native Americans believe tricksters do what?
Help put the world in order. They also represent the forces of disorder that continually disturb the tribe
Discuss creation myths.
Each tribe has its own myth that teaches everything is sacred, they make no distinction between gods, spirits, the universe, nature, animals, or humans.
Why are creation myths told?
to show that all things are connected and that everything is alive with spirits. They are used to teach that there is no distinction between humans and animals because both are sacred. They are also used to explain the origin of the tribe.
Most creation myths are about what two things?
chaos and conflict.
Chaos stories claim the creation emerged out of chaos. According to conflict stories, the creation came about following a battle between good and evil forces
What is the purpose of Native American ceremonies and rituals?
Maintain a relationship with the sacred. Some rituals are designed to control spiritual forces; these rituals include songs,dances,fasting,physical ordeals, bathing and the observance of taboos.
What is one of the most important ways to contact the spirit world?
ritual dance.
before important events like hunting and planting, the entire community participates in ritual dances.
What is imitative or sympathetic magic?
This type of magic is like a play. One common historical example is connected with the hunt. During a ceremony held before the hunt, members of the tribe would imitate the animals they were going to hunt and then were symbolically hunted and killed by the tribe.
Why did Native Americans believe thatthe ritual hunt had magical powers?
believed that because of their connection, the animals would cooperate like they did in the play and allow the hunters to kill them. Sometimes, the native amewricans would show respect for the spirits of the animals apologizing before killing them thereby thanking the spirits of the animals for providing food
What is a vision quest?
they go into the wilderness with little clothing and no food in order to obtain a vision from a guiding spirit. These spirits usually appear as animals. The animal that the young person sees during his vision quest becomes his or her guardian spirit. Success during the vision quest is essential. If a young person fails to have a vision, he or she is barred from participating in many tribal rituals.
What is the Sun Dance?
Entire tribe seeking a vision together. Native amwericans who lived in the plains of the midwest practiced the sun dance which took place in summer in a lodge that contained a sacred pole in the center. The entire tribe danced together to seek visions that would help them identify with the sacred. The sun dance usually lasted 3 days and nights.
Why is the sacred pipe the most important ritual object in many Native American tribes?
The tobacco smoke from this pipe is believed to connect the tribe with the spirit world and with other members of the tribe. Used during many ceremonies, and shamans use it during healing rituals. Tribal leaders smoke the sacred pipe to make contracts, greet important guests, and to declare war or peace. It represents the bonds of sincerity and brotherhood
What is Peyote?
a small catus that grows in the southwestern US and in Central america. In antiquity, some indigenous peoples smoked this plant during their rituals. It induced hallucinations and visions. Majority of tribes rarely used it and considered it an inferior way to obtain visions and contact the spirits
What is assimilation?
the process of absorbing cultural elements and lifestyles from another culture or religion into one's own. This has greatly affected many Native American religions.
What is the Peyote Cult?
Developed as a reaction to the Native American's loss of land and status, but the native American Church is perhaps the most famous example of the adoption of elements of another religion into an indigenous faith.
What is the Native American Church?
In 1918, some Native Americans who had adopted Christianity formed this church, a revival movement that combined Christianity and the use of Peyote to achieve visions. This movement became nationwide in 1944 and is now called the Native American Church of the United States.
What is an example of forced assimilation?
In 1990, the US Supreme court upheld state laws banning the use of peyote which has forced some tribed to change their religious practice.
Name 3 contemporary Native American Religions?
The Inuit (from the Arctic)
The Sioux (from the Great Plains)
The Hopi (fromt he SouthWest)
Native Americans of the Artic regions were called what?
Eskimos (meat eaters), however, these people call themselves Inuit (the men)
Inuits believe in a High God named what?
They are animistic. Sila speaks to children, sometimes sending messages to warn the tribe of danger. The inuit believe in goblins, dwarfs, giants, trolls, and other creatures, all of whom can either help or harm people. They also believe that the dead live beneath the earth
Many Inuit carry fetishes for what?
protection from evil spirits
Inuit religion also includes many taboos designed to appease evil spirits and to keep them away.
many of the taboos deal with women, who in Inuit society are both prized and feared. The INuit fear menstrual blood, labor and birth. Men are not allowed to come close to any woman during menstruation or labor.
Inuit women are important members of the family.
They prepare food and make clothing from animal skins
Many Inuit tribes in the past also practiced polygamy.
having more than one spouse
What is monogamy?
having only one spouse. A practice that was largely forced upon them by the Western culture
Who is Sedna?
The goddess of life, who brought life from the sea. Sedna is also the mother of seals and other sea animals. The creation story involving Sedna is intended to show the Inuit's close relationship to the earth and seals which they hunt. When humans break certain taboos, Sedna will withhold the sea animals and bring famine to the tribe
Shamans are consulted when trouble occurs in the tribe.
They travel to Sedna through visions and seek to appease her. Shamans are very important in Inuit religion. They maintain the relationship between the tribe, Sila, and the other spirits, and many Inuit shamans also practice divination.
The name Sioux is used differently by Native Americans and the US Government.
In the 19th century, the US identified all Native American tribes with similar Lakota languages as the Siux people. The people of the Sioux people call themselves either Lakota or Dakota which menas friend or allies
The Sioux nation of the western Great Plains of the US is also called the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota nation by the Native Americans.The oglala Sioux are members of what?
The Teton Division of the Great Sioux Nation whose members speak a language called Lakota. This cofederation, or group of related tribes, includes the oglala, Brule, Hunkpapa, Blackfoot and other tribes.
Where did many of the Sioux originate?
Minnesaota and moved to the Great Plains
BY 1750, the Lakota mostly consisting of Oglala and Brule tribes moved into present day South Dakota near the Missouri river.
At this time, the Sioux obtained horses and became buffalo hunters. This allowed them to settle down, since they could chase their animals with their horses and return to their camps.
The Sioux believe the world was created throught he activities of the trickster who took the form of a spider.
Their creation story is about their tribe. The Sioux use the sacred pipe in their rituals and practice the vision quest and the Sun Dance
What is a sweat lodge?
for purificaiton ceremonies.
special building for steam baths
Around 1870, a Native American shaman named Wovoka, fromt he Paiute tribe, had a vision which told him what?
that the dead were about to return. When this event took place,the spirits claimed, the Native Americans once again would practice their traditional culture and religon. The animals would be restored to the earth and the Native Americans would have peace with the white man
Wovoka preached his message to the different tribes and told them they needed to work together to bring about this event. They were to put aside their differences and unite through Ghost dance. What is ghost dancing?
because these dances were believed to bring back the spirits of the dead, they were called Ghost Dances.
The Ghost Dance Movement began to spread among the Native Americans of the Plains and the Sioux developed thier own ritual.
believing that if they danced, the bison would return and the white people would disappear from their land.
What is a ghost shirt?
When Wovka preached his message, he attempted to prove his supernatural powers by wearing a bulletproof ghost shirt. This garment would later play a tragic role among the Oglala Sioux.
The US government feared the power of the Ghost Dance movement since it could potentially unite the members of the Sioux nation and result in an uprising
The 7th Calvary was sent to pacify the Lakota. The Oglala Sioux met the calvary at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. They wore the ghost shirts believeing they would protect them from bullets as promised.
What happened at the massacre at Wounded Knee?
The exact chain of events that took palce is uncertain, but the end redult was that the native americans were massacred by the calvary. This massacre, the last major conflict in the Indian Wars of the 19th century ended the ghost dance movement. It also forced the US government to pass additional laws protecting Native American Culture.
Some scholars believe that hte end of the ghost dance movement contributed to the rise of the peyote cult among the Sioux, since they, and the other members of the Sioux nation, had lost their power to determine their own cultural and religious destiny.
Today, the Sious no longer hunt buffalo and have adopted a Western lifestyle that is largely removed from the land. They continue to use the rituals of the sacred pipe, the vision quest, the sweat lodge and the Sun Dance.
The Hopi live in the desert of the southwestern US. They are sometimes called Pueblo Indians because of what?
They used to live in apartment-like villages made of adobe or stone. They are primarily farmers whose major crop is a corn called maize, though they also plant beans and squash.
The Hopi believed they were the first inhabitants of North America and their sacred stories reflect own story.
they believe that humans have lived in 4 worlds. After a series of events, people moved to the 4th or present world, where the tribes were instructed by the guardian of the earth to seperate from one another and wander the earth. The myths of the Hopi teach that they should wander in search of the perfect place where eventually they would settle. Throughout history, the Hopi have wandered in their harsh desert environment. Their stories were developed to explain why they had to move.
The Hopi revere Mother Eath.
SOme Hopi rituals are performed ina sacred pit called a kiva. Kiva represents the pit houses of their ancestors. They symbolize the birth of the Hopi from the earth, since their ancestors had literally lived inside the earth. The hole in the Kiva is considered an umbilical cord that leads from the earth to the underworld. The kiva ceremony is still practiced today as another way to connect with the past.
The Hopi have traditionally believed in reincarnation.
the dead will either rejoin the spirits or become rain clouds, while the sould of dead infants will return as children
What are kachinas?
refers to the spirits of natureas well as the male dancers who imitate these spirits during dances adn the dolls that the dancers give to Hopi children to teach them about the spirits
Many African religions believe ina high God.
high god is the creator, preserver, sustainer of the entire universe
African religions are polytheistic.
Believe that spirits live in sacred places such as rivers, trees, and mountains. People visit these sites to offer prayers and sacrifices. These lesser spirits are the tribe's connection with the High God. They can be good or evil, but because the lesser deities are closer to humans, it is important to make them happy.
What is the most common way to worship the lesser spirits?
Offer them food and drink.
Some practice animal sacrifices believing that the blood of the animals or birds will do what?
appease angry deities. The foos is offered to the deities and eaten by the tribe. In African religions, priests or other religious leaders are generally not essential for worship.
Human sacrifices has always been rare in the African religions, though a few tribes occasionally practiced it in the past.
It usually involved the sacrifice of a few people to accompany the leader to the afterlife.
What is ritual cannibalism?
ritual eating of a human corpse
Most African religions are oral.
myths about deities,animals, and heroic members of the tribe who lived in the past.Many explain why the High God is no longer active in the world. IN some myths, the high god once lived with humans. He was eventually forced to leave because of some human transgression. In many of these myths, the high god used a spider's web or a rope to leave the earth.
Many myths in the religions of Africa describe the original condition of humans.
In these stories, people were once innocent, like children. They lived forever in a state of happiness. The humans did something to offend the High God. As a result, they were either punished or the High God left.The result is our current condition on earth.
The religions of Africa believe that the dead live in the spirit world.
IN most African religions, there is no belief in a final judgement; the dead simply live in the world of the spirits, though they are different than other spirits. They remain interested in the world because they once lived in it. They watch the family and tribe and can help or harm people by causing illness and natural disasters. In most african religions, the dead are feared more than the lesser spirits. Because the dead are so close to the tribe, they are also believed to enforce its moral laws and social codes.
What is occultism?
the manipulation of spiritual powers or forces. The dead, or other spirits, are consulted for their powers.
Shamnas (diviners) use rituals to do what?
predict the future. they are sought to harness spiritual power wither for good or evil
African religions do not distinguish secular and religious behavior.
The tribe lives on earth. The earth is sacred therefore everything done on the earth affects the sacredness of the earth. every action is a religious action. Ordinary events such as planting crops are religious acts and they are to be celebrated with special rituals or festivals.
discuss african rites of passage.
Entire tribe celebrates them. Most tribes also have initiation rituals, which occur at puberty. These rituals are a way of instructing the child about the rituals and myths of the tribe.IN many tribes the young girls are secluded in a special house during the puberty ritual.
During rites of passage, the boys usually undergo physical tests to show their courage.Many tribes practice cirumcision.
few tribes have adopted female circumcision.the origins of the practice of circumcision are unknown
Name two contemporary african religions.
The Yuruba
The Dogon
The yuruba (Yoruba) live in Nigeria and parts of neighboring countries. They believe in a high God named who?
Yuruban mythlogy states what?
Olorun created the world. He asked his son Orishala to descend from the sky to create the first earth at a place called Ile-Ife. Orishala was delayed and his younger brother, Oduduwa, completed the job. Shortly afterwards, 16 lesser spirits called orisha came down from heaven to create human beings. The details of this creation story and the names of the deities vary among different groups of Yuruba
The Yuruba believe that the High God Olorun has retired and is no longer active in the world though people can still call upon Olurun when?
at any time and do not need priests to approach him
Yuruba religion focuses on the orisha.
the villages are protected by special orisha, who intervene when necessary to help the tribe. they also believe that some of their ancestors led especially good lives. they are now orisha and are worshipped. they remain especially close to the tribe, serving as the guardians of the family and the tribe.
Yuruba believe that nature is full of spirits.
They make special sacrifices to the earth during planting and harvest. These spirits are slightly different than the orisha. They are believed to be the sacred energy that binds the gods, the tribe, the universeand the ancestors
Many Yuruba were taken to the US as slaves where they adopted catholocism and they merged their reigious rituals with catholocism.
They hid their beliefs inside Christian rituals. when they venerated catholic saints,they worshipped their native deities which they worshipped before Catholocism reached Africa.
Santeria is the Spanish name given to the Yuruba brand of catholocism.
Santeria is similar to another religion called voodoo or voudon which is a combination of French Catholocism and other African religions
The dogon live where?
in Mali.
What do the Dogon believe?
that the universe emanated from a cosmic egg. In the beginning, the High God Amma lived in the shape of an egg. aama created the universe inside himself and then made 2 genderless twins. One of these twins revolted and descended into darkness. The twin took part of the egg and created the earth. The earth however was sterile. Amma sacrificed the other twin to bring life to the earth, lowering them there in a boat held by a giant chain. The boat contained everything to maintain human life, such as plants and animals. These children of Amma thus brought culture to the earth.
Dogon religion consists mainly of what?
Ancestor veneration. The dead live in the underworld. They also worship the spirits. They have an excellent understanding of the solar system, esp the star sirius. For centuries they plotted the ofbits of the stars that circle sirius. Scientists debate how the Dogon learned about Sirius. Some believe that their knowledge of this star emerged from their observations of nature and the spirit world. Others believe they learned of Sirius after their first contact with Europeans.
Hinduism is perhaps the most diverse religion in the world. Where did it begin?
Began with the primal religion of India during the prehistoric era.
What changes has Hinduism undergone?
had early belief in animism and worship through sacrifice to develop several elaborate philosophical schools of thought.
Hinduism is a polytheistic religion with over 330 million deities
Becasue there are so many gods and goddesses, no two forms of Hinduism are alike
Over time, some types of Hinduism developed into henotheism which is what?
some gods were more important than others and worshipped them.
Other types of Hinduism merged the deities together and taught a form of what?
this way of practicing Hinduism views reality as a single thing
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