Religion 131 Exam 1 Study Guide
Religion 131 Exam 1 Study Guide REL 131
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Brittany Wright on Monday September 26, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to REL 131 at University of Southern Mississippi taught by Amy Slagle in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views.
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Date Created: 09/26/16
Exam 1 Study Guide This is based off of the study guide provided by Professor Slagle. I will provide definitions and examples to the concepts that she mentions. Be sure to read the extra reading she provided as I will not be providing a synopsis in this study guide. Good luck on the test! Study hard! General Religion Concepts Religion comes from the Latin word “religare” which means to tie or bind together (you should include information about all of the vocabulary from homo religiosus to agnosticism in this part considering they are all apart of religion, you don’t have to go into detail just mention that they are a part of religion) Homo religiosus a term used to say that humans have always made a distinction between 2 fundamental states: profane and sacred; humans are innately religious or seeking a higher power Emic looking from the “inside”; the point of view of a practitioner or someone who is a part of the specific religion or other cultural aspect; these people are usually concerned with the “truth”; I like to remember this by thinking of the word immersed which sounds a little like emic and if you are part of the religion you are immersed in it Etic looking from the “outside”; the point of view of someone who is not deeply involved in the religion or other cultural aspect; viewing crosscultural application; these people are concerned with understanding the “others” and learning; remember etic has a ‘t’ in it like the word outside Profane the human sphere, secular life; the part of the fundamental world where someone is searching for meaning; examples: just regular human people and the world we live in Sacred beyond the human sphere. This is the higher power, creator, supernatural realm; this is the part of the fundamental world that provides meaning to someone; examples: Gods, goddesses, creators, higher powers, things like that Hierophany the appearance between the sacred in the profane; when the sacred and profane meet; examples: the story of Moses and the burning bush, The Vedas, and Krishna or any other avatars of the Hindu gods Myth technical term for stories about the sacred; not about being true or false; examples: the story of Moses and the burning bush could be used here too or the story of the Bhagavad Gita Ritual performative action designed to open communication with the sacred; rights of passages or the transitions in a person’s life; examples: baptisms, christenings, pujas, prayer, Symbol visual representation for religion; examples: the cross, the om, the star of David, Doctrine official, institutionally approved interpretation(s) of hierophanies; boundaries setting groups apart; this can control the interpretation of an Hierophany Atheism denial of the existence of the sacred Agnosticism knowledge that the existence of the sacred is impossible Hinduism Hindu Sanskrit for “Land Beyond the Indus River,” meaning it is not originally religious. Hinduism is a very elastic religion. Everything that isn’t Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Jainism or any other major religion, falls under the Hinduism category. This is why Hinduism is sometimes considered a made up religion. A great deal of the Hindu beliefs and practices come from the Vedas. Vedas means “sacred knowledge,” and is an ancient library full of magical texts and hymns. This library is believed to hold the cosmic sounds of the universe; it is a Hierophany. The books held in the Vedas are called the Upanishads. Upanishads means “nearsitting,” because the students who sat nearest to the Gurus, spiritual teachers, learned the most. They are the last books of the Vedic library and chart out the nature of reality and what to do about it. They are thought to originally be the teachings of Gurus. o Reincarnation is the rebirth of a soul into something new in the next life. Hindus use the word samsara when talking about reincarnation. Samsara means “to wander”. It is the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Everything is a part of samsara, even the universe. This is seen as an ultimately negative process. Hindus see it as being trapped in an infinite cycle. The soul is called the Atman. It is in every living being therefore anyone can be reincarnated as anything with a soul. The soul is what is transferred through reincarnations. Samsara is ultimately an illusion which is known as Maya. The only thing that is truly real is the Brahman. The Brahman is the ultimate reality of the universe. The atman is the Brahman; samsara is the Brahman. Therefore, you, me, and everyone and everything that is living is the Brahman. All beings are the Brahman in disguise. This is called lila, which is cosmic play. The Brahman has essentially spun out and taken on many guises in order to play hide and seek with itself. The only way to escape samsara is moksha. Moksha is when one realizes that not only are they themselves the Brahman but so is everyone and every other living thing in the world. It is the liberation or release of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Yoga is the practice of trying to achieve a union between the atman and the Brahman. Although there are many types of yogas this is what they all have in common. A yogi (male) or yogini (female) is someone who practices yoga Bhakti yoga is “devotion” yoga. Through loving and worshiping the gods one can realize their true nature. o In this yoga people japam, which is chanting the name of the god or goddess one is worshiping. People also preform pujas, which are offerings made to gods or goddesses. For pujas and other purposes for dividing up the Hindu religion, there are 3 main divisions of Hinduism: Vishnu preserver god Shiva creator and destroyer of all Shakti feminine cosmic energy o Kali goddess of feminine fury; embodiment of estrogen; she is bloodthirsty and is often depicted wearing a garland of heads or penises around her neck o Sarasvati goddess of music and learning o Lakshmi goddess of good fortune, mother goddess; wife of Vishnu Karma Yoga is “action” yoga. This yoga is performed through acts of compassion, mercy and kindness towards others one can unite with the Brahman. o Ahimsa, nonviolence, is an important ideal in this yoga. o This is the do gooders yoga. It’s all about helping others through selfless actions. Jnana yoga is “knowledge” yoga. One obtains a union with the Brahman through acquisition of hidden spiritual knowledge. The goal of this yoga is for one attain purity of mind. o This purity of mind is found through meditation and contemplation as well as studying the sacred texts of the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. Raja yoga is “royal” yoga. This yoga is all about using different techniques to obtain the union between the atman and Brahman. o Prana is the breath of “life force”. This is the breath you use during Pranayama which is the practice of breathing control undertaken to still the mind. o Special body positions are also used in this kind of yoga. Like the yoga poses we Americans think of when we think yoga. o Meditation is another technique used. This is used to still the mind or reach a higher level of thinking or consciousness. The goal of meditation in this yoga is Samadhi, which is complete inner peace resulting from meditation. o Mantras are words or phrases chanted out of devotion or to change one’s state of mind Krishna is an example of an avatar of Vishnu. An avatar is a manifestations of a deity in physical form. Rhada is another example of an avatar, as she is the avatar of Lakshmi. Avatars are an examples of hierophanies. The caste system has a lot to do with one’s karma and what one is reincarnated as. What caste one is born is depends on what they did in their past life. Whatever cast one is born in is the caste they will be in for the rest of their current life.
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