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by: Udbluehen03

Study_Guide_for_Exam_1.pdf WOMS 210


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These notes cover what's going to be in exam 1. The topics include Founding figures and key concepts, mythology and the historical goddess, the rise of patriarchal religion, Hinduism, Hermeneutics ...
Women and Religion
Professor Naccarelli
Study Guide
Women, Women's History, Women's Studies, Jewish Tradition, Hinduism
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Udbluehen03 on Monday October 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to WOMS 210 at University of Delaware taught by Professor Naccarelli in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 124 views. For similar materials see Women and Religion in Women and Gender studies at University of Delaware.

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Date Created: 10/03/16
1. What are the three trends in feminism leading to Women Studies and Religion? - The right based language of liberal feminism o Gender equality – demanding equal rights and access o For example,  Right to vote and divorce - Consciousness Raising Techniques of 1960s Feminism o Continuation of liberal feminism o Authenticity of an individual experience  Not relying on clergy for divination o Believing that their personal experience had political significant - Second Wave Cultural Feminism o Creates safe space for women o Rejects mainstream culture 2. What is the three-step method for the feminist study of religion? Who identified this method - Analyze and critiquing texts, institutions, and traditions o By investigating what was excluded and why, and looking closely at the foundation texts of a tradition (how are they translated into religious practice and into societal roles for men and women) - Recovering women’s history o Uncover what has not been recorded or downplayed o The hermeneutic of suspicion: Elizabeth Schussler Florenza  Like looking through a lens with suspicion  Viewing things critically - Reject, reform, recreate 3. Explain Hermeneutics - To interpret, explain and to make clear - We seek to understand primary materials like written/spoken word, architecture, ritual, dance, song and paraphernalia (dress, utensils) - There are two components of the hermeneutics o The phenomenon  Who had spoken of this text and attempted hear it and understand it  What is the story of the phenomenon?  What does it tell me about the religious experience of those who practice it? o Oneself  Am I listening to this material with head or heart?  Am I listening as an outsider or insider?  What previous study have I heard  How does it move me personally? - The hermeneutic process o Describing the phenomenon in its context and your own standpoint o Understanding the phenomenon and taking a position 4. What is an example of using the Hermeneutic process? The Hebrew Bible (HB) - Reading the HB in a scholarly non-confessional way is by o Setting aside religious belief for the purpose of seeing the text in a new way  Like reading the bible for the first time – Theologian Marcus Borg  An essential act for understanding how religious doctrine developed 5. How does Textual Criticism relate to the HB? - The HB is a written document and written documents are studied with textual criticism - Textual Criticism is the science of o Detecting what is wrong with the text o Locating a better more accurate manuscript o Providing a more accurate translation 6. Why is Textual Criticism necessary? - It is because the translations were transcribed by hand which were full of potential errors o Distractions, o Repeating/omitting segments o Sloppy handwriting which is difficult to read - Textual critics overcome these difficulties by o Comparing multiple ancient manuscripts to establish the best 7. There are how many forms of the Goddess? - Virgin Goddess o Power of reproduction o Offers the promise and potential of fertility - Mother Goddess o Power of abundance and nurturance - Crone Goddess o Power of wisdom 8. What are the sources of Information regarding goddess? - Archaeological Findings o Burial grounds o Sacred places like temples – figurines of women o Pictures painted on cave walls o Architecture of buildings gives insight of the structures’ use and purpose. For example, some Christian churches were built in the form of a cross to honor Christ - Oral traditions and Myths o Myths are sacred stories. They are held by followers to contain symbolic truth - Literary Evidence o Poems and hymns referring the mother goddess as the queen of heaven 9. What are the Characteristics of Goddess Cultures? - Matrilineal Societies o Children trace their heritage through the mother’s line o The mother passed down the goods because she always knew “her child as the product of her womb” o Not considered matriarchy because women do not dominate men o Evidence of Matrilineal cultures  Burial sites  The mother’s bed is larger and has more possessions - Matrilocal Societies o A married man leaves his own family, tribe and society to join his wife’s o Often matrilineal societies were also matrilocal o This is a partnership model of civilization. o Evidence  These societies were peaceful because no weapons or fortifications were found in the remains - Matriarchy o Of or relating to the manifestation ad institutionalization of female dominance over men and children in the family and over men in the society 10.What is Theology? - Study of God, of the divine - Philosophy of God and exploring the nature of God - Seeks to answer questions such as o What is god? o What is the relationship between god and humanity? o How does humanity come to know a god? 11.What is Religion? - A set of belief and practices emerging from various theological constructions - Clifford Geertz defines religion as o A system of symbols which act to produce powerful pervasive, and ling lasting moods and motivations o Geertz claims that symbols have both psychological and political effect  What does this mean?  They create inner conditions (deep seated attitudes) that lead people to feel comfortable with or to accept the social and political arrangements that correspond to the symbol system (Bagley 164). 12.Explain the concept of Myth - A sacred story that contains a symbolic truth and uses symbols and metaphors to point to the truth which lies beyond the immediate environment - The types of myths - Creation myths o These myths tell us where we came from and why we are here o Example, Hindu’s Laws of Manu o The three types of creation myths  Creation by spontaneous generation  Goddess had highest power  No coupling involved o Virgin birth o Birth via a primal sea  Creation by Divine Pairing  Roles of men were recognized  Coupling involved o Reflects a physical reality o A loss of power for the goddess took place here  Creation by Activity of a Single Male God  Goddess no longer needed  At this point the goddess is dead  No coupling involved o Bodily o Intellectual: Genesis - Eschatological myths o These myths tell us where we are going. What happens after you die? - Alienation myths o These myths tell us how evil came into the world and how we can overcome it. They explain how and why we became separated from the divine. And why do humans have strained relations with one another? - The social functions of myths o Myths help to integrate members of a community into their proper roles o Myths help people handle crisis – provide examples of how to handle adversity o Myths portray desirable and undesirable character traits 13.How did Patriarchy replace a Gynocentric Culture? 1. Those who converted the oral tradition to written form where held in high esteem and the creators of a community belief system. Myth is the foundation of the belief system 2. Through the act of recording the priests and scribes became “the representatives of divinity by mediating the will of go through the written word” (310 A religious leader sanctifies his position by declaring it as mandated by God 3. Obedience to this written word then determines a follower’s salvation. Obedience to the religious leader becomes equivalent to obedience to God - Other elements of the Patriarchal Shift o The development and organization of state and government o A socioeconomic system which gave rise to private property o A rise in the concept of kingship and political authority o New dynamic in familial relationships: Paternalism  The father of the family dominates his wife and children in exchange for economic support and protection 14.What is Moksha? - Liberation from the cycle of birth and death 15.What are the three parts to the attainment of moksha? - The Path of knowledge o Vedas also known as Upanishads o Knowledge will lead to moksha  Not ordinary knowledge but intuitive knowledge o Restricted women by associating them with the physical world of multiplicity and appearance (Maya) o The goal of the path of knowledge is to transcend Maya o Maya means  The world appearance  Equivalent to the physical world  Opposed to spirituality  Feminine/woman - The Path of action o Dharma  Action in accordance with certain social and ritual standards  Emphasis on caste behavior  There are four castes 1. Brahmin – the purely religious 2. Kshatriyas – the rulers or warriors 3. Vaishyas – the merchants, bankers and landowners 4. Shudras – the laborers  Women’s dharma is to be chaste and subservient, especially to their husbands - The Path of Devotion o Bhakti o Personal attachment to one specific deity among a pantheon of god and goddess 16.What is Ashrama System? - Student Ashrama o Path of action o Learning period - Householder o Path of devotion/action o Women are devoted to marriage and production of children - Forest Dweller/Renouncer o Path of knowledge o Withdraw from worldly responsibility and abandon all possessions o Seeking only union with the divine o Women were excluded because they were not permitted to travel alone o Women rarely move to the forest dweller or renouncer level 17.What is Asceticism? - Abstinence of worldly pleasures - A rigorous spiritual practice - Designed to tame, suppress or overcome the physical self and material world. - The goal is to achieve union with and knowledge of the essence of the divine 18.What are characteristics of Asceticism Practice? - Deny the self of food and warmth - Only do what is necessary to stay alive - Practice voluntary poverty - Complete abstinence from sexual relations - Infliction of pain - Sustained mediation - Cross cultural - Trans-historical - Utilized by men and women in their spiritual practices o Traditionally not available to women  They are considered distractions 19.What are the Archetypes in Hebrew Bible? Traditional cross cultural motifs - Matriarchs + Power within private realm o The use of trickery and deception - Warriors + wise women o The use of trickery and deception o Husbands absent or portrayed as stupid o Public realm - Queens + queen mothers o Public realm o Living in control of a weak man o Too powerful 20.Laws in the HB focus on? - Dependence - Reproduction + sexuality - Fidelity - Purity 21.What is duality of Consciousness? - Internalizing a “false identity” - Dividing ourselves against ourselves 22.Explain the concept of Dualism? - A way of defining and structuring the world in oppositional terms - A philosophical construction that is the foundation of hierarchical relationships - Some dualist constructions o Divinity Humanity o Good Evil o Light Darkness o Angel Satan o Male Female o Heaven Earth o Mind/intellect Body/Material o Sacred Profane o Strength Weakness o Self Other o Active Passive o Clean Unclean o Virgin Whore o Culture Nature 23.What is Gynocentric? - “state of being centered on or in the female: a dominance or emphasis on feminine interests of point of view” o Gynocentrism is an ideological concept - An example is Gimbutas: The Goddess in Old Europe 24.What is Samsara - Endless cycle of birth and death undergone by individuals and the world - Governed by the law of action and reaction, cause and effect known as the law of karma 25.What are the Laws of Manu? - Composed between 200BCE and 200 CE - Women are subordinate to their fathers, brothers, and husbands - A woman is never fit for independence - Commands women to worship their husbands as if they were gods - Reflects that women are dangerous - Ideal behavior 26.Who is Sita? - One of the most pervasive role models for Hindu women - She is completely submissive to her husband Rama - Rama was forced into exile in the forest. A demon took Sita in the forest. Rama rescues her but rejects her. She got pregnant and was banished. She drew herself into fire to prove her purity - Message a good woman should obey her husband without any question, even when he abuses her 27.What is Vrat? - Vows - Women observe vrats as social events that have religious elements - Give women opportunity to interact with one another - The vow is connected to asceticism o Relies on abstinence from food and pleasure - To obtain a blessing or favor from a deity - There are seasonal and situational vrats 28.Who is Kali? - One of the most popular goddesses in Hinduism - Strong, ruthless, independent - Threat to men and women - Interpretation of her image often see her dark color as representing depth and infinity, the unknown and unknowable - She teaches us to confront pain, suffering and death 29.What is Niddah? - A menstruating woman - In the HB, a niddah is considered unclean. Whoever or whatever she touches also becomes unclean 30.Who is Lilith? - She is considered the first woman on earth - A Midrash literature - The story of Lilith appeared in the 11 century - Lilith is considered to be a created with Adam simultaneously - Because she was created equally she demanded equality from God and Adam. When denied she went to the red sea where she gives birth to demons.


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