World Religions Lecture 1 Notes
World Religions Lecture 1 Notes PHIL 227E
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexa Wolf on Tuesday January 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 227E at Old Dominion University taught by JAMES R VAN DORE in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see WORLD RELIGIONS in PHIL-Philosophy at Old Dominion University.
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Date Created: 01/19/16
PHIL 227E: World Religions Philosophy of Religion Words to Know Polytheism: Many gods Henotheism: One primary god, many other lesser gods Monotheism: Only one god Agnosticism: Whether there is a god or not cannot be known Atheism: No god Pantheism: God is everything Omnipresent: God is everywhere Omniscient: God is allknowing Transcendent: God exists outside the human life; he just sits back and watches Immanence: God is present and actively involved in the human life Omnipotent: All powerful Immutability: Never changing Sovereignty: Controls all Theophany: An appearance of a god Animism: nonhuman things like animals, plants, and things of nature have souls or spirits that can interact with humans Schism: A split within a religious group Theodicy: How to explain why god allows the existence of evil 1 . Theology: The nature of God, Gods, or the Divine The earliest gods appear as beings with human characteristics. They emerge from chaos and the birth more gods. The universe was there before they were. These gods are human appearing and human acting. Eastern religions minimize the personal characteristics of gods. To them, gods are nothing like a person Western religions took from Greek philosophy their understanding of God, helping them to maintain a personal God. Arguments for the Existence of God Ontological Argument o Created by Anslem of Caterburg o Nothing greater than God can be conceived Cosmological Argument o Created by Thomas Aquinas o Since all things are caused by other things, God started the first cause PHIL 227E: World Religions Teleological Argument o Because the world is so complex, there must have been a creator o Also called “The Watchmaker Argument” Mystical Experience Argument o Since people have always had mystical experiences, there must be something out there greater than this world o Least logical argument Plato was the first philosopher to suggest the idea that we as humans have a body and soul. Other philosophers suggested that people have a body, soul, and spirit, while animals only have a body and a spirit. 2 . Anthropology: Humans’ relationship with god There is evidence of a belief in some kind of afterlife as far back as there is evidence of religion. Plato suggested that the body could die but the soul was immortal. 3. Sects: Different Groups and What Makes Them Different What divides religions? Interpretation Leadership Ethnic Groups 4 . Religious Leaders: Founders, Prophets, and Reformers Founders o Not every religion has an identifiable founder Prophets o Speakers for God Reformers o People who come later and have a significant impact on the direction of the religion o Usually intend to take away the unnecessary additions and return the religion to its original state Interpreters o People who explain the religion to others 5 . Sacred Texts: Scripture, Law, and Inspiration o Scripture o Texts that a religion feels explains their views to its followers o Law o Texts that direct the lives of the followers and may call for punishment o Inspirational PHIL 227E: World Religions o Texts that inspire a religion’s follower to theological thinking or mystical experiences 6 . Ethics: The Essential Problem and the Solution The problem of evil and suffering is more complicated in religions with an allpowerful, loving, and personal god. Polytheistic systems have an easier time explaining evil by placing the blame on evil gods. What should people do in a world of evil? The answer is not necessarily a religious one, but once a religion has identified the essential problem, it can then tell its followers what they should do and how they should act. What the problems are and what to do about it are the essentials of religious ethics. 7 . Rituals: Worship, Celebrations, and Other Religious Practices Worship o How the religion expects its followers to show their devotion to the religion o Can be done in community or alone Celebrations o Most religions have harvest (Fall), planting (Spring), and endofyear (Winter) festivals Marriage Practices Death and Burial Practices
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