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Week 1 Notes Comparison of World Religions

by: Jared Hopland

Week 1 Notes Comparison of World Religions REST 102 001

Marketplace > UTK > Religious Studies > REST 102 001 > Week 1 Notes Comparison of World Religions
Jared Hopland

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About this Document

Intro to the class and how we will be studying material
Comparison of World Religions
Emily Suzanne Johnson (P)
Class Notes
religion, World Religion, utk, University Tennessee, University of Tennessee, University of Tennessee Knoxville
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jared Hopland on Tuesday January 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REST 102 001 at UTK taught by Emily Suzanne Johnson (P) in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 132 views. For similar materials see Comparison of World Religions in Religious Studies at UTK.

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Date Created: 01/19/16
Week 1 Notes Comparison of World Religions 1/19/16  Definitions of Religion  It’s essence  Ex: “The essence of religion consists in the feeling of an absolute dependence.” Friedrich Schleiermacher (1830)  It’s origin and function  Ex: “Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis” Sigmund Freud (1927)  Bruce Lincoln’s Four Domains of Religion (What we’ll use in this class)  Transcendent Discourse: Discourse whose concerns transcend the human, & claim a transcendent status  Community gives something religious authority  Sets of Practices: the ritual & the ethical  Things derived from Transcendent Discourse  Community: (mostly) same texts, same precepts, same sorts of practices  A common place to get their beliefs from  Institutions: structures staffed by officials & functionaries that speak for the community & the religion itself  Keeps consistency throughout a religious group  Ex: Vatican/Pope, Paul’s letters to the Chorinthians  Academic Study of Religion  J.Z. Smith  Data should be studied in context, as historical artifacts  Defamiliarization-“making the familiar seem strange in order to enhance our perception of the familiar” (xiii)  Religion is not an object that exists on its own naturally in the world— religion is created by scholars; defamiliarization  Russell McCutcheon  Anthropological (academic) study of religion-“starts with the presumption that religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions are observable, historical events that can therefore be studied in the same manner as all human behavior.”  Looking at things from a purely physical perspective  Descriptive, discussing the “is” and “was” of human behavior  Ex: Christians believe that Jesus is the son of god  Theological studies-generally concerned with discerning the nature and will of god(s)  Normative, discussing the “ought to be” or “ought to do” of human behavior  Ex: Jesus is the son of god  Religion is composed of observable, historical events & thus should be studied like all other human behavior; descriptive  Bruce Lincoln  Religion can, and should, be studied in the same way we study other subjects in the humanities (history, literature, sociology, etc.)  “Religion” as an object of study should not be subject to special treatment, nor set apart from other objects of academic scrutiny  Knowing the Difference Between Theological and Academic Statements  Theological will discuss the beliefs of the religion as fact  Academic will discuss the actions, tools, and common knowledge of religions as well as describing a religion.  Pathetic Fallacy-Giving human agency to inanimate objects which is commonly used in theological statements.  Ex: “The Bible says...” or “Islam preaches…”  How We Will Study Religion in This Class  Use the same method as studying history, literature, politics, philosophy, etc…  No “truth-claims”  Be as objective as possible (perfect objectivity is impossible)  Have a critical awareness of our own personal preferences and biases


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