History of Religion Notes
History of Religion Notes 2001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jasmine Guo on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2001 at Georgia State University taught by Ms. Clare Van Holm in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Intro to World Religions in Religious Studies at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 02/09/16
History of Religions Judaism Kings: Saul, David Solomon likely small tribes, not kingdoms First archeological evidence 700 BCE Israelites (conquered by Assyria) and Judaean kingdoms (conquered by Babylonia); schism monotheism with unique god and priesthood;rejection of Canaanite polytheism covenant between this specific god and these specific peoples Babylonian Exile Babylonian Exile586 BCE End of Judea Kings Temple destroyed large population of pushed into exile( not slavery); priesthood concerned with explaining abandonment of people by god Historically identity intimately tied to land;without land, focus shifts to text and community 400BCE70CE land at a cultural crossroads, ruled by Persians, Greeks, Parthians, and Romans Maccabean Rebellion (164 BCE) fought for rights to worship, independent nation briefly Apocalyptic literature became popular; chosen people looking for Messiah(including John the Baptist and dozen of others) 70 CE Second Temple(axis mundi) destroyed by Romans with destruction of Central temple shift Jewish Scriptures Tanakh+Talmud Tanakh=canon Hebrew Bible Torah( Teaching; Law; Pentateuch) Nevi’im (prohets); Kethuvim (the writings) Talmuddiscussion of Hebrew Law (200CE) Pentateuch Moses said to be writer, but wrote of his own death ● Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy ● likely an assemblage of different oral traditions ● similar to Mesopotamian texts Important Figures and Themes in Hebrew Bible Abraham “Father of Nations” showed faithfulness by the rite of circumcision; importance of covenant with god and sign of community ● Story of Sarah and Hagar ; Ishmael and Isaac ● Rape and Slavery ● Israel lineage to Isaac and Abraham ● Islam lineage to Ishmael (no rape narrative) Dating the Text Emic View: Traditional religious teaching; all of the Torah was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai; the stories in Genesis all came into existence at the same time Etic View: Oral history passed among culture prior to writing; text evolved slowly over many generations Rosemary Ruether Vocabulary ● Cosmogenesis – birth of the cosmos ● Anthropocentric – human beings as central and defining ● Sovereignty – rulership by the king or sovereign ● Corporeality – pertaining to the physical body ● Hierarchic – grading or ordering from first to last, pecking order, chain of command ● Ontology — a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have real existence ● Eschatology – branch of theology concerned with final events in the history of the world Gaia and God:An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing ● Creation stories not only reflect current science, that is the assumptions about the nature of the world, physical process, and their relationships; but they are also blueprints for society. They reflect the assumptions about how divine and the mortal, the mental and the physical, humans and other humans, male and female, humans, plants, animals, land, waters, and stars are related to each other. They both reflect the worldview to its ongoing heirs. Babylonian Creation Story Stories begin with primal Mother who is the origin of both cosmos and the gods Assumes an intergenerational struggle between the older and younger deities; struggle represents political conquests of states over older states and villages Struggle to harness and organize the machinery of political control and control of land and water against the chaotic social and natural forces that erupted periodically against this order. Hebrew Creation Story Strife between Creator and the primal Mother has been eliminated Mother has been reduced to formless but also malleable stuff that responds instantly to the Creator’s command Hebrew authors describe the shaping of cosmos, proceeding majestically through six days of Creators work ● 1st day: creates light ● 2nd day: sky and waters ● 3rd day: dry land vs lower waters ● 4th day: shape stars, sun, moon ● 5th day: fish and birds ● 6th day: creation of land animals: cattle, reptiles, wild animals, and humans Greek Creation Story Timaeus; more abstract and philosophical and less in the mode of mythic personification Two realms: the invisible, eternal realm of thought and the visible realm: realm of corporeality The art of “making” is described Gnostic Gospels and Christianity ● Jesus Christ is the son of God ● Separates it from both Judaism and Islam ● Characterized: suffering and divinity Jesus ● Mother Mary and the Virgin Birth ● Jewish Apocalyptic expectations under Roman Rule and Jews looking for a messiah to save thema coming of kingdom of God ● Baptized by John the Baptist ( a rival messiah) Jesus: Social Reformer ● Jesus highly critical of the established Jewish authority/Temple ● Miracles anticipate the Passion Week The Early Church ● Early church division and disagreement, especially regarding the divinity or humanity of Jesus ● Constantinecrucial historical figure; aligned Christianity as the religion of the state ● Church transactions from small, persecuted cult to powerful religious order Branches of Christianity ● The Christian Bible Old Testament Hebrew Bible New Testamentconsidered to be a new revelation from God, centered around story of Jesus life and the early church Council of Nicea325 BCE to establish first uniform Christian doctrine (Orthodoxy) The Four Gospels ● Gospel=Good news 3 synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke) ● Tell Jesus’ life Jonas as fourth gospel ● 4 Gospels in Christian canon Mark 70 CE Luke 85 CE (written for roman audience) (establishes Jesus as human) Matthew 80 CE John 92 CE (establishing connections as a (focus on theology: Jesus as God descendant of Judaean kingdoms) and savior) Nag Hammadi ● Egypt1945 ● Peasants manuscripts dating back to early 1st century ● some texts are canonical gospels, others are very different Elaine Pagels ● historical context: debated and contested ● must examine all the texts ● censorship of text is just as important as what is included Gospel of Mary Gospel of Thomas ● mary,peter,levi eyes to see; ears to hear ● chosen disciple body doesn’t matter/spirit does Islam Allah is only God Branches: Sunni: opposes belief in divine intermediaries Shia: leadership process to Imans, descendants from Prophet Muhammad Sufism: inner/mystical dimension of Islam Five Pillars ● Shahadah: testifying to belief in Allah and that Muhammad is Prophet ● Salah: Performing regular daily prayers ● Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan ● Zakah: Giving alms to poor/give if you can ● Hajj: Making pilgrimage to Mecca Qu’an650 CE ● Revelation of Allah revealed to Muhammad over 23 yr. period ● Oral tradition;Uzamic codex ● Complied written after death of Prophet Hadith (600900 CE) ● Collection of Muhammad’s life, words and actions ● not direct recitation from Allah ● Qur’an should always be read with Hadith Shari’a ● Islamic case law ● Four witnesses and Aisha ● Fighinterpretation of issues that are not addressed by Shari’a; varies with different schools ● Fatwah scholarly opinion on any religious matter Women of Islam ● Khadijah Aisha ● Muhammad’s 1st wife Muhammad’s wife ● 15 yrs. senior Married prophet at young age ● widowed merchant in Mecca Daughter of Abu Bakr ● Most beloved wife Contributed to a 3rd of Hadith&Sunmah
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