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History of Religion Notes

by: Jasmine Guo

History of Religion Notes 2001

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Religious Studies > 2001 > History of Religion Notes
Jasmine Guo

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About this Document

History of Religion Notes This material will be on the exam
Intro to World Religions
Ms. Clare Van Holm
Class Notes
Religious Studies, notes
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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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