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29 Cards in this Set

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Define the word religion
Religion is a system of beliefs and practices that is intended to connect people with the sacred. It uses stories, doctrines, rituals, and moral codes to help people make this connection with the supernatural
What is the goal of religion?
Religion seeks to connect people with the sacred or ultimate. This can be God or some other force. All religions require that people believe certain teachings and follow a particular lifestyle. The goal of this behavior is to help people connect with something that is beyond the world of the senses.
What is the sacred?
The sacred is something that cannot be described. Is is what people consider special or ultimate, and they believe it constitutes the most important force in the universe. Religion is largely about what people hold sacred and the way they believe they should guide their lives in order to live in harmony with the ultimate reality, or force, that regulates the universe
What are religious actions?
Religious actions are things people do to show that they belong to a particular religion. They help people keep in touch with the teachings and practices of their religion in order to connect with the sacred.
Define Scripture and canon. What is the difference between an open canon and a closed canon?
Scriptures are the sacred stories of a religion. They are considered authoritative and are used for determinng religious beliefs and practices. a canon is alist of writings that are considered scripture. A canon os not only meant tolist scripture; it is also intended to keep other books out of scripture. Religions that have a closed canon of scripture do not believe that scripture can be written today. Those that have an open canon continue to write new scriptures
What is the apocrypha? What is its relationship to the canon?
The apocrypha is a collection of books that are not included in an officially recognized canon of scripture, though they are considered in some sense to be authoritative. some religions believe that the apocrypha are almost scriptures, as they contain eternal truths but for some reason were notdeemed worthy to be included in the canon.
What is the purpose of religious language?
Religous language communicates specific beliefs about the sacred. Each religion has its own special language that it uses in its rituals. Religious language is a way to seperate outsiders from insiders; people who practice a religion learn the meaning of their religious language to show that they have mastered the teachings of their religion.
Why do religions use metaphor and analogy?
Because religion is about the sacred, it deals with something that cannot be described in words. Metaphors are figures of speech and ways to communicate and teach specific truths about the sacred. Analogy compares the sacred with something that is familiar. Neither is to be taken literally. Each teaches a certain religious belief about what is ultimate or sacred.
Describe the differences between liberal and conservative interpretations of scripture.
Liberal religions view their scripture as a guide to life. They feel free to change, adapt, or ignore its teaching; scripture is something to be adapted and adjusted to the modern world. Conservatives teach that scripture cannot be altered. They try to live a lifestyle in strict accordance with the teachings of scripture.
What is the difference between religious doctrine, religious dogma, and religious creeds?
Religious doctrine is a statement or teaching about the belief of a particular religion. Dogma is explanations or opinions about doctrines that are considered to be authoritative opinion. Creeds are religious dogma put into short and simple statements in order to make dogma easier to learn and understand by people that a particular religion is best.
What is theology? What is apologetics?
Theology is the use of philosophy and reason to defend and study religious beliefs and practices. When theologians use theology to defend their beliefs, they are practicing apologetics. The ultimate purpose of apologetics is to convinve people that a particular religion is best.
Briefy summarize the four major theological arguments for the exsistence of God.
The cosmological proof argues that the motion of the universe is evidence for the existence of God; the universe needed something to set it into motion, and that something was God. The theological proof, also known as the arguement from design, states that the universe is so complicated that is needed a designer. God is the being who designed and created the universe. The ontological proof proposes that perfection demands the existence of something that is perfect. Since perfection must exist, and God is the most perfect of all beings, God must exist. the moral arguement states that God must exist as the basis for morality. People are good (they act in a moral manner) because they expect a reward from God. Since morality exists in this way, the existence of God must therefore be assumed.
Explain the difference between monotheism, polytheism, and henotheism.
Monotheisn is the belief in a single god. Polytheism is the belief in more important than others, is a form of polytheism.
How do monotheistic and polytheistic religions view the sacred?
Monotheistic religions view the sacred (God) as transcendent, or outside the material world. Polytheistic religions believe that God is close to humans. Polytheistic gods are immanent and exist within material world
What is the difference between theistic and nontheistic religions?
Theistic religions seek to establish a relationship withthe sacred. They may be either monotheistic or polytheistic. Nontheistic religions teach that there is no personal God. they view the sacred as a mysterious impersonal force or power.
Why are some people skeptics?
Religion is based on faith in a supernatural powder whose existence cannot be proven. Skeptics believe that the supernatural does not exist because it cannot be proven. Agnostics, for example, adopt a skeptical attitude but choose to withhold judgement. They act as if the supernatural does not exist, but leave open the possibility that its existence may one day be proven.
What problem is common to both religion and skepticism?
Verification is aproblem common to both religion and skepticism. There is no way to prove or verify that God does or does not exist. To some extent, both positions rely upon faith; religious people and skeptics teach things they both believe is true, but neither can prove that its teachings are true.
What is the purpose of ritual acts?
Ritual acts serve to teach, communicate, and demnstrate religious belief. Rituals are actions that teach people the sacred stories of their tradition. People act out rituals as a way to show that they have mastered the teachings of their religion.
What is myth? are myths true?
Myth is a story about the past that is told because it conveys meaning and values. Rligious myths are stories that are told because they are believed to contain religious truths. Though some myths are fictional, and other historically true, myths are always considered theologically true. They teach eternal truths about the sacred and provide the foundation for the beliefs and practices of the world's religions.
How do the clergy and laity differ?
The clergy are the religious leaders or specialists. they include priests, shamans, and sometimes prophets or mystics. Clergy are people with advanced kknowledge about a particular religious traditions. In many religions they conduct or supervise the rituals. Ordinary people are called the laity, or laypeople. They look to the clergy for guidance, and in most religions the clergy teach the laypeople the doctrines and dogmas of their religion.
What is the difference between a shaman, a prophet, and a mystic?
Shamans are people who serve as intermediaries between the world and the spirits. They are also healers, using their connection with scared to heal. A prophet is also a messenger of a diety, but prophets are not healers. Both prophets and shamans may predict the future. Shamans are educated and trained, but prophets frequently have no religious training. The primary function or a prophet is to give inspired teachings; they are called to preach. A mystic is someone with a direct connection to the sacred. Because mysticism is an individual experience, mystics frequently reject the teachings and authority of clergy such as shamans and prophets. They follow what they have learned from their direct contact with the sacred.
Define religious morality and religious ethics.
Religious morality refers to a set of codes or laws that are designed to guide behavior in accordance with the sacred. Religious ethics are discussions about the actions that are deemed to be right or wrong. Moral codes are made up of ethical principles about what is right or wrong, and they help people to follow the ethical principles of their religion.
What is the difference between a religious lifestyle and a secular lifestyle?
A religious lifestyle focuses on the sacred.People who are religious have specific moral codes and thical principles that they must follow. Their lives are to be guided by the teachings of a particular religion. Secular people live al ifestyle that is not based on the teachings of any religion, and they may or may not believe int he supernatural.
Whay are stories important in Western religions?
The Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are based on historical events. All believe that God has established a relationship with humans. Beacause these are religions are based on the teachings of people who were contacted by God inthe past, stories are important. The stories of the Western religions stress history.
How do Western religions and Eastern religions view time?
The Western religions stress history and view time in a linear fashion; time has a begining and an end. The eastern religions view time like a circle; time has no begining or end.
What is the phenomenological approach to the study of religion?
The phenomenological approach is also known as the destructive approach. It seeks to take religion seriously, attempting to study religion from this inside, without practicing theology. this approach asks people why they are religious and what their behavior means to them and endeavors to describe the beliefs and practices of religious people, without rendering any opinion.
What did Eliade teach about the sacred and the profane?
Elaide practiced the phenomenological approach. He believed that the concepts of the scared and the profane were common to all religions; the sacred is the ultimate God, while the profane is the ordinary. Elaide thought that all cultures distinguished between sacred and profane spaces, speech, and objects. He thought that all civilizations sought to regulate behavior and belief in accordance with their understanding of the sacred and the profane.
What is the animistic theory of the origin or religion?
The amnistic thoery about the origin of religion teaches that religion began from animism. It emerged as a way to explain the spirits in nature.
Define the magic theory of the origin of religion.
The magic thoery about the origin of religion teaches that religion grew out of magic. Magic was used to explain the natural world. After magic failed, religion developed. This theory maintains that religion has also failed to explain the material world and that science has thus emerged from religion as a new way to explain the world.