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42(075.8) 81.432.1-923 368 368 World religions: / . .. . : . . -, 2003. 156 .

ISBN 5-7779-0422-X . , .

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WORLD RELIGIONS , : , , , , , . . , , .

42(075.8) 81.432.1-932 ISBN 5-7779-0422-X , 2003 2003 2 China, there was no recognition of a supreme being. Both of these philosophies Unit one were basically concerned with patterns of human behavior.

5. Regardless of definition, all religions (as the word is normally used) Part I have certain elements in common: rituals to perform, prayers to recite, places to frequent or avoid, holy days to keep, means by which to predict the future, a Before you read this excerpt from an essay that offers a general definition body of literature to read and study, truths to affirm, charismatic leaders to folof the word religion, answer the question below. Write a short definition and low, and ordinances to obey. Many have buildings set aside for worship, and discuss it with a partner. Although there can be diverse views on this question, there are activities such as prayer, sacrifice, contemplation, and perhaps magic.

the passage tries to make broad generalizations applicable to many religions 6. Closely associated with these elements is personal conduct. Although it and different periods of history.

is possible to separate ritual observances from moral conduct, worship has norHow would you define the word Religion mally implied a type of relationship with a god from which certain behavior patterns are expected to follow. A notable exception in history is the official RELIGION state religion of ancient Rome, which was kept separate from personal comfrom Comptons interactive encyclopedia mitment and morality.

1. It has been said that thoughts of death lead necessarily to the developPaul Tillich: protestant theologian (religious thinker) (18861965).

ment of religion. It is difficult to imagine what need there would be for religion Martin Luther: German leader of the Protestant Reformation (14831546).

in a world in which no one ever died or became ill. The literatures of all religions attempt to give answers to basic questions: From where did the world Task 1. On a separate piece of paper, write an explanation of the following come What is the meaning of human life Why do people die and what hapquotes from the text:

pens afterward Why is there evil How should people behave In the distant 1. In the distant past, these questions were answered in terms of mytholpast, these questions were answered in terms of mythology. In literature, they ogy. In literature, they are dealt with in poetry. Modern sciences try to investiare dealt with in poetry. Modern sciences try to investigate them.

gate them. (Paragraph 1) 2. As a word religion is difficult to define, but as a human experience it 2. Putting Tillichs and Luthers definitions together, it is possible to see seems to be universal. The twentieth century German-born American theolothat religion does not necessarily have to be involved with shrines, temples, gian Paul Tillich gave a simple and basic definition of the word. Religion is churches or synagogues. It does not need complex doctrines or clergy. It can be ultimate concern. This means that religion encompasses that to which people anything to which people devote themselves that fills their lives with meaning.

are most devoted or that from which they expect to get the most fundamental (Paragraph 3) satisfaction in life. Consequently, religion provides adequate answers to the 3. Although it is possible to separate ritual observances from moral conmost basic questions posed above.

duct, worship has normally implied a type of relationship with a god from 3. Four centuries earlier the German social reformer Martin Luther spoke which certain behavior patterns are expected to follow. (Paragraph 6) in similar terms about God. He stated that to have a god was to have someCompare your answers with those of a partner.

thing in which the heart trusts completely putting Tillichs and Luthers definitions together, it is possible to see that religion does not necessarily have to be Task 2. Make up 15 questions about the text.

involved with shrines, temples, churches or synagogues. It does not need complex doctrines or clergy. It can be anything to which people devote themselves Task 3. Work in pairs. Read the sentences and match the underlined word or that fills their lives with meaning.

expression with a synonym from the list. The first one has been done for you:



4. In Western civilization, religion has traditionally been defined as belief in and worship of one God. This is true for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

1. The Buddhist religion believes in the idea that individual people can The statements by Tillich and Luther make it clear, however, that such a definicome back in a new life form after death. e tion may be too narrow. In original, Buddhism in India and Confucianism in 3 2. Spiritual concerns are usually associated with religion, but worldly, ma- element in all religions is belief in spiritual beings. According to Tylor, the beterial concerns are usually identified with government authority. In some cul- lief arises naturally from elements universal in human experience (e. g., death, tures, however, the spiritual leader is also the head of government. sleep, dreams, trances and hallucinations) and leads through processes of primi3. When someone asks you to guess what the future will bring, you are being tive logic to the belief in a spiritual reality distinct from the body and capable of asked to theorize about what may happen. existing independently.

4. In some countries, an unpopular political, spiritual, or artistic leader can Of immediate interest is the classification of religions drawn from Tylors be forced into leaving his country and living in a foreign land. animistic thesis. Ancestor worship, prevalent in preliterate societies, is obei5. In many religions, the leaders are not elected. The heads of the religion sance to the spirits of the dead. Fetishism, the veneration of objects believed to choose their successors. have magical or supernatural potency, springs from the association of spirits 6. Many parents give their children a religious education, hoping that when with particular places or things and leads to idolatry, in which the image is the children grow up they will be observant members of the religion. viewed as the symbol of a spiritual being or deity. Totemism, the belief in an 7. Some young people feel that religious concerns are no longer related to association between particular groups of people and certain spirits that serve as modern life. guardians of those people, arises when the entire world is conceived as peopled 8. History shows that brutal dictators do not think much about the long- by spiritual beings. At a still higher stage, polytheism, the interest in particular term interests of their people. They are often reckless and interested only in the deities or spirits disappears and is replaced by concern for a species deity moment. who represents an entire class of similar spiritual realities. Polytheism may 9. Some religions are practiced only among their own people, but other re- evolve into monotheism, a belief in a supreme and unique deity. Tylors theory ligions seek to spread their ideas among as many people as possible. of the nature of religions and the resultant classification were so logical, convincing, and comprehensive that for a number of years they remained virtually a) designate d) propagate g) short-sighted unchallenged.

b) exile e) reincarnation h) speculate The morphological classification of religions received more sophisticated c) practicing f) relevant i) temporal expression from C.P. Tiele, a 19th century Dutch scholar and an important pioneer in the scientific study of religion. His point of departure was that of distinPart II guishing between nature and ethical religions. Ethical religion, in Tieles views, Religion develops out of nature religion and falls into two subcategories. First are the naReligion is one of the phenomena that influences and excites the human tional nomistic (legal) religions that are particularistic, limited to the horizon of mind since the time immemorial. One of the many definitions of religion reone people only and based upon a sacred law drawn from sacred books. Above gards it as human beings relation to what people consider holy, sacred, or dithem are the universalistic religions, qualitatively different in kind, aspiring to vine, namely God or gods or spirits. Worship is probably the most basic elebe accepted by all men, and based upon

Abstract

principles and maxims. In both ment of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious subtypes, doctrines and teachings are associated with the careers of distinct perinstitutions are generally also constituent elements of the religious life.

sonalities who play important roles in their origin and formation. Tiele found A lot of scientists throughout the 19th and 20th centuries tried to give clasonly three examples of this highest type of religion: Islam, Christianity and sifications of religion from different points of view. Considerable progress toBuddhism. Tieles classification enjoyed a great vogue and influenced many ward scientific classifications of religions was marked by the emergence of who came after him.

morphological schemes, which assume that religion in its history has passed The past 150 years have also produced several classifications of religion through a series of discernible stages of development, each having readily idenbased on speculative and abstract concepts that serve the purposes of philosotifiable characteristics and each constituting an advance beyond the former phy. The principal example of these is the scheme of G.W.F. Hegel in his fastage. So essential is the notion of progressive development to morphological mous Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1832). In general, Hegels underschemes that they might also be called evolutionary classifications. The pioneer standing of religion coincided with his philosophical thought; he viewed the of morphological classifications was E.B. Tylor, a British anthropologist, whole of human history as a vast dialectical movement toward the realization of whose Primitive Culture (1871) is among the most influential books ever writfreedom. The reality of history, he held, is Spirit, and the story of religion is the ten in its field. Tylor developed the thesis of animism, a view that the essential 5 process by which Spirit comes to full consciousness of itself. Individual relig- on the theory of the class struggle. Whereas sociological functionalists posited ions thus represent stages in a process of evolution directed toward the great the existence in a society of some religion or a substitute for it (Comte, incidengoal at which all history aims. tally, propounded a positivistic religion, somewhat in the spirit of the French Hegel classified religions according to the role that they have played in the Revolution), the Marxists implied the disappearance of religion in a classless soself-realization of Spirit. The historical religions fall into three great divisions, ciety. Thus, in their view religion in mans primordial communist condition, at corresponding with the stages of the dialectical progression. At the lowest level the dawn of the historical dialectic, reflects ignorance of natural causes, which of development, according to Hegel, are the religions of nature, or religions are explained animistically. Religion, both consciously and unconsciously, bebased principally upon the immediate consciousness deriving from sense ex- comes an instrument of exploitation. In the words of the young Marx, religion is perience. They include: immediate religion or magic at the lowest level; relig- generalized theory of the worldits logic in popular form.

ions, such as those of China and India plus Buddhism, that represent a division One of the most influential theoreticians of the sociology of religion was of consciousness within itself; and others, such as the religions of ancient Per- the German scholar Max Weber (18641920). He observed that there is an apsia, Syria and Egypt, that form a transition to the next type. At an intermediate parent connection between Protestantism and the rise of capitalism, and in The level are the religions of spiritual individuality, among which Hegel placed Ju- Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism he accounted for the connection in daism (the religion of sublimity), ancient Greek religion (the religion of terms of Calvinisms inculcating a this-worldly asceticism, which created a rabeauty), and ancient Roman religion (the religion of utility). At the highest level tional discipline and work ethic, together with a drive to accumulate savings is absolute religion, or the religion of complete spirituality, which Hegel identi- that could be used for further investment. Weber noted, however, that such a fied with Christianity. The progression thus proceeds from man immersed in thesis ought to be tested; and a major contribution of his thinking was his sysnature and functioning only at the level of sensual consciousness, to man be- tematic exploration of other cultural traditions from a sociological point of coming conscious of himself in his individuality as distinct from nature, and view. He wrote influentially about Islam, Judaism, and Indian and Chinese rebeyond that to a grand awareness in which the opposition of individuality and ligions and, in so doing, elaborated a set of categories, such as types of prophnature is overcome in the realization of Absolute Spirit. Many criticisms have ecy, the idea of charisma (spiritual power), routinization, and other categories, been offered of Hegels classification. An immediately noticeable shortcoming which became tools to deal with the comparative material; he was thus the real is the failure to make a place for Islam, one of the major historical religious founder of comparative sociology. Because of his special interest in religion, he communities. The classification is also questionable for its assumption of con- can also be reckoned a major figure in the comparative study of religion.

tinuous development in history. Nevertheless, Hegels scheme was influential In the study of religious psychology the most influential were the psychoand was adapted and modified by a generation of philosophers of religion in the analysts. A considerable literature has developed around the relationship of psyIdealist tradition. choanalysis and religion. Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, maintained that Sociological studies of religion were undertaken by Auguste Comte who is inner conflicts-often the result of repression, particularly in relation to sex considered the founder of modern sociology. His general theory hinged sub- become expressed in peculiarities of behavior and mood, especially in the vivid stantially on a particular view of religion, and this view has somewhat influ- imagery of dreams that erupt from the unconscious area of ones personality.

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