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The Sociology and Philosophy of Religion. Look to the Hills. Resources : Professor J. McBrayer – Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity ; Roy A. Rappaport Philosophy of Religion; David Elton Trueblood

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The Sociology and Philosophy of Religion

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The Sociology and Philosophy of Religion

Look to the Hills

Resources:

Professor J. McBrayer – Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity; Roy A. Rappaport

Philosophy of Religion; David Elton Trueblood

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – plato.stanford.edu/contents.html


Homework for sunday

Please….

Read!

Discuss and/or reflect on the handouts

Write down your questions


Homework due today

Podcast: On Being

Youtube Audio: Christopher Hutchins

Song: Spirit in the Sky

Reading: Plato – Laws

Commentary and Questions?


Homework Questions

  • Can you know that God exists? 

    • If you cannot, is there anyone else that can know if God exists, and who is this person or who are these people? 

    • If you can, how can you know that God exists?

  • The idea of pantheism says that God is all things. 

    • If you agree with this idea, what does it mean to say that something is God? 

    • If you disagree with this idea, please speak to the delineation between those things that are God and those things that are not God.

  • Unfortunately, for many people the word ‘God’ is loaded with imagery and, for lack of a better word, baggage. 

    • If we wanted to discuss God so that the idea of God is more neutral and less biased, what would you, instead, call God?


Definitions

Sociology of Religion: The search for natural and rational evidence of the emergence of religion in human history.

Philosophy of Religion: The search for reasoned answers to important, non-empirical questions that arise within a religious context or as a result of religious belief.


John locke & thecompatibility of religion

  • Guiding question: Given Locke’s role in advocating rational, independent thought, what assumptions are made about religion in his, and other comparable, rights-oriented, treaties?

  • Is religion an independent endeavor?

  • Can religious truth be known?

  • Is religion a force for good? Is it a force for societal cohesion?

  • Discussion of the Faith Filter and Authority at a Distance


Head of Christ, c. 1648-56Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, DutchOil on oak panel, laid into larger oak panel


Supper at emmaus, c. 1648Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch


Christ and the woman taken in adultery, c. 1644Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch


The Road to Emmaus

Orthodox Icon Painting/Card


LANGUAGE


The Abrahamic and vedic‘search for the divine’


Relative Populations of World’s Religionswww.adherents.com

Christianity: 2.1 billion

Islam: 1.5 billion

Secular/Nonrel/Agn/Ath: 1.1 bill

Hinduism: 900 million

Chinese traditional: 394 mill

Buddhism: 376 million

primal-indigenous: 300 million

African Traditional: 100 million

Sikhism: 23 million

Juche: 19 million

Spiritism: 15 million

Judaism: 14 million

Baha'i: 7 million

Jainism: 4.2 million

Shinto: 4 million

Cao Dai: 4 million

Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million

Tenrikyo: 2 million

Neo-Paganism: 1 million

Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thous

Rastafarianism: 600 thousand

Scientology: 500 thousand


Course postulates

  • Primary postulates in the course:

  • Sociology and Religion

  • The emergence of language in human history allowed for the emergence of religion, and the idea of something divine

  • Far more influential than we realize, religious rituals were – and

  • continue to be – culturally defining phenomena.

  • Philosophy and Religion

  • Thoughtful, unanswerable questions (in ANY discipline) linger.

  • 2. ‘Westerners’ have cared a lot about whether or not there is a God;

  • ‘Easterners’ have not. The nature of their respective religions represents

  • this fact.


Language & RitualSociology inquiry explains organized religion

  • [in contrast to the communication of other living beings]

  • Human Language can be:

  • speculative

  • dishonest

  • Human language, like humanity, has evolved in adaptive (surprising) and then intentional (predictable) ways


The Sociological math(of Religion)

  • Speculative language becomes sanctified language

  • Sanctified language is clarified through religious ritual

  • Religious ritual, therefore, expresses speculative language

  • In this way, speculative language has the potential to become religious creed

  • (a transitive property problem!; if A begets B, and B begets C, then A begets C)


Course postulates

  • Primary postulates in the course:

  • Sociology and Religion

  • The emergence of language in human history allowed for the emergence of religion, and the idea of something divine

  • Far more influential than we realize, religious rituals were – and

  • continue to be – culturally defining phenomena.

  • Philosophy and Religion

  • Thoughtful, unanswerable questions (in ANY discipline) linger.

  • 2. ‘Westerners’ have cared a lot about whether or not there is a God;

  • ‘Easterners’ have not. The nature of their respective religions represents

  • this fact.


Definitions

Philosophy of Religion: The search for reasoned answers to important, non-empirical questions that arise within a religious context or as a result of religious belief.


Faith & Relationshipphilosophical inquiry explains organized religion

  • Meaning – Our Lives Matter to Us!

    • “Do you believe in a Divine Presence?” – this is a (the?) PIVOTAL question of human existence

    • Life lived in relation to Other,

    • or life lived in relation to Self?

      • Right Relationship; The Leap of Faith


GOD

  • Forms of God

    • Polytheistic (Ancient Greek, Roman, Norse)

    • Henotheistic (Hinduism; monistic/dualistic)

    • Monotheistic (Abrahamic)

    • Nontheistic (Buddhism; Jainism)

    • Panentheism (ex. IndigAmerican; Pagan)

    • Pantheism (God IS everything; monism/tic)

    • Mysticism / Spirituality


Definitions

  • Monotheistic Terminology: Evidence of God

    • Deism (God the Watchmaker)

    • First Cause/Prime Mover

    • Design of existence; God the architect of order

    • Ontological Argument

    • God the Judge

    • Pascal’s Wager

  • Right Relationship: Humans ask the question, “How can I best demonstrate my compatibility with God and/or God’s plan?” or “In what way is my life compatible with the natural world and with the world of humans?”


  • Conclusion

    • Living a meaningful life is a shared human endeavor (Faith Creed)

    • The search for meaning can be directed outward or inward, depending on the ‘geography’ of the divine (Relationship  God)

    • Questions to be addressed:

      • Does God exist, or is God a manifestation of the human mind and/or of human social structures?

      • Can all religions be equally true, and/or equally untrue? Does the existence of many faiths mean that there is no one true faith?


    Course postulates

    • Sociology and Religion

    • The emergence of language in human history allowed for the emergence of religion, and the idea of something divine

    • Our use of language is new worlds-creating (Language  Humanity)

    • Far more influential than we realize, religious rituals were – and

    • continue to be – culturally defining phenomena.

    • What we do tells the story of what we believe/know (Ritual  Culture)

    • Philosophy and Religion

    • Thoughtful, unanswerable questions (in ANY discipline) linger.

    • Living a meaningful life is a shared human endeavor (Faith Creed)

    • 2. ‘Westerners’ have cared a lot about whether or not there is a God;

    • ‘Easterners’ have not. The nature of their respective religions represents

    • this fact.

    • The search for meaning can be directed outward or inward, depending on the ‘geography’ of the divine (Relationship  God)


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