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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

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
Homework for sunday

Please….

Read!

Discuss and/or reflect on the handouts

Write down your questions

homework due today
Homework due today

Podcast: On Being

Youtube Audio: Christopher Hutchins

Song: Spirit in the Sky

Reading: Plato – Laws

Commentary and Questions?

homework 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
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 the compatibility of religion
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
slide7
Head of Christ, c. 1648-56Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, DutchOil on oak panel, laid into larger oak panel
the road to emmaus
The Road to Emmaus

Orthodox Icon Painting/Card

relative populations of world s religions www adherents com
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
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 ritual sociology inquiry explains organized religion
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
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 postulates1
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.
definitions1
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 relationship philosophical inquiry explains organized religion
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
slide20
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
definitions2
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
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 postulates2
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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