The Nature of Religion Introduction
Topic 1 Focus... • Define: what Religion is, the ‘supernatural’ element, transcendent vs. immanent dimensions. • The contribution of Religion to society • Explore the characteristics of Religion: • Beliefs and believers • Sacred texts and writings • Ethics • Rituals and ceremonies
Score Card... • Rank these Religions from largest to smallest • Buddhism • Christianity • Hinduism • Islam • Judaism • No Religion
The Big 5... • In 2005 it was reported the following figures for the 5 Major World Religions: • Christianity: 2.1 Billion • Islam: 1.5 Billion • Hinduism: 900 Billion • Buddhism: 376 Billion • Judaism: 14 Million. • Note: 1.1 Billion claim to be ‘Non-Religious’
So what does ‘Religion’ really mean??? • Read Living Religion page 4 and in pairs brainstorm ‘What is Religion’. You will have 5 minutes to get as many answers as possible. • When you have finished we will brainstorm as a class and each pair will have to contribute at least one answer. • Then, using the brainstorm material, as well as your own knowledge, create your own definition of the term ‘Religion’. You will be required to post it to the Wiki for homework.
What is Religion? Belief in the supernatural dimension is central to all world religions Religion by its nature defies precise definition. However, the central commonality to all world religions is the belief in the supernatural dimension. Thus, it can be said that the most significant element of a religious worldview is this belief in a divine being or power, which is greater than humankind and the natural world. This being or power is believed to be responsible for the creation of the world, for providing a moral framework for human life and being the ultimate destiny of a human person at the end of their mortal life.