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Chapter 17, Religion - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Chapter 17, Religion. Key Terms. religion A system of beliefs, symbols, and rituals, based on some sacred or supernatural realm, that guides human behavior, gives meaning to life, and unites believers into a community.

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religion A system of beliefs, symbols, and rituals, based on some sacred or supernatural realm, that guides human behavior, gives meaning to life, and unites believers into a community.
  • faithUnquestioning belief that does not require proof or scientific evidence.
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sacred Aspects of life that are extraordinary or supernatural; those things that are set apart as "holy.“
  • profaneThe everyday, secular or "worldly," aspects of life.
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ritualsRegularly repeated and carefully prescribed forms of behavior that symbolize a cherished value or belief.
  • simple supernaturalismThe belief that supernatural forces affect people’s lives either positively or negatively.
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animismThe belief that plants, animals, or other elements of the natural world are endowed with spirits or life forces having an impact on events in society.
  • theismA belief in a god or gods.
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monotheismBelief in a single, supreme being or god who is responsible for significant events such as the creation of the world.
  • polytheismA belief in more than one god.
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nontheistic religionReligion based on a belief in divine spiritual forces such as sacred principles of thought and conduct, rather than a god or gods.
  • secularizationProcess by which religious beliefs, practices, and institutions lose their significance in sectors of society and culture.
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civil religion The set of beliefs, rituals, and symbols that make sacred the values of the society and place the nation in the context of the ultimate system of meaning.
  • ecclesia A religious organization that is so integrated into the dominant culture that it claims as its membership all members of a society.
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churchA large, bureaucratically organized religious organization that tends to seek accommodation with the larger society in order to maintain some degree of control over it.
  • denominationA large organized religion characterized by accommodation to society but frequently lacking in ability or intention to dominate society.
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sect A relatively small religious group that has broken away from another religious organization to renew what it views as the original version of the faith.
  • cultA religious group with practices and teachings outside the dominant cultural and religious traditions of a society.
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fundamentalismTraditional religious doctrine that is conservative, is typically opposed to modernity, and rejects “worldly pleasures” in favor of otherworldly spirituality.
  • liberation theologyChristian movement that advocates freedom from political subjugation within a traditional perspective and the need for social transformation to benefit the poor.