What is Religion? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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What is Religion?
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What is Religion?

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  1. What is Religion?

  2. It is easier to identify the common features than define it • 6 Dimensions of Religion (by Niniam Smart) • Doctrine, or a set of beliefs about the universe and its relation to the • supernatural. • Eg. A single God who create the universe • Eg. The universe is controlled by the law of Karma • Experience, or emphasis on events in which the believer feel immediately and • strikingly the presence of God or supernatural dimension. • 3. Myth, or set of stories that convey sacred or special meaning. • Story of Adam and Eve (Hebrew Scriptures and Koran) • Story of the illumination of Buddha • 4. Ritual, or acts of worship, prayer, sacraments and readings of Sacred Scriptures. • 5. Morality, or a set of rules and precepts that believers are enjoined to follow. • Organization, or an organized social group that preserves and perpetuates the • religion. • Religion is rooted in our unending search for meaning and fulfillment in life.

  3. 2 Main Concerns for Philosophy • How reasonable is it to believe what religion asks us • to believe? (see #1 above) • How reasonable is it to trust the experiences of religion? (see #2 above)

  4. Religious Belief: doctrines of religion about the universe and its relation to the supernatural; the belief that there is an unseen order, and that we can do no better than to be in harmony with that order. Religious Experience: experience of the supernatural order and our individual place in this order; having found this place, people feel an intense personal relationship with the rest of creation, perhaps even with a Creator.

  5.  Religious belief and experience continue to be of intense philosophical interest – both are intimately joined with the issue of “self” •  We must distinguish between “Philosophy of Religion” and “Theology” • Theology: Is the rational study of God, including religious doctrines; in practice, it is usually reserved for rational study by scholars committed to those beliefs (ie. They have the same assumptions about God, etc.)

  6. BUT for the philosopher, those assumptions must themselves be proved. • A theologian can be a philosopher and vice versa, but modern philosophy has become detached from theology.