- Slides: 22
Introduction To Religion Mc. Cutcheon: What is Religion? Partridge: Phenomenology. . . Bowie: The Anthropology. . . Davies: Myths and Symbols January 9, 2013
Lazy Views • Everyone basically believes in the same God with different ways of expressing those beliefs • Religion is private • One day we’ll find out who’s right • Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded • Imagine no religion
“Religion” • To tie something tightly • To pay careful attention • Beliefs, Behaviors & Social Institutions
Public or Private
The Essence • Assumption that Institutions, Hierarchies, Regulations & Rituals are INESSENTIAL • Inner Faith or Genuine Practice • Non-Empirical
Theories on Function • Marx: Religion is a “pacifier” • Durkheim: Religion promotes social bonding • Freud: Religion vents anti-social anxieties • Wittgenstein: Religion share certain “family traits” • Your Theory? ? ?
Essentialist. Functionalist. Family Resemblance.
Phenomenology • Distinct from the Essentialist, the Functionalist and the Proponent of Family Resemblance Theory-Phenomena! • Descriptive of objects, rituals, teachings, behavior. . . • Question of Ontological Truth is set aside
Friedrich Schleiermacher “The essence of religion consists in the feeling of an absolute dependence. ”
Rudolf Otto “It is the emotion of a creature, submerged and overwhelmed by its own nothingness in contrast to that which is supreme, above all creatures. . . ”
Morality Holy Numinous
You are Here
“Mysterium Tremendum” • Awe-fulness • Overpowering-ness • Energy or Urgency
In Response? • Posit a Supreme Subject Beyond Existence & Non-Existence • Relationship with the Wholly Other? • Posit that Human Beings Are Embedded in Existence • Empty Ego-Attachments/Merge with the One Cosmos?
Insider vs. Outsider Us Them
Suspend Interpretative Closure Dialogue Around?
Gavin Flood • Beyond Phenomenology • Questions Detached Objectivity • The Disinterested Observer Does Not Exist • Self Always in Relation to the Other (Person) • One’s Experience of the Numinous Put In Dialogue with Others
In Your Groups • Find Davies on Myths and Symbols • What is his analogy regarding music? • In what sense does “myth” communicate truth? • Symbols participate in the reality to which they point. What the hell?
For Friday • Read Partridge, pp. 23 --31 • Think about or Remember a Religious Ritual in which you’ve been involved. . . • 1 Page Paper Due Monday (See syllabus)