Handout 1 – Religious concepts and terms
Key terms and concept
Sacred- something Set apart for worship of a deity or as worthy of worship.
Profane-Nonreligious. Outside the sphere of religion. Contemptuous of religion.
Myth-A story dealing with supernatural beings that represents the worldview of a people. (Adam & eve)
Epic-A narrative poem celebrating the acts of a traditional hero. (Job)
Scriptures-Sacred writings. A sacred scroll or book. (Bible, Coran, Tora)
Rituals-Prescribed, repetitive, required religious ceremonies. (Sacrament, prayer, fasting)
Rites of passage-A prescribed ceremonial act or acts. The sign that a person is passing from one stage to another. (baptism, temple, birth and death)
List, explain and give examples of the 10 areas that help us understand religions better under ‘Worldview’ pp. 8-12.
The Absolute-This is what everything revolves around on a religion, like there Deity.
The World-Is a view point on one’s faith towards this life, involving is this the end or does it go on? Also a term of Friendly or unfriendly.
Humans-There are many viewpoints but mainly how a religion regards Humans, whether they are important or specks of dust.
The Problem for Humans-Outlook on consequences of their actions.
The Solution for Humans-Making our lives ideal such as salvation or peace with the universe.
Community and Ethics-This is the standards of a religion whether it was given by a divine being or a leader in the religion. Moral principles.
An Interpretation of History-What one’s faith believes in the beginning of that particular religion or even time.
Rituals and Symbols-A is a way of communication and sign of power.
Life after Death-Being rewarded for following a particular belief of being punished.
Relationship to Others religion-Children apply to this strongly because they interact with many people of other faiths other than their own.
(The answers to the questions above are found in the Introduction part of your text. Define them and give examples. The answers to the questions below are to be found through your research on the Internet, as you will not find them directly in the text. Just do your best to answer them to the best of your abilities as you will find multiple answers and I will also discuss these in the lecture on Handout 1).
Define all these “-ism’s” and try to find a “religion” that may correlate with one or more “ism.”
Theism-God is a person-like being (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism)
Polytheism-There are two or more person-like Gods (LDS, Hinduism, Native American, and Pagan)
Pantheism-All is God, god is seen in nature/universe (Pagan, Hinduism, Spiritualism, and Wiccan)
Henotheism-There is one God above all Gods (Hinduism, LDS, Wiccan)
Atheism-There is no Person-like God (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Judaism)
Agnosticism-I don’t know if God exists (All religions)
Monotheism-A belief that there is only one deity. (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism)
Skepticism-Doubt as to the truth of something. (All religions)
Deism-God exists and created everything, but doesn’t intrude. (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism)
Fideism-Knowledge depends on faith or revelation. (All religions)
Holism-All is interconnected, parts can’t be understood without the whole. (Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism)
Humanism-Emphasis on reason in Humanity, Human effort is paramount. (Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism)
Monism-Only one Supreme Being exists or all is one thing/ substance. (Hinduism, Buddhism)
Relativism (this is a philosophical term, not necessarily a ‘religious’ one that will correspond with a particular tradition) -All theories are relative to individuals, culture, environment, religion.
Define the terms morality (latin) and ethics (greek). What do these terms have to do with religion? Describe the Euthyphro problem and both ‘horns’ of that problem?
-Morality is what we believe is