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47 terms

Midterm Terms

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Monotheism
One god
Atheism
No god
Pantheism
everything is divine
Agnosticism
Don't know-God cannot be proven
Polytheism
many gods
Animism
All elements of nature as being filled with spirits
Bhagavad Gita
A religious literary work about Krishna
Trimurti
Three forms of the divine--Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
Karma
The moral law of cause and effect that determines the direction of rebirth
Vedas
Four collections of ancient prayers and rituals
Samsara
Everyday world of change and suffering leading to rebirth
Upanishads
Written meditations on the spiritual essence of the universe and the self
Therevada Buddhism
Conservative approach--followed Buddha's original teachings
Mahayana Buddhism
Big Vehicle--allows everyone to reach enlightenment, not just monks, also added ritual back in to the religion
Vajrayana Buddhism
Diamond Vehicle--focuses on ritual and chants to help reach enlightenment
Taboo
A strong social prohibition
Shaman
A person who contacts and attempts to manipulate the power of the spirits for the tribe or the group
Key Characteristics of Religion
Belief system
Community
Central myths
Ritual
Ethics
Characteristic emotional experiences
Material expression
Sacredness
Belief System
Several beliefs fit together into a fairly complete and systematic interpretation of the universe and the human being's place in it
Community
The belief system is shared, and its ideals are practiced by a group
Central myths
stories that express the religious beliefs of a group are retold and often reenacted.
Ritual
Beliefs are enacted and made real through ceremonies
Ethics
Rules about human behavior are established. These are often viewed as having been revealed from a supernatural realm, but they can also be viewed as socially generated guidelines
Characteristic emotional experiences
Among the emotional experiences typically associated with religions are dread, guilt, awe, mystery, devotion, conversion, "rebirth," liberation, ecstasy, bliss, and inner peace
Material expression
Religions make use of an astonishing variety of physical elements--statues, paintings, musical compositions (including chants), musical instruments, ritual objects, flowers, incense, clothing, architecture, and specific locations
Sacredness
A distinction is made between the sacred and the ordinary; ceremonies often emphasize this distinction through the deliberate use of different language, clothing, and architecture. Certain objects, actions, people, and places may share in the sacredness or express it.
Why religion exists
Serves many human needs. Helps us deal with our mortality. Provides the answers for the soul, afterlife, and rebirth. Also helps us cope with death. Offers companionship and the fulfillment of belonging. The most basic function is to respond to our natural wonder about ourselves and the cosmos.
The first noble truth
To live is to suffer
The second noble truth
Suffering comes from a desire
The third noble truth
To End suffering, end desire
The fourth noble truth
Release from suffering is possible and can be attained by following the noble eightfold path
The Noble eightfold path
The way to inner peace
1. Right understanding
I recognize the impermanence of life, the mechanism of desire, and the cause of suffering
2. Right intention
My thoughts and motives are pure, not tainted by my emotions and selfish desires
3. Right speech
I speak honestly and kindly, in positive ways, avoiding lies, exaggeration, harsh words
4. Right action
My actions do not hurt any other being that can feel hurt, including animals; I avoid stealing and sexual conduct that that would bring hurt
5. Right work
My job does no harm to myself or others
6. Right effort
With moderation, I consistently strive to improve
7. Right meditation (right mindfulness)
I use the disciplines of meditation (dhyana) and focused awareness to contemplation the nature of reality more deeply
8. Right contemplation
I cultivate states of blissful inner peace (samadhi)
Brahman
A divine reality at the heart of things. The Upanishads insist that it is something that can be known, not simply believed in. It is everything, the way a piece of wood can become a boat or a house or fire or ash, water can turn into a cloud or a plant.
Atman
Sometimes translated as "self" or "deepest self" at the deepest level of what I am is a divine reality, a divine spirit, that everything shares, it is true to say that I am God, because, for the person who understands reality at the deepest level everything is God. Unchanging reality.
Goals of life
By living life from a less selfish and egotistic point of view and more from a perspective that embraces the whole, by accepting the unity and sacredness of everything, by practicing kindness to all, animals as well as people, you can reach Moksha
Threats to indigenous religions
Four major threats: global spread of popular culture, loss of natural environments, loss of traditional languages, and conversion to other religions
Buddhist notion of impermanence (Anichcha)
When we truly experience impermanence, we see that all of reality is in motion all the time, that the universe is in flux. Impermanence can be shown by the change of your face as you age, or the idea of a concept, such as love, as you mature.
Buddhist notion of no permanent identity (Anatta)
Buddha denied the existence of the permanent identity of anything, each person and each thing is not only changing but is made up of parts that are also constantly changing. This is in contrast with Hindu's Atman, where reality is unchanging.
Hindu Caste System
Priest (Brahmin) traditionally performs Vedic rituals and acts as a counselor
Warrior-Noble has the role of protecting society, aristocracy
Merchant includes landowners, moneylenders, and sometimes artisans.
Peasant Manual labor and is expected to serve the higher castes
Untouchable traditionally does the dirties work, cleaning toilets, sweeping streets, collecting animal carcasses