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Understanding World Religions Cp 3
Flash cards for chapter 3 of Irving Hexham's "Understanding World Religions," Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2011.
Terms in this set (15)
Writing about African religions is ...
Like writing about "European religions" because there are many different religious traditions in Africa.
The book concentrates on ...
Providing an overview of the common features of African religions.
Primal religions are based on ...
Primal religions are based on the religious experiences of their founders and members and are essentially oral traditions.
How did Robert Redfield distinguish religious traditions?
He wrote about Great Traditions which are organized religions with their own scriptures and priests or similar figures and Little Traditions which are oral traditions lacking well developed organizations.
What sort of things are primal experiences?
Dreams, visions, prophecies, healings, revelations, miracles, hearing voices, and seeing ghosts or the living dead.
How should students approach traditional societies?
By suspending judgment about which view of the universe is correct and attempting to see the world as members of the society they are studying see it.
How did Fred Welbourn see African religious beliefs?
As analogous to scientific beliefs about atomic theory and electricity. Both African and scientific beliefs "work," in the sense of making sense of our experiences.
What was the title of Rudolf Otto's book?
"The Idea of the Holy"
Which sociologist wrote in a similar way to Otto?
Emile Durkheim in his "The Elementary Forms of Religious Life."
What lies at the heart of theories like the ones Durkheim and Otto developed?
A sharp distinction between the sacred and profane. That is between things that are holy and things that belong to everyday life.
What is wrong with such theories?
They impose a pre-existing theory on the data and discover the results they assume exist on the basis of their theories. Such theories are not based on empirical observations but rather on intellectual constructs.
If traditional Africans do not normally distinguish between the sacred an profane how do they think about religious realities?
In terms of power. This power may be in God, a god or gods, the ancestors or some other source. The important thing is it affects the way people live.
Is power always a good thing in African religious belief?
No. Although power can be used for the good it is often used for evil by witches and sorcerers.
Are African witches the same as WICCANS and other neo-pagans in Western society?
In Africa without exception witches are bad. The belief in evil witches exists in all African society and pre-dates contact with modern missionaries. This type of witchcraft is very different from the type of belief WICCANS and other modern pagans claim to hold.
How do traditional Africans think about ghosts?
For traditional Africans ghosts are the living dead and a part of everyday life. A ghost reflects the characteristics or the person it once was and may be good or bad accordingly.
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