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The Postmodern Catholic

Unit I Notes Religious Traditions

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  1. What is the nature of the human condition?

 

n      Existentialism - branch of philosophy that  deals with the nature of the human condition

n      Why do we do the things we do?

n      Where did we come from?

n      are we good/evil or both:  

n      Adam and Eve  

n      free will (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

n      We fear change (Buddhism)

n      We are too egotisitical (Hinduism) EGO:

n      We are a part of nature (Lakota, Taoism)

 

  1. Do we need salvation?

 

n      From what?

n      when? 

n      By whom?

n      Soteriology - the study of a religion’s salvific traditions

 

  1. What is our destiny?

 

n      Afterlife    

n      heaven/hell  

n      reincarnation   

n      transmigration

n      purgatory

n      Limbo

n      Nirvana

n      Moksha

n      Spirit Path (Milky Way)

 

  1. What is the nature of the world?

 

n      Cosmology - the study of the nature of the universe   

n      myths-symbolic stories developed in the oral traditions that contain spiritual truths

n      Etiology-myths that teach the cause of something

n      clash between science and religion

n      monism and sub-quarks

n      electricity and the life-force

 

  1. What is Good or Bad?

 

n      ethics 

n      10 Commandments: DECALOGUE…Judaism (Torah)

n      Beatitudes: Christianity

n      Five Precepts: Buddhism

n      Five Pillars: Islam

n      wu-wei: Taoism

 

6. What is Real?

 

n      Reality: sense-experience  

n      the Divine (personal God or Impersonal Essence) is seen as the ultimate expression of reality

n      Theist- believes in the existence of a personal god

n      Polytheist -- many gods

n      dualist- two gods of equal power in opposition…Zoroastrianism

n      pantheist --god exists in everything and everywhere

n      monotheist -- one god

n      henotheist -- many gods do exist but one’s own god is superior  

n      Atheist- does not believe in the existence of a personal god or an impersonal supreme Reality

n      Agnostic- does not believe that the existence of god can be proven, therefore they do not concern themselves

n      Non-theist- believes in the existence of an impersonal supreme Reality, but not a personal god

n      monism-all reality is one essence

 

B. The Basic Elements (exoteric)

 

  1. The Religious Experience

-overhaul of the psyche (CG Jung)

-peak moment of unity, timelessness, spacelessness, etc. (A Maslow)

-all religions begin w/ one person’s story about their experiences/beliefs/behaviors, etc.

 

The Buddha

 

n      Siddhartha Gautama

n      Born in No. India…prince who lived a life of luxury b/c his father tried to shield him from suffering

n      “Great Going Forth” >

n      “Four Passing Sights”

n      Asceticism: rejection of physical luxuries in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment

n      Middle Way

n      “3 Temptations”

n      “Nirvana”

The Christ

n      Y’shua bar Yousef…son of an artisan…born in Palestine

n      Raised in the Jewish tradition, influenced by Greeks, Romans, and Syrians

n      Left his family at 30…rejection

n      Ascetic life w/ Yohannan in the Judean desert

n      Baptism>Desert>3 Temptations

 

“adelphos”

 

n      RC Tradition…cousins

n      Orthodox Churches…1/2 brothers

n      Protestant groups…blood brothers

 

 

n       Mt. Sinai…Moses

n      Cave…Muhammad

n      On a path…Saul

n      Sleeping in the desert…Jacob

 

2. Religious Teachings

 

n      creeds - statements of belief

n      Nicene Creed

n      codes - guidelines for behavior

n      Decalogue

n      Five Precepts

n      doctrines (dogma)-official teachings from a hierarchy

n      Cathecism

 

3. Sacred Texts

 

n      Hinduism: 

n      Vedas…(oldest text)

n      Upanishads…

n      Mahabharata (Bhagavad Gita)…

n      Kama Sutra

n      Christianity: Bible

n      Judaism: Tanakh

                        “T” = Torah: Pentateuch

       “N” = Nevi'im: the prophetic books  

       “K” = Kethuvim:   the        writings

n      Islam: Koran, Quran

n      Taoism: Tao Te Ching

n      Buddhism: The Sutras

 

4. Rituals

 

n      Ceremonies that re-enact a founder’s experiences or earlier myths

n      Eucharist

n      Baptism

n      Circumcision

 

5. Community

n      Congregation

n      Leaders

n      Holy Persons

Leaders

n      Roman Catholic Church: Pope     

n      Anglican Church: Archbishop of Canterbury   

n      Greek Orthodox: Patriarch of                                                                         Constantinople

n      Tibetan Buddhism: Dalai Lama       

n      Judaism: rabbi

n      Muslim prayer leader: imam

n      Lakota: wicasa wakan “holy man”

 

Holy Persons

 

n      Christianity: saint, martyr, mystic

 

n      Buddhism: bodhisattva, arhat

 

n      Taoism: sage

 

n      Hinduism: guru

 

6. Sacred Space

 

n      Places of worship

n      Mosque (Islam)

n      Synagogue (Judaism)

n      Temple (Hinduism, Buddhism)

n      Church, chapel, basilica, cathedral (Christianity)

n      Shrines (several)

n      Holy Land

n      Jerusalem                                 -Sinai  

n      Mecca                          -Giza

n      Lhasa, Tibet                

n      Stonehedge

n      Black Hills

n      Water

n      Jordan

n      Ganges

 Homeworks and Outline: Sacred Paths

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D. “The more I am able to affirm others, to say ‘yes” to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone” Thomas Merton