Manual The Sacred Quest

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What is it that makes Morning Prayer at the National Cathedral religious and the rally near the Washington Monument political?

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We cannot expect, in this brief chapter, to settle the issue. At the outset, it is helpful to keep in mind the advice of philosopher William James. Each of these deserves further comment. Religion and Human Thought In a sense, it seems unnecessary to say that religion is connected with thought. Religious people differ on the place of thought in the religious life. Religion, such scholars argue, is not only a matter of what people believe but also a matter of what people do or the way in which people understand themselves.

The Sacred Quest: An Invitation To The Study Of Religion

Thus, Orthodox Jews emphasize living accord- ing to the Torah or instruction of God, and Muslims stress active submission to the will of God. Certain preliterate religions may not even have a word for religion but demonstrate a religious sensibility that is essential to their way of life. Nevertheless, the relationship of religion to thought is undeniable. Even those who focus on practice have beliefs, develop doctrines, and emphasize the importance of certain teachings in the religious life.


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Although the place and focus of belief varies, the fact of a relationship between religion and thought remains constant. Job then says: I know that you [God] can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

According to Otto, this feeling is characteristic of all religious experience. Thy great form, of many mouths and eyes, 0 great-armed one, of many arms, thighs, and feet, Of many bellies, terrible with many tusks,——- Seeing it the worlds tremble, and I too. According to some scholars e.

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Islamic law establishes the duty of prayer. Five times daily, an observant Muslim faces toward Mecca and performs saint, or worship. Practitioners of Shinto approach the shrine of a kami spirit by washing, ringing a bell, and clapping their hands before presenting their petition to the spirit. In every case, the form and place of religious action vary, but the importance of action to an understanding of religion is evident. Most of the great religions make a place for individual devotion and encourage persons to I:. No one can achieve enlightenment for another.

It is possible to overstress the individual dimension of religion, hOWever. Although the focus of Theravada Buddhism is on individual effort, there is certainly a place for the social dimension of life.

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The importance of individual experience is further reduced in other examples. The essence of religion is found in the way s it enables individual persons to identify with the values associ- ated with a particular group. In any event, the point if we follow Durkheim is the life of the tribe. The point I remains their contribution to the life of society.

But most students of religion would agree that in most times and places religion has been closely connected with morality. Religion is a way of expressing important values.

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We may grant I l that religion has an impact on human thought. We may even acknowledge religious ' thought as a special kind of thinking, connected with belief. We can raise the same question with respect to values. What makes the difference? The following comment provides a - good illustration of a functionalist understanding of religion. I Religion, then, can be described as a system of beliefs and practices by I means of which a group of people struggles with.

In this sense, religion can be thought of as a kind of residual means of response and adjustment. Book Request Form for when all else fails. Kelsay, John, Add To List. No Copies Found.

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LC Subjects. Religion -- Textbooks.

Citation formats are based on standards as of July Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Examines the main ideas that characterize all religious thought and practice. The Sacred Quest takes a thematic and comparative approach to the study of religion. It gives equal weight to theoretical issues and practices reflected in the major world religions. The text identifies the theoretical issues surrounding the study of religion and focuses on fundamental topics such as ritual and sacred language.

Learning Goals Upon completing this book readers will be able to: Recognize main ideas that characterize all religious thought and practice Identify theoretical issues surrounding the study of religion Recognize fundamental topics of religion: ritual, sacred communication, and morality. Table of Contents. Loading Table Of Contents Also in This Series. More Like This. More Details. More Copies In Prospector. Loading Prospector Copies


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