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OPENING PRAYER

Dear Lord and Father of all,

Thank you for today.


Thank you for ways in which you provide for us all. For
Your protection and love we thank you.
Help us to focus our hearts and minds now on what we
are about to learn.
Inspire us by Your Holy Spirit as we listen and write.
Guide us by your eternal light as we discover more
about the world around us.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen


Glory be to the Father……….
Amen.
INTRODUCTION
TO WORLD
RELIGION
THE CONCEPT OF
GOD

MAN’S SEARCH
FOR GOD
ETYMOLOGICAL
MEANING

Religion – from the Latin religio, which


meant “respect for what is sacred,
awe,”
rooted in the verb religare, “to bind”.
In the medieval Europe, the word
evolved to mean “a system of sacred
beliefs and practices that binds a
people together.”
DEFINITION OF
RELIGION
Approach = a social scientific standpoint.
Providing a comprehensive picture of different religions as
professed and practiced by followers.
From the point of view of social sciences:

“is a social phenomenon, which means that


religious traditions are not simply sacred entities
with divine revelations that are best left
untouched. Religious beliefs and practices are
also collectively constructed throughout human
history by different individuals who may be
leaders, followers, activists, and even heretics.
DEFINITION OF
RELIGION

From the point of view of social sciences:

“A system of beliefs and practices


by which a group of people
interprets and responds to what
they feel is sacred, and usually
supernatural as well”
1. Explain Religion as a Social Reality.
2. Discuss the elements of Religion
3. Explain the worldviews of the world’s
major religion.
4. What characterizes a Religion?
RELIGION AS A
SOCIAL REALITY

.
1. Religion is a collective phenomenon –
An individual who professes a religion is
typically associated with a particular religious
organization.
The individual also feels some emotional
identification with the group.
Individuals who profess a religion also
invoke the wider community that they are
part of.
RELIGION AS A
SOCIAL REALITY

2. Religion is concerned with ordering behavior


in relation to the sacred/and or to the
supernatural.
The sacred is often associated with entities,
events, figures, objects, and sites that are
treated with reverence.
Most of the time, the sacred is imbued with the
supernatural as in the presence of heavenly
forces or divine beings that render a particular
text or place holy in the eyes of religious
followers.
DEFINITION
RELIGION AS A OF
RELIGION
SOCIAL REALITY
This is very clear in Christianity and Islam because of the
centrality of divine revelation in the foundation of these
religions.

3. Religion involves a body of beliefs and moral


prescriptions, which are to be expected in religions
mainly because they are guided by texts rendered
sacred by special events of figures.

The origins and destiny of life, concerns about salvation,


key events of sacred entities, and moral principles
constitute the body of beliefs that define religious
institutions as distinct from others.
RELIGION AS A
SOCIAL REALITY

4. Religion expects its followers to follow a set of


practices that relate to the notion of the sacred.

{individual and collective rituals involving prayer,


worship, baptism, purification and sacrifice}
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

WORLDVIEW – can be defined as how you see life and


the world at large. Metaphorically, it can be compared
to eye glasses. How you make sense of the world
depends upon your ‘vision’.
- It refers to the cluster of beliefs an individual holds
about the most significant concepts of life such as God,
the universe and humanity.

1. Naturalism (e.g Atheism, Agnosticism, Existentialism)


a. Reality: the material world is all that exists. Reality is
“one dimentional”. There is no such thing as a soul.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

b. Man: man is the chance product of a biological


process of evolution. Man is entirely material. The human
species will one day pass out of existence.
c. Truth: it is usually understood as a scientific proof. Only
that which can be observed with the five senses is
accepted as real or true.
d. Values: no objective values or morals exist. Morals are
individual preferences. Even social morals are subject to
evolution and change.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

2. Pantheism (e.g Hinduism, Taoism, buddhism)

a. Reality: Only the spiritual dimension exists. All else is


illusion. Spiritual reality, Brahman, is eternal,
unknowable. it is possible to say that everything is a
part of God, or that God is in everything and
everyone.
b. Man: man is with ultimate reality. Thus man is spiritual,
eternal and impersonal. Man’s belief that he is an
individual is illusion.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

c. Truth: truth is an experience of reality with the


“oneness” of the universe. It is beyond all rational
description.

d. Values: because ultimate reality is impersonal, many


pantheistic thinkers believe that there is no real
distinction between good and evil. Instead,
“unenlightened behavior” is that which fails to
understand essential unity.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

3. Theism (e.g Christianity, Islam, Judaism)

a. Reality: An infinite impersonal God. He created a


finite, material world. Reality is both material and
spiritual. The world as we know had a beginning and
will have an end.
b. Man: Humankind is the supreme creation of God.
People were created “in the image and likeness of
God”, which means that we are personal, spiritual,
and biological
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

c. Truth: truth about God is known through revelation.


Truth about the material world is gained through
revelation and the five senses in conjunction with
rational thought.
d. Values: Moral values are the objective expression of
an absolute moral being.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

4. Spiritism and Polytheism

a. Reality: the world is populated by spirit beings who


governs what goes on. Gods and demons are the
real reason behind “natural” events. Material things
are real but they have spirits associated with them
and therefore, can be interpreted spiritually.
b. Man: Man is the creation of the gods like the rest of
the creatures on earth. Often, tribes or races have a
special relationship with some gods who protect
them and can punish them.
UNDERSTANDING THE
WORLDVIEWS OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR RELIGION

c. Truth: truth about the natural world is discovered


through the shaman figure who has visions telling him
what the gods and demons are doing and how they feel.
What are the Different
Elements of Religion?
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION
1. BELIEF IN SUPERNATURAL
POWERS

Every religion believes in the existence


of some supernatural powers. They
believe that this unseen power
influence every aspect of human life.
Varies from one religion to another.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION
2. BELIEF IN THE HOLY OR
SACRED

There are certain things which are regarded as


sacred.
The concept is a mental construct. They are
symbols. They are not visible. It is based on faith
rather than on evidence.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION

3. SYSTEM OF RITUALS
Rituals are the practical side of religion. They are
the behavior performed by the individual or group
of individuals with reference to supernatural power.
Includes varieties of behavior { wearing special
types of clothes, reciting prayers, hymns, singing,
dancing etc.}
A Christian may offer a flower to Christ or sits in
prayer. All rituals are either performed individually
or collectively to strengthen the faith in
supernatural power.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION

4. SINFUL ACTS

The follower of a religion encourages sacred acts


and insists to avoid indulging in sinful activities.

Acting in accordance with the religious principles is


believed to reap good results while sinful acts
results in suffering and disaster.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION
5. THE METHOD OF
SALVATION

Almost all religions consider salvation as the


ultimate goal of life.

They have their own explanation regarding the


method of salvation.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION

6. MODE OF WORSHIP

Each religion has a specific procedure of


worshipping.
Either worshipping the supernatural power in the
form of statue of a formless manner.

{e.g Hindus worship idols, Muslims do not}


ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION

7. LITURGY AND IDEOLOGY

Different religion practices public relations rites and


rituals in fixed form and they have specific
ideology. Ideology may be handed down with an
oral tradition or written tradition.
ELEMENTS OF
RELIGION

8. PLACE OF WORSHIP

Each religion has a definite place of worship

{Muslims in a mosque, Christians in church}


What characterizes a
Religion?
Why is it important to study
Religion?
SYNTHESIS

WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT


LEARNINGS THAT YOU GET
FROM THE TOPIC?