World Religions Study Exam Study Guide

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Unit 1 Approaches to Religion
1. Explain the meaning of the following terms;
* Ascetic, Agnostic, Polytheistic, Monotheistic, Religious Impulse, Sacred, Secular, Animism and Humanist Ascetic: One who practices very strict devotions using sever of self-denial. Agnostic: A person who doubts that humans can know the existence of a possible God and the possible existence of anything beyond this life. Polytheism: Belief in more than one God.

Monotheistic: Believing in only one God.
Religious Impulse: The universal urge to believe in something beyond ourselves. Sacred: Connected with religion.
Secular: Connected with or belonging to the material world.
Animism: The attribution of a living soul to plants, animals, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. Humanist: An adherent of humanism- an outlook or system of thought that views humankind, rather than spirituality or religion, as the source of all value or meaning. 2. Explain the connection (or lack of one) between religion and ethnicity. Religion is primarily concerned with beliefs, rituals and practices, while ethnicity refers to a person’s origins, race, culture but not necessarily his or her religion. 3. Define Pop Culture. Provide examples of the influence on traditional concepts of religion. Pop Culture: Commercial culture based on popular taste. A negative influence that pop culture has had, would be the negative image we have of Muslims, labeling them all as terrorists, based on a small minority. 4. Define Culture and describe how it is learned.

Culture: The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. Culture is learned through our family, our school, our friends, and our society. Things that limit what we learn culturally could be laws, or society’s expectations of us, our “class.” 5. Identify the world’s 3 “Great Religions”. Why are they considered “Great”? Islam, Christianity and Judaism. They are geographically spread, old, complex scriptures, many places of worship, involves the roles of people. 6. Identify 3 reasons people feel the need to practice religion. People feel the need to practice religion out of fear, out of wonder, to answer questions, to give them a guide in life, it helps them find themselves, etc. 7. All spiritual systems share some “universal” similarities. Identify and explain 3 of these. Organized institutions, Church, Synagogue, Mosque, places to practice their religions. Rules of conduct; the Five Pillars, the Ten Commandments, etc., rules they must follow to guide them in life. Sacred writings or scriptures; the source of information for their practices and beliefs, or a sacred written history. Other examples would be a belief in the afterlife, salvation, ideas that parallel good & evil, etc. 8. How does religion provide both social harmony and social control? It could provide social harmony because it brings people together, gives them something to do, something to believe in, most religions are based off of ideas of good and evil, so if someone practices this, they will be trying to stay good, therefore making social aspects better too. It could provide social control again, because there are rules to be followed in that religion, and through history there have been attempts to convert everyone into a certain religion, or places that have a state religion, makes the religion a way to control the people. 9. Explain the difference between Fact and Opinion. How could you tell if someone is bias? Fact: A thing that is indisputably the case.

Opinion: A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. You could tell someone is biased if they have had a previous experience that makes them lean a certain way, or if they got incorrect information from somewhere. Someone is usually bias is they have an extreme opinion- either positive or negative. 10. Provide 2 examples each of a primary source and a...
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