World religions alternative paths (malloy)

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Summary of Chapter in Molloy, Alternative Paths.


<ul><li> 1. Alternative PathsNew Religious Movements</li></ul> <p> 2. NRMs New Religious Movements can Arise out of traditional denominations Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Christian Science Blend two or more traditional religions Vietnamese Cao Dai = Buddhism + Christianity +Daoism + Confucianism Santeria = Catholicism + W. African traditions Blended religions are called syncretic 3. Contemporary Paganism Paganism includes NRMs that re-createancient nature-based religions Primarily early European cultures Pagan is a Latin word related to countryside Paganism referred to the religious world ofancient villagers also called folk religions as opposed to Catholicism, the official religionof pre-modern Europe Wicca and Druid religion are modern revivals ofancient Paganism 4. Wicca The Craft or the Old Religion Centers on the worship of nature gods and goddessesand/or a single divinity with both male and female aspectsand images. Women play a prominent role as ritual leaders and theembodiment of wisdom Wicca follows a lunar-solar calendar. Feasts are marked bythe movement of the sun and the moon. Wiccas ethical dimension is based on personal freedombalanced by doing no-harm, and the Law of Triple Return. 5. Is Modern Wicca old? Some of Wiccan practice is ancient. Rituals of Halloween and May Day Earlier forms of Wicca existed in Europe prior tomodernity (17th-18th centuries). Some of Wicca is a mythic reconstruction. New rituals, phrases and other elements havebeen added to update the religion to meet theneeds of modern urban followers 6. Druidry Particularly popular in England Revival of ancient Druid religion began in the 18thcentury. Druid religion was a religion of the elite:professionals like judges, teachers, doctors, andpriests. Preparation to become a full Druid, fromBard to Oviate to Druid, could take 20 years. Druids celebrated their religion in groves of sacredtrees. Druid is thought to mean oak-treewisdom. 7. Neo-Druidism Modern Druids follow the sameeight-part lunar-solar calendar asthe Wiccans. They celebrate the full moon andmake use of the ancient circularstone complex called Stonehengein England for their rituals. Promotes harmony and worshipof nature. Is more a spiritual practice orphilosophy than a religion. 8. NRMs from Yoruba Indigenous African religious practices andbeliefs came to the New World via the slavetrade. W. African Yoruba traditions were the most influential Santeria took shape primarily in Cuba. When AfricanSlaves were forced to convert to Catholicism, thesyncretic mixture of indigenous W. African religion andCatholicism gave birth to Santeria. Voodoo (Voudun) took shape among slaves, largely inHaiti, and is a mixture of Islam, Catholicism and W.African Yoruba animism. Candombl is practiced as an official religion in Brazil. 9. Syncretism, Similarities Both Yoruba religions and Catholicism: Believe in a single High God Believe in supernatural beings who mediatebetween God and human beings Believe in the existence of spirits of the dead Both trust in the power of ritual, both have priests,and use ritual elements. With these similarities, slaves had moreopportunity to express their native religion usingthe Catholic forms that were forced on them. 10. The High God The High God of the Yoruba religion isOlorun. Like the God of Catholicism, Olorunis the creator of the world. He had a son towhom he assigned this task of creation, butthe son failed so Olorun enlisted the aid oflesser deities called Orisha to complete thetask for him. After creation was completed, Olorun rested he retired to the heavens and has littlecontact with people. 11. Lesser gods andancestors In Yoruba religion, Olorun is thought to be too powerfuland important to appeal to for daily problems. Lesser deities called Orishas control day-to-day events forhumans and for creation. Orishas are identified with natural elements like mountains,forests, rivers, plants, animals, etc. all living things havespiritual life. They can be harmful or beneficial and areinfluenced by prayer, praise and sacrifice. African religion also pays respect to the ancestors, thosewho have passed from this life but live on in spiritual form.They enforce the moral code of the tribes. 12. NRMs from the East Theosophy began in 1875 when a Russian writer,Madame Helena Blavatsky, and a few like-mindedcolleagues began the Theosophical Society. Theosophy draws on what believers call the ancientwisdom of the East. Theosophy was born in the wakeof the European fascination with Hindu philosophicalworks that they discovered and translated when theBritish Empire colonized India. Blavatsky claimed she was in contact with the spirits ofsages who had died and ascended to a higher plane:the Ascended Masters. Theosophy had a renaissancebeginning in the 1970s with the New Age Movement. 13. Elizabeth ClareProphetThe Church Universal andTriumphant is a recent offshoot ofTheosophy. This is a syncretic blendof New Age mysticism and Catholicdoctrine.It uses elements like the Bible andthe Rosary but appeals to all thesages of all religions Buddha andJesus, e.g.The church is headquartered inMontana, but Ms. Prophet died in2009. 14. ScientologyProbably the best-known and mostcontroversial NRM in the U.S. andEurope, Scientology is the newreligion created by L. Ron Hubbard, ascience-fiction writer, in 1954.Scientology draws on Buddhism, ETmythology, and ideas from thehuman-potential movement toexplain what it means to be humanand how to become successful,happy, and wealthy usingScientologys techniques.The Church of Scientology has beensued multiple times as well asinvestigated by the IRS. It activelyrecruits celebrities and large donorsto promote its religious claims. 15. Falon Gong Falon Gong is an NRM that began in China, wherereligions are tightly controlled by the state.Currently, Falong Gong is banned in China, but ithas followers all over the world. Followers practice five series of physical exercisesdesigned to develop the bodys physical andsupra-physical powers. Falon Gong developed out of Daoist philosophyand the meditative, physical disciplines associatedwith Tai-Chi and other forms of Chinese martialarts. 16. Bahai Bahai is a universalizing religion and a modern,prophetic offshoot of Shiite Islam Bahaullah is the glorified name of a youngPersian aristocrat who had a series of visions andrevelations, after which he declared himself to bethe prophesied messenger who would begin agolden age of peace and unity. Bahaullah was persecuted by orthodox Muslimsand eventually moved to Haifa in modern Israel tolive out the last years of his life. Haifa is theinternational home of the Bahai religion today. 17. Some traits of NRMs They are relatively small compared to traditionalreligions. This creates a heightened sense of intimacyand uniqueness among followers. Women tend to play more significant roles in NRMsthan in traditional religions. There is generally more emphasis on the emotional,physical and mystical experiences of religion than onhigh value traditional religions often place onintellectual, theological, and philosophical pursuits. Many NRMs focus on developing the self, tuning in tonature, and achieving practical goals. 18. Textbook Michael Molloy, Experiencing the WorldsReligions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change, 6thEdition, McGraw-Hill (2013). 19. World Religions </p>