THERE ARE THREE MAIL PARAGRAPHS ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS. YOU HAVE TO REWRITE THIS. READ IT AND…

THERE ARE THREE MAIL PARAGRAPHS ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS. YOU HAVE TO REWRITE THIS. READ IT AND REWRITE THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS. SO NOT COPY ANYTHING . I NEED YOUR ANSWERS AS A READING RESPONSE. ALL TOGATHER MUST BE 1.5 – 2 PAGES. USE SIMPLE WORDS.several seminal theoriesSeveral seminal theories in religious studies have helped to stimulate academic reflection onthe origins and the nature of religion. Among these theories mentioned in your textbook, areEdward B. Tyler’s animism, Emile Durkheim’s totemism, Paul Tillich’s ultimate concern,Rudolf Otto’s idea of the holy (numinous), and Mircea Eliade’s view of the sacred. Each ofthese theories (and many others) have contributed to the development of the field of religiousstudies by revealing highly different ways to approach and define the topic-matter. WhereasTyler and Durkheim (an anthropologist and a sociologist respectively) viewed religion as‘nothing more than a human [cultural or] social construct’ (p. 23), based on notions ofcultural evolution or the apotheosis of social ideals, scholars such as Tillich and Otto sawsomething ultimately meaningful or mysteriously powerful in humankind’s religious search.Each of their theories reflect their own biases about religion, and remind us that religion canmean many things to different people. A single definition, therefore, may not be inherentlyprivileged or better than another. (see pp. 19–23)missionary religionsMissionary religions have had an ambivalent impact on human societies for several reasons.On the one hand, their usually altruistic motivations to help others have often contributed toincreased social welfare programs to aid the poor and to care for the sick/orphans (albeitsocial tensions often accompanied such activities). Secondly, the adherents of missionaryreligions often produced pioneering linguistic ethnographic, and historical studies ofindigenous religions enriching the understanding of them.On the other hand, missionary religions have been tied to cultural imperialism, hostilitytowards competing religions, and military aggression. Their adherents have sometimes beeninsensitive to the religious beliefs and practices of outsiders generating considerableresentment and even violent conflict. As a result, it is rather paradoxical to observe that theusually altruistic impulse for spreading religion has given birth to remarkable kindness,compassion, and generosity, yet also produced religious chauvinism and colonialimperialism. Thus, your textbook suggests that the ‘missionary record has been mixed atbest, with some very disturbing undertones’. (see pp. 8–11)pluralism and secularismcareful consideration of the nature, definition, and contemporary context of religion,the authors make an important distinction between the terms pluralismand secularism.They define pluralism as ‘the granting of equal support, acceptance, or decision making rolesto more than one religious group’ (p. 12). As such, pluralism is a conscious attitude towardthe issue of religious diversity, which embraces a spirit of openness and acceptance towardsreligious heterogeneity, seeing such diversity as inherently positive; in contrast, secularism inthe Western context, is defined as ‘the exclusion in principle of all religious groups,institutions, and identities from public support and participation in public decision making’(p. 12). Secularism asserts that society is better off curtailing the roles of religion to a limitedsphere without government support (or even suppressing religion altogether). It sees theseparation of church and state to be inherently positive and even very wise. (It should benoted that in the context of India, the term ‘secularism’ has a different, unique meaning,which refers to guaranteed constitutional protections for India’s religious groups, where thestate plays an active role in their preservation.)One can also differentiate other important forms of pluralism in religious discourse suchas ‘epistemological pluralism’ and ‘theological pluralism’. In theological language, ‘religious pluralism’ has a specific meaning in relation to other faiths, which posits that the world’sreligious are all efficacious paths to salvation/liberation. This theory, championed by thephilosopher John Hick and many others, remains highly influential today, although it is oftencriticized. (see pp. 11–14)

 

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