Chapter 11 Final Flashcards Preview

Religion & Society > Chapter 11 Final > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 11 Final Deck (41):


Coming up with a solution to a problem using the technology at hand



New awareness of something that exists in the environment.



The apparent movement of cultural traits from one society to another.


Stimulus diffusion

What occurs when an idea moves from one culture to another and stimulates the invention of a new trait.



The process whereby a culture accepts traits from a dominant society.



A condition whereby a dominated culture has changed so much because of outside influences that it ceases to have its own distinct identify.



: A fusing of traits from two cultures to form something new and yet permitting the retention of the old by subsuming the old into a new form.



Movement of a population out of their homeland


Revitalization movement

: A movement that forms in an attempt to deliberately bring about change in a society.


Nativistic movement

A type of revitalization movement that develops in traditional societies that are threatened by the activities of more technologically advanced societies.


Revivalistic movements

A type of revitalization movements that attempts to revive what is often perceived as a past golden age.


Millenarian movement

: A type of revitalization movement that envisions a change through an apocalyptic transformation.


Messianic movement

A type of revitalization movement that is based on the appearance of a divine savior in human form who will bring about the solution to the problems that exist within the society.


Cargo cult

Religious movement occurring among small-scale societies of Melanesia in response to culture contact; the movement focuses on the attainment of trade goods



A new branch of a mainstream religion, usually involving new revelations, new scriptures, and a new leader.


Choice fatigue

A situation in which individuals in a culture are faced with too many options, such as when a single dominant church is replaced by numerous denominations and sects.



A religious group that differs on just a few points from the mainstream religion.



Historical meaning is a particular form or system of religious worship. Most commonly
used to describe a small, recently created and spiritually innovative group, often with a single charismatic leader. Connotations of the term include that the leader is evil, in total control of his followers, and believes that the end of the world is imminent.


New religious movement

A historically recent religious movement, often involving new leaders and new scriptures or new interpretations of older religious traditions.


High demand religion

A religious group in which much is demanded of members in terms of
strict adherence to rules for thought and behavior.



A religious movement characterized by a return to fundamental principles, usually including a resistance to modernization and an emphasis on certainty through a literal interpretation of scriptures.



The belief that religion is relevant to, and should be a part of, all parts of a society.



The practice of justifying beliefs and actions by reference to the religious text.



The idea that religious texts are relevant to life today.



• Is characterized by a return to essential, foundational principles, usually including a resistance to modernization and an emphasis on certainty through a literal interpretation of scriptures (cf. Stein and Stein, 2011: 261)
- best to understand fundamentalism not as theology, but rather as social policy, as political ideology or simply as ideology
o reaction especially against modernity
• modernity has widened the gap


• Modernity poses 5 problems for the traditional religions (below)

• abstraction
 Durkheim lecture
 Pulling away from traditional solidarity including a strong sense of relationship
• futurity
 you go forward with always a reference to the past
• individuation
 Peter L. Berger’s argument is that all these things are harmful to religion
 Christianity is a great example (others are as well) → they all emphasize community
 An individual could not survive alone
 In modern society, individualism is enabled by technology, restructuring of the means of production and the social order, and so we live more individually – less relationship
• liberation
 democracy
 freedom of individualization and choice – equals decisions
 This is at ad variance with much of the scriptural values of the historic religions
• secularization (more later)


Secularization • Problem of definition

• This term was a problem in the 1970s – a lot of data was used to describe a lot of information with a lot of different agendas
• While this dominated religion in the 70s and 80s, it was chaotic
• We finally, like the world “cult” thought that the word “secularize/ism” was of no use – and tried to put it away → was not successful
o The concept is needed
o Continues to be a problem in current literature


Secularization • Problem of analysis

o The study of religion takes out an awareness of a profound change that was taking place that included a declined in religious monopoly
o Secularization scholarship pulls together a lot of theoretical writing


A Typology of Secularism

. The decline of the religion
• 2. Conformity with ‘this world’
• 3. Disengagement of society from religion
o e.g. the school system being separate from any religious body
• 4. Transposition of religious functions
o Instead of going to the mosque, you go to Comic-con.
o Instead of going to the young adults group in the religious organization you commit to something else.
• Something else that meets the two essential human needs: sense of meaning and belonging
• 5. Weber’s Entzauberung (Disenchantment, or loss-of-the-sacred)
o E.g.: Protestant Reformation is seen by many theorists as a secularizing affect – it took away sacred images and therefore removes the sense of wonder, makes it more intellectual, less emotional


Religion is patriarchal

It is constructed by men to maintain their own power. It oppresses women and undermines their authority
• Spirituality is free of patriarchy


Religion is homophobic

fails to celebrate the full range of sexuality and gender identity
• Spirituality is free of homophobia


Religion is otherworldly and transcendentalist

It does not have enough to say about the experience of the sacred in creation. It does not teach us how to live harmoniously with nature; rather, it mandates the human species to have power and “dominion” over the earth.
• In our time of ecological crisis, spirituality asks, “What can a human-centred/human-exclusive religion contribute to the survival of the planet?”


Religion is about salvation from Sin

which is understood as doing wrong.
• Spirituality is about saving the planet.


Religion seeks perfection as its goal

the contemporary era has found perfection to be unrealistic.
• Spirituality seeks wholeness.


Religion is dualistic

instructs the spirit to triumph over the body and its vital desires.
• Spirituality seeks to bring spirit and body, sacredness and sexuality together in a redemptive experience.


Religion is hierarchical and elitist

It rules from above, and excludes the voice of the people and democratic understanding.
• Spirituality is for people who do not trust authority figures.


Religion is dogmatic and external to our lives

It imposes laws and rules upon us and demands that a person conform to devotional practices, without enquiring into the nature of the self that is to be transformed or offering a psychology or pathway by which the individual can be transformed.
• Spirituality allows for individual personal growth and self-actualization.


Religion imposes the Big Story of theology upon our experience without exploring the Little Stories of our individual biographies which might give a theology a foothold in our lives.

• Spiritual people reject religion not because they do not believe, but because they are not believed.


Religion is fused with the social establishment and too identified with business, government, and commerce to be able to offer a critique of the world. Religion does not provide enough challenge to society but simply reinforces and supports its basic values and as such cannot represent the life of the spirit.

• Spirituality is secular in the American sense of separation of church and state, in the Canadian sense of separating religion from public life. Young adults value secular society in which individual private spiritual expression is freely possible.


Religion is monolithic, frozen, fixed, historic

• Spirituality is dynamic.


. Religion is a destination.

• Spirituality is a journey.