Tag Archives: world religions

Thoughts on a definition of idolatry

Something caught my attention in Guthrie’s definition of idolatry as “giving absolute loyalty to something that is only a creature rather than the Creator.”1 It occurred to me that the definition provides a good opening for arguing that the practices … Continue reading

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Thinking about the Mahabharata

I have been thinking about the Mahabharata. Not because I am an expert. I finally acquired the new-ish huge-for-an-abridgement English translation of this epic sacred text by John D. Smith, but haven’t read it. I have read the Bhagavad-Gita, but … Continue reading

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The Gita is not the “Hindu Bible”

One of the pitfalls of the “world religions approach” is students’ understandable tendency to want to fit everything into a paradigm they already know. Understandable, because the approach itself developed on the foundation of 19th century scholars’ and colonialists’ efforts … Continue reading

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Reading for World Religions

This [delightful, but massive] book1 has been on my shelf for at least five years – long past the time it was withdrawn from the Indian market, according to one commentator because it “wasn’t boring enough.” I have managed to … Continue reading

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Getting Ready for World Religions

The small liberal arts university where I occasionally teach offers courses in “World Religions.” The discipline of Religious Studies questions the “world religions approach” these days, for good reasons, along with the very idea of “religion” as separate from things … Continue reading

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Where are the Western Religions West of?

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – the typical subjects of “western” world religions courses – originate geographically in south-western Asia, more or less. That’s considerably “east” of, say, Louisville, Kentucky if one were to, for instance, “travel to the Holy Land.” … Continue reading

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Another Outline for “Western Religions”

I keep trying to organize the material in the introduction to the “western” world religions class I sometimes teach in a way that allows us to cover off the religion trivia/jeopardy questions (In “All About Abe” for $100: “Judaism, Christianity, … Continue reading

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