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Student Name:

This exam is open book and open notes. All answers must be in your own words, not quoted
verbatim from class texts or lecture slides.
The exam is due FRIDAY MARCH 24 by 11:59p.
Definitions (1-2 sentences; 2 pts each)
1. Phenomenology: this is the study of phenomenon, which concentrates on the study of how
we perceive things, and the objects of direct experience.
2. Pantheism: reality is what is truth, what is divine, there are no particular Gods.
3. Animism: this is the theory that every single religions has a supernatural world; an invisible
spirit which sees everything we do.
4. Naturism: is the theory which says that people created religion because of fears of
dependence on natural forces
5. Salah: is the word used for worship, bowing, homepage, or praying used by the Muslim
religion. (Language; Arab)
6. Monothetic definition: defines religion on a single characteristic which explains the
7. Functionalist definition: the nucleus of religion is how it affects, and how it influences
8. Fundamentalism: all groups of people who posses a literal maximalist interpretation of
their religion, for example people talking about the resurrection of christ in a literal way,
virgin Mary being pregnant without intercourse, the angel visiting her. this term is best used
when talking about christian protestant evangelical idea.

9. Explain the importance of these methods in the study of religion. (1-2 sentences each; 4
Self-consciousness: self-consciousness is important in the study off religion because it is
part of how we perceive religion, and what we think religion should look like. Self-
conscious varies depending on our own cultural background. Depends on cultural and
intellectual understanding of what religion is.
Comparison: comparing one phenomenon to another one, while analyzing things in
similar and also their differences. this is thought to be on elf the most basic things people
do to gain understanding about the world
Defamiliarization: making something that is familiar to us seem strange, and not familiar
in order to make us question the basis of our beliefs.
Empathy: trying to understand how other people feel, and how they make sense of
themselves. accepting that cultures that are different to ours make sense to other people.

10. List and explain the ABCS of Prayer (1-2 sentences each; 4 points):
Affirmation- reminding yourself that what you believe is true. there are prayers that confirm that
someone believes in the church, god, and everything about the church.
Benediction- usually at the end of a church service the congregation receives a blessing.
Commendation- recognizes how amazing god is, and how everything about him is true, condemning
ones actions to that who is the truth, (god)
Supplication- asking help and aid from god, seeking forgiveness, and help.

11. List and explain the four Orders of Meaning at work in the study of religion (1-2
sentences each; 4 pts):
1st order is immediate- the personal knowledge and experience of an individual. Insiders
2nd order is reflective- theological reflections within a religious community.
3rd order is academic- scholar trying to analyze the role of religion in peoples life from a non
personal experience.
4th order is synthetic- our own experiences but using the 3rd order as well in order for a deeper
understanding. for example explaining the relationship between 4th of July and the hajj

Theorist-specific definitions define the following terms referencing the theorist associated with
them (2-3 sentences each; 2 pts each)
12. Hierophany: a manifestation of the sacred, or the divine, specially in a sacred place, time or
13. Axis Mundi: The center of the world
14. Mysterium tremendum et fascinans: a non rational experience or emotion, this related to
Rudolph Ottos Idea of the holy.
15. Sick souls: make up most of the people in the world, does not marginalize evil in the
world. Sick sounds often seek conversion. the best religions are those who help people find
guidance within themselves.
16. Piacular rites: this often involves self-mutilation, sacrifices, and putting one in danger.
mostly happened during rituals.
17. Liminal states of ritual: stages in which people find new ways of being, having their eyes
opened to different beliefs. Participants go through a transition into something until the
ritual in over.
18. Conversion experience: this experience can feel like someone self surrenders of rebirth.
can be voluntary or spontaneous. The outcome of this experience results in positive changes
and moral issues to follow under a religion

21. List and explain William James four criteria of religious experiences (1-2 sentences
each; 4 pts):
Ineffable: something that is impossible to talk about.
noetic: how to connect with the hidden structures of religion, or life.
Transient: they do not stay, we cannot remain in them
Passive : they happen to us, not as a result of our direct action.

Short answers (answers should be in the range of 3-4 sentences; 3 pts each)
22. How is the academic study of religion different from theology? Religious studies focuses
on different studies around the world, whereas theology is more biased to the Protestant and
roman catholic religion. Theology also requires its learners to have some sort of religious
affiliation, whereas the study of religion does not, and concentrates more on the academic
study of religion.
23. What did Jonathan Z. Smith mean by saying religion is a category imposed from the
outside? what he meant by saying that religion is something imposed from the outside is
that people see their religion as natural given. religion is an category imposed
anthropological, it is influenced by human thought, action and norms.
24. Explain the insider / outsider problem in the study of religion.
Insider (emic) - the insider is engaged with the religion, this person might have a personal
connection with the religion, or is willing to attend ceremonies to better understand the religion

Outsider (etic) - is not connected to the religions of study in a personal way. how can we
explain what it is like to be religious?
25. is totemism, and what did Emile Durkheim mean when he said if [the totem] is at once
the symbol of the god and of the society, is that not because the god and the society are
one? Religion is there to serve a social purpose, and function. it is something that a group of
people follow. it also carries social sentiments, ,meaning that people act a certain way
keeping in mind others, and for the good of other. Also acting and participating in religious
acts shows solidarity to the group, because religion is stronger when people want to form
solid social bonds.
26. What does Clifford Geertz mean when he says religious conceptions are clothed with
such an aura of factuality? religion is based upon a certain accepted authorities about the
world. in many religions rituals reinforce the positions of those authorities. these authorities
suggest a certain style of life, with persuasive authority, these ideas become the truth among
27. What did Mircea Eliade mean by the term illud tempus, why did he think it was
important? he thought it was important because illud tempus means mythical times or
primordialal times which talks about a time in which Gods walked on the face of the earth.
entering sacred times in rituals means becoming timeless.
28. What does William James mean by first-hand and second-hand religion, and how do
they relate to each other? first hand religious experience is talking about the heart of the
religion, for example Jesus being the son of god experienced first hand religious experience,
or maybe jesus disciples. second hand religion is talking about the teachings, practices, and
attitudes of religious experiences.
29. What does it mean that rituals transform (provide at least one example)? rituals
transform because people consciously do things to repeat the origins. people symbolically
reenact the myth.
30. Compare and contrast how Emile Durkheim and Mircea Eliade understand the
categories of the sacred and the profane. Emile Durkheim believed in protecting the
sacred. from the profane. there were Prohibitions, taboos. he also believed in setting aside
holidays, festivals, separating from profane stuff.
Mircea eliade believes that the sacred contains all reality and that other things acquire reality
depending on how closely related they are to the sacred.
31. Compare and contrast the prayer practices of two different traditions (your choice),
noting both similarities and differences.
Roman catholics believe in prayer at any given time of the day. People go to the churches and
pray after receiving the body of christ. it is allowed to pray individually, but it is more
encouraged to pray as a group. However this only happens in special occasions, not all of the
Hindu worship is primarily an individual act rather than a communal one, as it involves making
personal offerings to the deity. Worshippers repeat the names of their favorite gods and
goddesses, and repeat mantras. Water, fruit, flowers and incense are offered to god.

Essay question (3-4 paragraphs; 20 pts) CHOOSE ONE OPTION

a) Choose two theorists of religion and comparatively evaluate their understanding of
religion. How do they make sense of religion? What is religion all about? Who do you
think offers a more convincing understanding of religion, and why? Your answer
should reference their methods and supporting methodologies, and integrate examples
drawn from Hinduism and/or Islam.

William James method was to gather testimonies from people, it didn't matter if they
were old, or young, weird or wise, he wanted to who had encountered the divine in some
powerful, life-affecting form. He believed that religion is a powerful life changing experience
with primal reality. He was able to distinguish superstitions from religion. William James
believed that the essence of religious experience, the thing by which we finally must judge
them, must be that element or quality in them which we can meet nowhere else. (45). William
James made sense of religion by questioning the logics of certain religions. For example, is god
willing to prevent evil but unable to do so? If he is able to prevent evil why is there so much evil
in the world? does that make him malevolent or less than a god? His method for gathering and
methodology in the Islam comes to a conclusion that Both in their (the sufis) acts and in their
inaction, whether internal or external, they are illumined by the light which proceeds from the
prophetic source. (1958, p. 338). This statement demonstrates how he was able to recognize
that the Sufis during the ceremony were acquiring a light, a power, peace that couldn't be found
anywhere else, and that by them doing this during the rituals it was a life changing experience.
Emily Durkheims method to study religion was genetic which seeks the moment in
which religious consciousness first appeared. his metholody was to understand all of the multiple
forms of religious believes by starting studies where there were not any alterations to the
religion, or was any confusions. He believed that religion served as a social function, that people
were able to created stronger and more solid bonds by praying together and participating in
religious acts collectively. Durkheim believed that there were 2 parts to humans the individual
being and the social being. The individual being seeks shelter, love and food, and also is selfish,
care about no one but him or herself. The social being in which people perform social acts done
on behalf of the group., as members of a nation, clan, or tribe. When talking about islam and the
beliefs that Durkheim had we see a lot of similarities that follow the teaching of what a religion
should be. Durkheim believed in religion serving as a social function to bring peace, and well
being to people. and islam talks about peace, unity, and having a group organization that is
I believe that the theorist that explains religion better for me is William James, his
method to collect information is more accurate because it asks people about their experiences
with religion. old people, young, smart or weird. By him doing this there is a bigger chance that
he will understand religion better. from the eyes of a experienced man, to the eyes of a child who
is just understanding the world. He also made sense of religion by questioning it, and asking
questions that went against logic.