As the readings “What is Religion?’ and my PowerPoint lecture on “Religion” argues, learning how to analyze and understand “Religion” and “religions” is not just an abstract endeavor.
As the readings “What is Religion?’ and my PowerPoint lecture on “Religion” argues, learning how to analyze and understand “Religion” and “religions” is not just an abstract endeavor. Important legal and social issues often ride on how one defines religion and which groups and organizations are consider “religions” or “religious movements.” Re-read the material on the Prince Philip Movement, “What is Religion?” and my lecture. Here is the essay question:
Using a) Paul Tillich’s definition of religion as “Ultimate Concern”, and b) the definition of religion you formulated earlier this semester, in a coherent essay examine whether the Prince Philip Movement should be considered a religion, and why / why not?
Paul Tillich’s definition of religion (or what he terms “religious faith” is discussed in the PowerPoint Lecture on “Religion” . Below you will find a short quote from Tillich in which he also discusses his definition of Religion. In your essay integrate and deploy the various skills, qualities and theoretical approaches to studying and understanding “religion” that you have studied so far this semester. Make sure you tell me what is the definition of “religion” you formulated during the first week of the class, and make sure you apply both your definition and Tillich’s to the case study of the Prince Philip Movement. If since you came up with your definition you have revised it, that is fine. But in your essay say how and why you made changes.
Paul Tillich on Religious Faith as Ultimate Concern – “(Religious) faith is the state of being ultimately concerned: the dynamics of faith are the dynamics of man’s ultimate concern. Man, like every living being, is concerned about many things, above all about those which condition his very existence, such as food and shelter. But man, in contrast to other living beings, has spiritual concerns. . . . If a concern claims ultimacy it demand the total surrender of him who accepts this claim, and it promises total fulfillment even if all other claims have to be subjected to it or rejected in its name.. . .But it is not only the unconditional demand made by that which is the ultimate concern, it is also the promise of fulfillment which is accepted in the act of religious faith. . . .An example is the faith manifest in the Old Testament. It also has the character of ultimate concern. The content of this concern is the God of justice. . . . Another example – almost a counter-example – is the ultimate concern with “success” and with social standing and economic power. It is the god of many of many people in the highly competitive Western culture and it does what every ultimate concern must do: it demands unconditional surrender to its laws.” – Paul Tillich