Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lived religion

Here's what students in Lived Religion in New York, none of whom has prior experience with the theory of religion, came up with when asked what they think "religion" involves. "Higher power" and "perceived [sic!] divine" are easiest to see in the photo, but I started out at top left. They came strikingly late, though before ritual. Other old flames like "god(s)" or the supernatural or the afterlife didn't show up at all. The closest, intriguingly, was the relatively early "a way of relating." "Relating tooooo... what? people? the universe?" I prompted, but it was meant more generally, and somewhat reluctantly explained as involving "fitting into something larger than the self." So are we as a class already seeing religion as "lived religion," untempted by other views?

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