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Religious Responses

Key terms from chapter one of Fisher's "Living Religions".

absolutist Believing in one's own religion as completely and exclusively true.
agnosticism Belief that if there is anything beyond this life, it is impossible for humans to know it.
allegory Narrative using symbols to convey abstract ideas.
atheism Belief that there is no deity.
awakening Full awareness of an invisible reality.
charisma Magnetic attraction, a quality often ascribed to spiritual leaders.
comparitive religion A discipline that attempts to compare and understand patterns found in different religious traditions.
Creationism Belief that all life was created by God.
Darwinism Belief that life evolved by biological processes such as natural selection.
dogma Doctrines proclaimed as absolutely true by religious institutions.
enlightenment Wisdom that is thought to come from direct experience of Ultimate Reality.
exclusivism Belief that one's own tradition is the only true religion and that others are invalid.
fundamentalism Insistence on what is percieved as the historical form of one's religion.
gnosis Intuitive knowledge of spiritual realities.
heretic One whose assertions about religion are considered false by his or her religious institution.
immanent Present in the visible world.
incarnation Physical embodiment of the divine.
intelligent design Theory that scientific discoveries prove the existence of an all-encompassing Designer, since they reveal complexities beyond chance or evolutionary process.
liberal Taking a flexible, non-dogmatic approach.
metaphysics Philosophy based on theories of subtle realities that transcend the physical world.
monotheism Belief that there is only one deity.
mysticism The intuitive perception of spiritual truths beyond the limits of reason.
myth A symbolic story expressing ideas about reality or spiritual history.
orthodox Strictly standing by recieved traditions.
phenomenology Study of religious practices to comprehend their meaning for their practitioners.
polytheism Belief that there are many deities.
profane Worldly, secular, as opposed to sacred.
realisation Personal awareness of the existence of Unseen Reality.
redaction Editing and organisation of a religion's scriptures.
religion A particular response to dimensions of life considered sacred, as shaped by institutionalised traditions.
ritual Repeated, patterned religious act.
sacred The realm of the extraordinary, beyond everyday perceptions, the supernatural, holy.
scientific materialism Belief that only the material world exists and that the supernatural is only imagined by humans.
spirituality Any personal response to dimensions of life that are considered sacred.
symbol Visible representation of an invisible reality or concept.
theism Belief in a deity or deities.
transcendent Spiritual reality that exists apart from the material universe.
universalism Acceptance that truth may be found in all religions.
Created by: edevarney



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