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Author Topic: A Definition of Religion  (Read 2165 times)

sailor

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Re: A Definition of Religion
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 09:01:10 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;73608
Solitaries and hermits (without community) some Buddhists (are complete atheists); some new religious movements (with no coherent shared myths); Quakers (no ritual).

There is nothing that all religions have in common, hence the difficulty of defining them - as I was saying in the other thread. I'm not sure replacing all the more controversial qualities with 'lifestyle' is any more helpful - although it might include more people.

 
Quakers do have ritual.  They worship in a specific way for their version. That the style of worship is to sit their quietly unless moved to speak does not mean it is not a form of ritual.

Sophia C

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A Definition of Religion
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2012, 10:06:27 am »
Quote from: sailor;73894
Quakers do have ritual.  They worship in a specific way for their version. That the style of worship is to sit their quietly unless moved to speak does not mean it is not a form of ritual.

As someone who has been a Quaker (a regular attender rather than a formal member), I would say it depends on your view of what ritual is. Many Quakers would say they reject ritual and that their form of worship bypasses it entirely (George Fox claimed this). Others might agree with you, if your definition of ritual is 'any way to worship or commune with god/s' - but it's not most people's definition. (And of course, many Quakers are not worshiping god/s at all in Quaker meeting - the non-theist Quakers.) Quakerism is very anti-ritual, on the whole.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
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Re: A Definition of Religion
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2012, 10:49:30 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;73895
As someone who has been a Quaker (a regular attender rather than a formal member), I would say it depends on your view of what ritual is. Many Quakers would say they reject ritual and that their form of worship bypasses it entirely (George Fox claimed this). Others might agree with you, if your definition of ritual is 'any way to worship or commune with god/s' - but it's not most people's definition. (And of course, many Quakers are not worshiping god/s at all in Quaker meeting - the non-theist Quakers.) Quakerism is very anti-ritual, on the whole.

 
It seems to me that what was described was a procedure of appropriate behaviour, and thus a ritual.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

sailor

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Re: A Definition of Religion
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2012, 11:52:34 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;73897
It seems to me that what was described was a procedure of appropriate behaviour, and thus a ritual.

 
Yes. They do the same thing the same way from week to week and from Meeting to Meeting.

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A Definition of Religion
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 12:25:59 pm »
Quote from: sailor;73902
Yes. They do the same thing the same way from week to week and from Meeting to Meeting.

By that definition, almost everything is a ritual, including going to class when you're in college, eating lunch, etc. They might all be described as ritual, but they're not religious ritual - and it depends on your definition of ritual.

Appropriate group behaviour happens all the time - it isn't always ritualistic, although it is always a social construction.

I'm not saying that Quaker meeting isn't ritual. It just depends very much on your definition. Defining this for Quakers, without them getting a say in it, when many of them strongly reject *religious* ritual, seems as disrespectful as when someone else tells me I'm New Age (sociologists of religion, usually). I'm not, but it depends on your (subjective) definition.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 12:27:30 pm by Naomi J »
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