1. According to Nye, what is the problem with making “belief” central to the study of religion? In what ways might doing so reflect Christian biases in the study of religion?
2. According to Nye, in what ways do the the theories of Feuerbach, Marx, and Freud, along with cognitive approaches to the study of religion, exhibit reductionism?
3. According to Nye, what are some different ways in which the term “belief” can be used or understood?
4. Why, according to Nye, can’t belief and practice be separated?
5. Nye discusses eight particular ways of looking at rituals. Summarize and discuss each of these. Note: this will require a longer than normal answer, and is worth 50 points of the total.
6. Why, according to Nye, is it important to look beyond canonical texts in the study of religion, to those woven into other cultural outlets?
7. What are some of the issues that arise in translation? How do our presuppositions impact translations?
8. What does Nye mean when he says that “reading is not necessarily a neutral activity, but happens within a sphere of political relations”? Explain.
1. According to Martin, how does the process of essentializing work through the projection of an essence, labeling, attaching characteristics, and defining social roles? Discuss a religious and non-religious example.
2. What is group bias, according to Martin? How does it foster in-group behavior? Discuss at least one example.
3. How, according to Martin, how is socialization internalized? How does this internalization reinforce social positions and roles? Discuss at least one example.
4. According to Martin, what key elements do all social groups share? Make sure to discuss, not just list, these.
5. What is naturalization, according to Martin? How does naturalization function in terms of domination and social reproduction?
6. What is meritocracy, according to Martin? Why does Martin suggest that meritocracy is largely a myth?
7. What is habitus, according to Martin? How is habitus linked to class differences in society, and how does it reinforce what is considered “normal”? Discuss at least one example.
8. What is the relationship between habitus and religion, according to Martin? Discuss at least one example.
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