tisdag 3 mars 2009

How does one define a religion? Part 2

Dear Helen and Friends
Dina's definition of religion is not the definition used academically.
Religion instead refers to a belief system based on a specific divinity or set of divinities. A foundation Dina illuminatingly has left out.
What Dina is referring to is what since the Greeks has been called "philosophy", "the admiration of knowledge".
But Dina's definition is interesting nevertheless, since Zoroastrianism is not a religion in the classic sense.
Which just goes to prove the post-colonial studies thesis that ALL belief systems prior to the Greeks have clumsily been referred to as "religions" to keep the European monopoly on the innovation of the discipline of "philosophy". This myth needs to be exposed and any serious acadmic would of course do precisely that.
Zoroastrianism is "a way of life", "a culture", "a belief system". For example, n my native tongue Swedish, the term religion is rarely used for a phenomenon like Zoroastrianism, the proper word is instead "livsåskådning", meaning "a way of looking at existence" (and I'm sorry if English is a poorer language than the Scandinavian tongues in this department).

2009/3/3 Helen Gerth

Dear Dina,

How would one then distinguish it from 'philosophy'... religion of course includes a philosophy of a way of living...but philosophy is not always a religion...

Obviously I have a particular thought in mind...hence the question to see if others see it the same way....or how it is different...

Thank you!

Peace and happiness always,

--- On Tue, 3/3/09, DINAMCI@aol.com wrote:

From: DINAMCI@aol.com
Subject: [Ushta] Reply to Helen re How does one define a religion
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 1:08 PM

Dear Helen,

If you want a definition in a nutshell, I would say that religion according to Zarathushtra means using your mind / heart to search for what is true and right, and think it, speak it, and do it in all the many and varied circumstances of your life. In other words, it is a beneficent way of living.

Wishing us the best,

Dina G. McIntyre.

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Gerth
To: Ushta
Sent: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 3:16 pm
Subject: [Ushta] How does one define a religion

Dear all,

What is the definition of a religion.... and how does Zoroastrianism meet this definition?

Up front I will say that I have no expectations. ..and I realize that there will be numerous different answers...

Thank you for indulging me if you have time or interest...

Ushta te,

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