Aesthetic dimension in religious traditions
Aesthetic dimension is the notion, which comprises a lot of smaller notions and considerations. Generally, the aesthetic dimension is everything. Defining this notion, it should be mentioned that combining two words, this notion takes something from the definition of each. Thus, aesthetics is related to beauty, and dimension can be stated as the notion which denotes measurement. Therefore, the aesthetic dimension can be defined via art, which is the understanding of the whole world depicted there. In other words, a dimension of such specific notions as truth, promise, etc., should be established by the aesthetic form.
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Relating the notion of aesthetic dimension to any of the religious traditions which we have studied, it should be mentioned, that even if the aesthetic experience does not define the religion it does not mean that religion fails to provide aesthetic experience. Using Buddhism as the focus for discussion, it is important to state that evanescence is considered to be the central aesthetic dimension. For instance, one should not value a plastic flower as something the most beautiful in the world as it can exist forever and do not fade. A living flower that goes through the whole life cycle is really beautiful as its beauty is explained by the desire to save the flower to make it live longer.
So having related aesthetic dimension to Buddhism and the specifics of its tradition and values, it should be underlined one more time that the insight of evanescence is a value of the religious tradition, within the discussed point. From this angle, Buddhism inspires people to be gentler and kind to the relation of living beings, as death is inevitable, so the beauty of existence is in it.
Religious maximalism in religious traditions
Religious maximalism is an approach to viewing and practicing religion according to which religion should be spread on all other spheres of life. A religious maximalist is an individual who views all the aspects of the social reality from the point of view of sacred writings. According to this approach, religious studies have to be put into the basis of education, social, and ethical norms.
An example of using religious maximalism in practice is the literary works by Naipaul, which were popular among a wide audience and were awarded the Noble Prizes. For example, his book Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey provides a valuable insight into the role of religion within the Islamic community. Describing his traveling to the holy cities, the author reflects upon the lifestyles of their inhabitants and concluded that there is nothing bad about the dominance of religious views over the rest of the spheres of life. Naipaul’s main assumption is that there is nothing in Muslim traditions that would contradict the principles of democracy and violate basic human rights.
On the contrary, during his traveling around the sacred places, Naipaul observes the numerous advantages of using the religious norms of Islam for explaining and controlling human existence. Building the bridge between the social and religious norms of the observed communities, Naipaul claims that the increased religiosity resulted in the promotion of brotherhood and reduced the gap between different social classes.
Naipaul is a religious maximalist because, in his books, the author promoted the idea of strengthening the religious norms for controlling all spheres of human existence. He claimed that it would be beneficial for the community.
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Describe John Noyes’ understanding of the propagative and amative functions of sexuality and discuss their implications for doctrine and practice in the Oneida community
John Noyes was the founder of the Oneida Community, which believed that Christ had already returned to the earth to allow the members of the community to become free from sins and lead perfect life on the Earth, not just on Heaven. John Noyes practiced a specific understanding of sexuality and tried to apply it to the Oneida community. The main idea of John Noyes’ understanding of functions of sexuality, propagative, and amative, should be separated as they are distinctive.
The main idea of the amative function of life, according to Noyes, was the formation of the specifically twinned spiritual interchange. Still, there is not a word about stability in relations. People should make physical love as something sacrament. Such non-reproductive sexual relations should not be tied or limited. People should not be chained to each other as it is a contradiction to the natural laws of humanity.
Still, Noyes did not set the goal to stop race reproduction. The propagative function was based on the following principles. When a person wanted a child, she had to search for an ideal parent a wise choice had to be made. Community members did not have an opportunity to choose a parent for a child. Committee of Elders was elected and they crated pair for reproduction. Children had to be selected individuals, as the choice of parents was based on sexual desire but wise choice.
But, those who had children wanted some stability and monogamy, wanted to have a loving husband and be sure in their future. Thus, it may be concluded that Noyes could not influence human nature and change their understanding of sexuality, to ruin their vision of life.
What is the importance of food in cadomblé? What functions does food serve?
Food plays an important role in Candomble because it is used for ritualistic purposes in this religion.
Candomble is a polytheistic religion which was originated in Africa, and today is practiced mainly in Brazil. It is an oral tradition because there are no sacred writings in this religion. Passing Candomble from generation to generation, people honored their rituals of sacrifice. Sacrifice means that main objects such as vegetables, animals, or minerals are given to deities for earning their favor. Moreover, people believe that if the sacred rituals are not fulfilled, the deities will be angry with humans and will take revenge on them.
According to Candomble, the axe is a concept representing life energy and strength. It is life-giving and can be found in plants and animals. In people, the axe is located in the heart, lungs, and liver. The adherents of this religion have to sacrifice vegetables and animals to their deities to receive axe in return.
The most important ritual of Candomble consists of two main parts, namely preparation of costumes and food and a large banquet. Traditionally, some domestic animals are killed, and some of their parts are left for sacrificial purposes. Though the dances and religious music play a vital role in this ritual, the food prepared for the banquet is very important. The adherents of Candomble pay special attention to the choice and preparation of dishes for this banquet because they believe that it allows them to receive more axe from the vegetables and animal food they eat.
In general, in Candomble food can be sacrificed for receiving the favor of gods in the form of better harvest and rain if it is necessary. Food is also essential for the banquet part of the rituals because people believe that it can provide them with the axe, the source of life energy.