I’m working on a religion discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Livingston says that “the perception of deity affects a society’s understanding of nature, of the human condition, and of what constitutes human salvation, liberation, or optimal state of well being” (154). He then takes us on a tour of animism and polytheism to dualism and pantheism and monism, to monotheism. to panentheism (God’s Being as the whole universe).
How did changes in human society from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Age precipitate changes in religion in this period?
Why do sky gods and mother goddesses figure so prominently in early civilizations and the emergence of agriculture and city states?
Which examples does Livingston develop for cosmic dualism? What elements of Zoroastrinianism carried over into the religions of the Middle East, the religions of the book – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?
How do monotheistic conceptions of God differ from other views of deity, such as polytheism, pantheism, and monism? How do monotheistic views of God separate from nature? What are some of the attributes of God associated by monotheistic religions? Can monotheists live comfortably in a world where other people are animists or polytheists?
Turning to WORLD RELIGIONS IN AMERICA, how have African Americans, Eastern Orthodox, and Hindus uniquely perceived God?
Chet Meyers who taught Religious Studies at Metro State for many years provides us with even more vocabulary to describe Deity: Wakan-Tanka, union with the Divine, Ultimate Reality, Compassionate Transcendent, Higher Power, Great Mystery, The Body of God. The source of sacred power seems to be a universal factor in all the world’s religions from Neolithic animism to contemporary religion.
How do YOU make sense of the full range of human and cultural variations on “deity” as has been defined and portrayed down through the ages and world cultures? Are there any religious expressions of deity that you are not comfortable with or would not want to encounter?