REL100 Exam 3 Review

In the prior exam period, you used your hermeneutics of suspicion to think about how a number of discourses function as tools of social construction. Classification, structure, and habitus became terms by which you could deconstruct essentialist understandings of society and move toward a critical and more sophisticated understanding of how society works. In this exam period, we returned to the question of “religion” as an opportunity to highlight other discourses that we often struggle to see in action–namely legitimation, authority, and authenticity.

As you prepare for this exam, I recommend that you check that you’ve met the learning objectives underneath each unit header below. 

  • Reading the material and participating in class is the first step, and to help you reify that material, I’ve posted review videos. 
  • I would then make sure I can define the vocabulary terms and concepts under each unit heading. Make flashcards to test your recall of the concepts. And rather than thinking about the terms in isolation, practice relating all the words to each other.
  • I’d make sure I could tutor a classmate on the learning objectives using my mastery of the key words and concepts.
  • Finally, I would practice working through the concepts and models with examples that are familiar to you.

Beyond this, the participation quizzes (required) will help you focus in on areas you may need to review or ask questions. And the interactive notebook assignments (optional) can help you sharpen your understanding.

Unit 7: How Religion Works: Legitimation

discourse (summarize p. 104)

legitimation (p. 104-106)

Note that if discourse is a societal means; legitimation is a social end.

Martin’s point on the usefulness (or not) of differentiating religious from non-religious legitimation (p.105-106) is really important for us. Summarize it in a few sentences.

Then I’d like you make sure that you are clear on Martin’s analogy, culture as toolboxes for legitimating the social order. Jot down the following seven components to this understanding:

And Martin has a specific understanding of the social order. The things listed above result in the development of the following three things which you should write down.

  • insider/outsider boundaries.
  • social positions and social hierarchies.
  • social roles, moral norms, and behavioral codes.

Unit 8: How Religion Works: Authority

  • Return to Origins
  • False Universalism
  • Authoritative Figures as Mirrors
  • Authority and Audience
  • Selective Privileging 
  • Challenging Authority 
  • Responding to Challenges

Unit 9: How Religion Works: Authenticity

  • Deconstruct authenticity as an essentialist claim,
  • Consider authenticity as a means of legitimation.

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