So this semester I am taking a class called Documentary Film and Religion. Although I’m at a Christian university and we are required to a religion course, this is my second one. I may not be the most devote Catholic or Christian but I absolutely love hearing and learning and questioning religion and what it means to society.
In class tonight, our professor Darren Middleton, had us watch a film called Oh My God. It’s a film that takes a journey around the world and asks several different people of all ages and races and cultures to define God or their idea of a sacred power.
You should definitely watch the trailer, if not even watch the film. I wanted to write down some of my favorite quotes and ideas from the movie.
- Truth has been diluted by too many voices.
- God has created one race and that is the human race.
- Does God give validity to lost souls who want to belong?
- An ocean can contain a drop, but a drop is not an ocean. (talking about how one view cannot describe the power and mystery of God)
- The space between sound is God.
- Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Muslim, Buddhism are peace. The people and followers are conflict.
- Is religion just the search for something greater that the sum of humanity’s parts?
All of these things considered, we had a discussion about the movie afterwards. Some of the things we discussed in class were just as interesting as the movie.
Our environment and culture affect our view of God. Our understanding of religion is directly related to our understanding of ourselves. It reflects more of our own personal beliefs than it does about th deity in question.
Although God created humanity, humanity continuously creates the idea of God.
Ruldoph Otto explained God as “mysterium tremendum et fascinams” or mysterious, terrifying, and fascinating.
We also examined how and why violence and religion seem to be intertwined. I personally thought about in the way that since religion is interpreted based on your understanding, if you want violence and interpret religion or God as being your justification for violence then you can potentially “get away with it”.
Even though there are so many different religions and different cultures around this great big world, all of them just want something to believe in. They just want to know that there is some rhyme or reason to this life we live and essentially a belief in a God helps them to understand their purpose in life.
A large thing I took away from the film (besides the many, many definitions of God) was that while I’m abroad I really do want to experience a culture so vastly different from the Westernized world. While they showed images of Bali and India I kept picturing myself there and what it would be like to actually be surrounded by these people who could literally not have a single thing in common with me besides the fact that we are both living and breathing humans. I want to be stand next to the ancient shrines and temples and the ruins of a civilization that I will never get to truly experience.
To me, the whole point of travel to see a different side of the world and to take a part of that culture with you. While visiting the Maori villages in New Zealand we learned a lot of their beliefs and sayings. Although I couldn’t exactly say them correctly or even fully comprehend some of them, I do know how to do the traditional war dance, the Haka.
Overall, there is a big world out there with many different ideas about every subject and I can’t wait to find out first hand what they are all about.