Jedi Religion

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Crazedwraith
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Jedi Religion

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-18 07:52am

Just one of the things that struck me as slightly off kilter about The Last Jedi was when Luke refers to the Jedi as a religion and refers to 'Sacred Texts'. The only other time I can think of it being refer to as such was in A New Hope when Tarkin says it. In my mind that was always a sign of Tarkin's lack of understanding and belief in the reality of the Force. Vader also speaks of faith in the same movie. Though Luke's negative attitude could mean that this film is also using religion as a negative.

Now in a sense it is, it's a system of belief with proscribed behaviour and in the prequels a devotion to following the will of the force.

On the other the force and it's effects are verifiable and real in the Star Wars universe, you don't have to take the force as on religious faith.

Is Jedism a religion in-universe? Yay or nay.
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tezunegari
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by tezunegari » 2018-01-18 07:58am

The Force and its effects are verifiable and real, but how to approach that power is basically a quasi-religion.

The Jedi use calm and meditation to use the force. (A Jedi never attacks, serves and is guided by the force)
The Sith use emotions, pain and pation to draw upon the force. (Sith pretty much see the Force as a tool to gain power)
Then there are the Nightsisters, that Bendu fellow.

They all are Force user but approach how to access and use the force in different manners.

At least that's how I see it.
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by APlayerHater » 2018-01-18 03:56pm

Hey, just because what the Jedi believe in is real doesn't mean it's not a religion.

I mean, all religious people believe what they believe in is true. We just know the Jedi are at least mostly correct about the existence of the force.

Although on the other hand, it could all just be the midichlorians generating magnetic fields and using radiowaves. We don't know for absolute 100% certainty that the force exists.

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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-18 06:42pm

tezunegari wrote:
2018-01-18 07:58am
The Force and its effects are verifiable and real, but how to approach that power is basically a quasi-religion.

The Jedi use calm and meditation to use the force. (A Jedi never attacks, serves and is guided by the force)
The Sith use emotions, pain and pation to draw upon the force. (Sith pretty much see the Force as a tool to gain power)
Then there are the Nightsisters, that Bendu fellow.

They all are Force user but approach how to access and use the force in different manners.

At least that's how I see it.
This, pretty much.

The Force exists, somewhat quantifiably so.

How one interprets it, or what moral values one holds towards it, is probably somewhat more nebulous. There may be a right and wrong answer, but its not as clear-cut as the simple fact of its existence. Its a matter for religion, or philosophy.

And the Jedi, while rarely referred to explicitly as a religion, have always had religious trappings, such as the Jedi Temple.
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-18 11:33pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-18 06:42pm
tezunegari wrote:
2018-01-18 07:58am
The Force and its effects are verifiable and real, but how to approach that power is basically a quasi-religion.

The Jedi use calm and meditation to use the force. (A Jedi never attacks, serves and is guided by the force)
The Sith use emotions, pain and pation to draw upon the force. (Sith pretty much see the Force as a tool to gain power)
Then there are the Nightsisters, that Bendu fellow.

They all are Force user but approach how to access and use the force in different manners.

At least that's how I see it.
This, pretty much.

The Force exists, somewhat quantifiably so.

How one interprets it, or what moral values one holds towards it, is probably somewhat more nebulous. There may be a right and wrong answer, but its not as clear-cut as the simple fact of its existence. Its a matter for religion, or philosophy.

And the Jedi, while rarely referred to explicitly as a religion, have always had religious trappings, such as the Jedi Temple.
What's religion anyway, or more accurately what's the difference between religion and a religion like philosophical movement. Does religion have to have directives from a literal divine being(s) to be considered religion or does "pondering about the mysteries of the universe" without any clear "god(s)" count?

The Jedi seem to go for the "pondering about the mysteries of the universe" without a clear diety or dieties, but still I'd count it as religion.
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by Gandalf » 2018-01-19 02:05am

While the Force was clearly real, there was a lot of faith in the idea that it would do what you want. Luke had to trust that the Force would guide his torpedoes appropriately. Qui-Gon told young Anakin to stop thinking and be the ball podracer. You can take a lot of lines about the Force, put the word God in instead, and it sort of works out.

The Jedi had a specific idea which seemed to be based around listening to the Force and trying to enact its will. No attachments or anything like that, just one person perpetually cultivating their relationship with their god, like a version of monks from the middle ages.

Somewhat weirdly, this Church of The Force was also some sort of space FBI for the Republic. :P
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Elheru Aran
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-19 12:45pm

Pare Buddhism down to the bare essentials and it pretty much amounts to just 'be a good person'. There's no real divinity involved, apart from the potential to *achieve* divine status, which Siddartha and others managed. There doesn't seem to be an actual paramount deity per se in the Buddhist cosmology, and many of the Buddhas are more anthromorphized principles than individuals.

Yet it manages to have millions of adherents worldwide.

So yeah, I'm pretty sure you can have a religion that's more of a philosophy than a set of divinely ordained beliefs and practices.
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-21 04:57pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-18 07:52am
Just one of the things that struck me as slightly off kilter about The Last Jedi was when Luke refers to the Jedi as a religion and refers to 'Sacred Texts'. The only other time I can think of it being refer to as such was in A New Hope when Tarkin says it. In my mind that was always a sign of Tarkin's lack of understanding and belief in the reality of the Force. Vader also speaks of faith in the same movie. Though Luke's negative attitude could mean that this film is also using religion as a negative.

Now in a sense it is, it's a system of belief with proscribed behaviour and in the prequels a devotion to following the will of the force.

On the other the force and it's effects are verifiable and real in the Star Wars universe, you don't have to take the force as on religious faith.

Is Jedism a religion in-universe? Yay or nay.
The way I would see it, the Force is something that's real but it's not something amenable to scientific investigation. You can't really measure it with instrumentation (don't like the midichlorians, forget them) and it's subjective to the experience of the force user. So the average galactic citizen might say so you can do a telekinetic trick, that's no big deal.

But if we compare it to martial arts. On one hand you have something like krav maga that's supposed to be utilitarian, here's how you beat people up. It's matter of human anatomy and physics. On the other hand you have the martial arts that throw in a lot more woo talking about focusing your chi and all kinds of mentalism. An observer might say you guys are super fit and really strong and can do some amazing physical feats but all the mystic stuff is a bunch of bunk. This doesn't mean those guys aren't sincere about what they believe.

So that's the way I see it. And I think it's easier to get mystical with the Force because you are seeing stuff that goes beyond the rational and mundane. If those real life mystic martial artists could demonstrate a chi attack that works on a skeptic then I'd be willing to hear what they say about other mystic topics. The Jedi can do this which would make it easier to go along with the other stuff they're saying. But then you have to ask the question about whether that other stuff is grounded. It's like if I am attacked by someone acting possessed and a catholic priest is able to drive the demon from him, all that's established is that there's demonic possession and exorcism. That doesn't mean that the entire rest of catholic dogma has suddenly been validated.

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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-21 05:03pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-18 06:42pm
This, pretty much.

The Force exists, somewhat quantifiably so.

How one interprets it, or what moral values one holds towards it, is probably somewhat more nebulous. There may be a right and wrong answer, but its not as clear-cut as the simple fact of its existence. Its a matter for religion, or philosophy.

And the Jedi, while rarely referred to explicitly as a religion, have always had religious trappings, such as the Jedi Temple.
from wikipedia:

There is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.[1][2] It may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophesies, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual.

Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine,[3] sacred things,[4] faith,[5] a supernatural being or supernatural beings[6] or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life".[7] Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the Universe and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.[8]



I think the Force is far more eastern than western in conception. Certainly it bears little relation to abrahamic religions. it straddles that philosophy/religion line like taoism. There's zero talk in Star Wars about the afterlife, heaven and hell, those conventional ideas.

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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-21 05:14pm

Not zero. There's force ghosts and in the RotS novel (I think, somewhere in legends) this is a light side force power only Jedi can achieve true immortality despite it being a sith goal.

Plus Han mentions hell.

I believe Clone Wars had deity-like incarnations of the sides of the force as well.
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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-21 05:25pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-21 05:14pm
Not zero. There's force ghosts and in the RotS novel (I think, somewhere in legends) this is a light side force power only Jedi can achieve true immortality despite it being a sith goal.

Plus Han mentions hell.

I believe Clone Wars had deity-like incarnations of the sides of the force as well.
Well, almost zero. The hell line was in passing and there's no further explanation. There was no explanation for the Force ghosts as to whether they were arriving from Jedi heaven or still are bound to the material universe. Like if you go back to Greek myth there's no separate dimension of heaven and hell. It's all contiguous to our own world. Olympus is atop a real world mountain, the underworld is literally underground with physical access. If you could pass the guardians you can walk into and out of hell.

Honestly, though, this isn't really an area that Star Wars wanted to explore so I think it's for the best to not go there. It's not like Lord of the Rings where the supernatural and divine aspects are integral to the playing out of the story.

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Re: Jedi Religion

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-21 07:24pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-21 05:14pm
Not zero. There's force ghosts and in the RotS novel (I think, somewhere in legends) this is a light side force power only Jedi can achieve true immortality despite it being a sith goal.

Plus Han mentions hell.

I believe Clone Wars had deity-like incarnations of the sides of the force as well.
Note that Han is not really a believer in Jedi philosophy, and its likely that his reference to "Hell" had nothing whatsoever to do with Jedi beliefs.

Much like Admiral Holdo's "Godspeed" in TLJ-but then, its not so hard to believe that their are other faiths besides the Force user-based ones we've seen. Probably many planets have their own local faiths (like the Ewoks), and some of those would inevitably spread over interstellar distances in a galactic society.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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