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Jediism is a non-theistic new religious movement[1][2][3] based upon the philosophical and spiritual ideas of the Jedi as depicted in Star Wars media.[4]

File:JediismLogo.jpg

The real-world Jedi assert the existence of the Force, and advocate adherence to the Jedi code.[5] According to recent censuses in some English-speaking countries, over 500,000 people declared their religion as Jedi, in addition, a few Jedi churches/temples exist around the world.[6]

Philosophy Edit

The Jedi interpret and use the philosophic teachings found in Star Wars, as well as other inspirational sources. Jediism is a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, and the teachings of Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts.[7] It also shares basic ideals with many other religions, the Code of Chivalry, and spiritual aspects of some martial arts.[8] In spite of holding different views and having different interpretations of the abundant Star Wars material, the Jedi share a set of core values essential to their path; the Force, and the code of conduct similar to the chivalry code, more commonly known as "The Jedi Code". However, as there is no set path, or no "holy book" in Jediism, the nature of the force is open to interpretation.[9] Some Jedi claim to use mind tricks for good in their daily lives and professions.[10]

The Force Edit

The Force is what most Jedi believe everything comes from, what everything currently exists within, and what everything returns to. It is the energy behind the existence of everything known or unknown to humanity, a "unified field theory", a theory in philosophy and theoretical physics, and may be compared to the pantheist god.[11] The Force does not require prayer, worship, or other such actions as some other religions might, though most Jedi practice some forms of meditation.[12]

Most Jedi choose to focus on the Force through one or more of the three widely accepted spiritual aspects: the Personal Force, the Living Force and the Unifying Force.

The Sides of the Force Edit

The Jedi share different views regarding the Force and its nature. Some view the Force as having a Dark Side and a Light Side,[13] while many prefer the "Potentium" theory, which states that there are no distinct sides within the Force.[14]

In Jediism, the most accepted explanation is that the Light and Dark sides of the Force are reflected by the individual's intent and emotional state within their personal Force.[15] Some have also debated that the Star Wars movies make no mention of any other "sides" but the dark side, and argue that the Force has no sides at all, with the dark side merely being the corruption they bring to their personal Force. The light Jedi believe it is a trait to be compassionate and care about improving and helping the lives of others, while dark Jedi (or Sith) focus exclusively on self improvement and interest. The shadow Jedi argue that good and evil are points of view, and that both Jedi and Sith wrongly interfere with the natural flow of the force, calling "sides" of the Force nothing more than superstition or metaphors.[16][17]

Controversy Edit

Census Edit

In 2001, around 500,000 people in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia recorded their religion as "Jedi" on their national census. Some people did this as they received a chain-mail E-mail stating Jedi would become an official religion if enough people wrote it on their census forms, when in fact, the UK for example does not "officially recognize" religions.[18]

The Jedi community had existed for some time before the census, but the results were interpreted exclusively as a joke by the governments of their respective countries.

In March 2009, it was revealed that eight officers of the Strathclyde Police force in Scotland, in addition to two of its civilian staff, have their religion officially recorded in the force's records as "Jedi".[19]

Jediism in Society Edit

The media Edit

Jediism is often reported on the internet and in news articles in a negative or satirical way.[20]

Politics Edit

  • In 2005, a draft of the "racial and religious hatred bill" in the UK specifically excluded Jedi Knights from any protection, alongside Satanists, Scientologists, sexists, racists, and believers in animal or human sacrifice.[21]
  • In November of 2006, two self-proclaimed Jedi wearing Star Wars robes and a third person disguised as a Wookiee demanded that the UN change the "International Day of Tolerance" to "Interstellar Day of Tolerance".[22]
  • On September 18, 2009 Daniel Jones, co-founder of the Holyhead based "Church of Jediism" was asked to leave Tesco for refusing to uncover his head in violation of the store's "no hoodie" policy. Jones claimed it was a religious requirement to cover his head in public, and pointed out the burqa was allowed.[23]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Humanities.qut.edu.au
  2. Google Books "Peter Bernard Clarke - New Religions in Global Perspective". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=7GtknKrYhNYC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149 Google Books. 
  3. Trinity-CM.ac.uk New Religious Movements Conference
  4. "Lynne Hume, Kathleen McPhillips - Popular Spiritualities". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=exQ4Zmtjc_sC&pg=PA59. 
  5. "Jedi code and interpretation". TheJediismWay.org. http://www.thejediismway.org/index.php/topic,37.0.html. 
  6. Template:Dmoz
  7. About.com An article about Jediism from About.com
  8. Jedi Temple Doctrine One version of the Doctrine of Jediism
  9. Doctrine of the Oklahoma Temple Another version of Jediism Doctrine, based primarily on the philosophy and lessons found within the Force
  10. "Britain's first Jedi police woman harnesses the Force to catch criminals". The Daily Mail (UK). 2009-04-23. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1172816/First-police-officer-admit-Jedi-follower-uses-mind-tricks-suspects-truth.html. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  11. Temple of the Jedi Force Article linking pantheism to the force
  12. About.com - Basic Jedi Beliefs
  13. The ForceTemple of the Jedi Force article explaining The Force
  14. Ashla KnightsAshla Knights article on the Potentium, by "Kate Solusar"
  15. Book of Jediism Vol 1A book about Jediism written by Daniel M. Jones
  16. Temple of the Jedi OrderA Topic discussing "Shadow Jedi"
  17. "Shadow Jedi code". TheJediismWay.org. http://www.thejediismway.org/index.php/topic,33.msg90.html#msg90. 
  18. BBC News Article - Email revealed as hoax
  19. The Force is with them: Strathclyde Police has Jedi Knights on staff, The Times Online, April 17, 2009.
  20. The bad publicity given by the BBCThe BBC article March 6, 2001 which started the "media incident".
  21. House of commons -- Racial and religious hatred bill
  22. Daily MailSky NewsThe Sun -- self-proclaimed Jedi Umada and Yunyun demand an "Interstellar Day of Tolerance" instead of the UN International Day of Tolerance
  23. The Sun -- grocery store bans Jedi Knight

External linksEdit

Template:Religion topicsast:Relixón jedi cs:Jediismuses:Religión jedi fr:Jediisme he:דת_הג'דיי pt:Jediísmo ru:Джедаизм sv:Jedi (religion) uk:Джедаїзм zh:绝地教

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