Defining Religion Essay

1092 words - 4 pages

The Ways to Study and Define Religion Many influential thinkers have difficulty in defining religion. Definitions are sometimes too narrow by defining religion in terms of their beliefs or culture and often exclude other cultures religious beliefs. ?Religion is something we have a sense of, but can not easily pin down and define with precision. It is hard enough to define one religion, but to arrive at a definition suitable for all religions is much more difficult? (Earhart 5).If asked to define religion sometimes would depend on who asked the question. Different disciplines approach the meaning of religion from their own perspective. ?Existential, psychological, theological, and philosophical approaches tend to be more Idealistic?. Psychological approach views religion as self-fulfillment or self-realization. Philosophical defines religion as the nature of human existence and the reality of truth of religious realization? (Earhart 5).Religion can also be defined by what culture we live in, ?Social science approaches this area with more concern on the actual conditions of religion, focusing especially on the social circumstances that shape and influence religion. Sociologists want to know how social factors such as age, gender, income and occupation influence religious commitment? (Earhart 5). Another approach to define religion is that of the Anthropological. ?A propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and human life? (Frazer 57-58).I would try and define religion as a way to find meaning in the world by using a system of beliefs, attitudes, emotions and behavior. I believe this would encompass the meaning of religion for any person whether they believe in the spiritual, sacred or non-spiritual types of religion. I may not understand why one-person believes the way they do about religion, but who am I to say their beliefs are wrong. What if mine are? So it is important to keep an open mind when it comes to defining religion and respect others beliefs or non-beliefs. Now that we have defined religion we are faced with the task of how to study religion. ?The study of religions and ideologies can be called worldview analysis. In this we try to depict the history and nature of the symbols and beliefs that have helped form the structure of human consciousness and society? (Smart 2). There are several ways in which to study religion such as biographically where ?we could focus on the lives of the great founders, teachers, and prophets of those religions. We could learn much about the origins of religions and the historical events of those times along with cultures of the early followers. All of this may be of great interest, but we would not learn about the ways that the beliefs and practices from these early times have evolved into those of the present? (Commentary).Another way to study religion would be on the scriptures. This would be a difficult task ?because the writings...

Find Another Essay On Defining Religion

An Analytical Approach to Truth and Religion

6399 words - 26 pages . Consequently, beliefs were considered to be the defining core of any religion. Religions, however, entail also liturgical, contemplative and moral practices. The notions of truth, religion and truth of religion If the question of truth of religion is to refer to any type of religion and not only for instance monotheistic ones, it must be considered on a broad basis. First, if such a broad basis is to be developed at least four categories

Anthropology Essay

937 words - 4 pages Levi-Strauss's mental ones, similarity seem less used than discussed. Clifford Geertz, the original practitioner of interpretive anthropology, while much criticized, sees religion as a set of symbols and stresses the meaning of those symbols, as referents and creators of meaningful life.Today, religion is seen by many anthropologist on its own terms, as a discrete area of human activity, which, while linked to all other, ad defining, if contestable

Science vs Religion

1567 words - 6 pages religion could be accommodated. The verbal confrontation between science and religion is never out of the news. In this article, we will examine the similarities and conflicts between Science and Religion. Then we will observe the effects of separating religion and science and effects of irrational factors on both. At the end we will conclude with defining science as a form of religion. Science and religion on the same path It is generally

Religion and Psychology

1045 words - 4 pages the world have practiced some form of religion, and for many of them, religion has been a defining aspect of their identity. It is because of this that religion and psychology can meet. If psychologists neglect religious variables as components of research, then they may be neglecting what makes up a large part of people's identities. In the same respect, if religious venues have been afraid of the effects of studying psychology, then they are

Faith-expository essay

600 words - 2 pages in that person or idea. Once the faith is placed, it cannot be lost because it has been committed to. As in religion, when faith and beliefs are placed so strongly in one religion, that that religion has altered the state of thinking that faith can be placed anywhere else, it has been committed to that the religion in which one holds is the only religion that is just. This is so for many other subjects as well, making commitment another defining

Religion is Detrimental to Society and the Individual

1768 words - 8 pages continue to have faith and pray for a better understanding. Every religion has the same ending goal- to live a good life in accordance to the religious recommendations and be rewarded in the afterlife, whether that be ascending to heaven, being reincarnated or residing in a peaceful valley. All religions are associated with the personal belief and understanding of their specific desired religion. By defining another person’s religious stories

World Religions Model of The Seven Dimensions of Religion

2200 words - 9 pages Over the years, a number of theistic and atheistic scholars alike have attempted to devise methods in which the complex nature of the world’s religions can be further understood (ed. Blagden, 2007). Of these methods, is the model known as the ‘Seven Dimensions of Religion,’ proposed by academic Professor Ninian Smart in several of his published works (Brodd, 2009, p.9). However, by defining religion and how it is studied, as well as examining

What is religion?

852 words - 3 pages troubles on defining this conception. Playing decisive role in the history of mankind religion was considered as an invisible power which having great influence on people can manipulate them easily, and also moral need providing spiritual comfort. Equally important, religion is a movement of which target is to convince humans to live honestly in the frames of it and in exchange it promises eternal happiness as a regard in afterlife.Religion has

Why Is Religion Important?

1749 words - 7 pages citizens of any particular society and lends itself towards social cohesion (Browne 2005). In a national sense, religious belief and identity can separate whole nations from one another, like in the case of Ireland and England, one of the defining differences is our belief in a different branch of Christianity. This can have disastrous effects on the world as a whole. Religion can be held accountable for the majority of warfare and bloodshed in the

Religion

1634 words - 7 pages superhuman being is universal, the ordering of beliefs varies greatly according to the religious system. A goal of this course is to develop an understanding of various religious systems and practices in the lives of individuals and their societies.” In the first week of the course, we discussed a general introduction of religion by defining religion and there were many ways to define religion. Spiro defined religion saying, “Religion is culturally

American Civil War and Religion

1199 words - 5 pages One of the important subjects during the civil war was Religion even though it received minor attention until recent years. Historians have considered civil war an important story of war; however, religion rose as an important factor with many publications. For example “Religion and the American Civil War” is a collection of essays and poems by various writers (Harry S. Stout, George Reagan Wilson, etc.1) A survey of the civil war history

Similar Essays

Defining Religion Essay

903 words - 4 pages and Hinduism also have more than one branch. Global locality may influence how a religion is practiced, so even standardisation in defining one religion is elusive. Marxism indeed has some aspects that could be defined as a religion, such as its rituals and symbolisms, (e.g. using the widespread use of the colour red and the artistic style used,) the ethics of solidarity, the music intended to bond its adherents together by its rousing

Defining Religion Essay

4058 words - 16 pages Defining Religion "Religion is only the illusory sun which revolves round man as long as he does not revolve round himself". Karl Marx. Before we can look at the Marxist theory of religion we must first have some understanding of what religion is. For many in todays world religion is becoming something alien, only 3% of the

What Is Religion? Essay

1725 words - 7 pages wedding) or sad (a funeral), rituals are shared between people of the same religion in many forms as a sign of common beliefs. Following rituals, some explanation is required. Many of a religion’s followers ask for explanations, some ask, “What is my purpose in life?” Others may ask, “Who is God?” Depending on one’s religion, the questions or Defining Religion-3 explanations wanted will differ; however, they will always be present. Tradition

Explain How A Student Of Religion Who May Or May Not Have Religious Convictions Would Set About The Examination Of A Religion With Which They Are Unfamiliar?

1317 words - 5 pages purity' (TV14 - What is Religion) are the basis of his faith, so from this view point religion seems to be a constructive thing? I feel that the student of religion needs to understand that to the 'believer,' their religion is a positive thing and again if we seek to learn moreabout this religion, judgements such as these can only undermine our study.The student of religion also needs to consider the question of defining religion; this is a