Albanese's Theory: Religious Practice And Boundaries

1061 Words5 Pages
An Dang (011902252)
R/ST 302
Professor Pandya
April 29, 2015
Religious Practice And Boundaries
The vastly different traditions of religion forms in the United States show that how diversity of worldwide people merged into one society and formed separate traditions all while dealing boundaries between religions in America. The mystery of religious belief beyond the definition is still and will always be a much-debated topic. Regardless of whether these arguments are ever resolved, it is important to bear in mind about the powers from Albanese‘s theory, which is a system of symbols by means of which people orient themselves in a world with reference to both ordinary and extraordinary powers, meanings, and values (Albanese). She also identified
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Ordinary religion shows people how to live well within boundaries, and concern themselves with living well in this current world, not in another. Ordinary religion promotes cultures, traditions, values, and common social acts. In contrast, extraordinary religion helps people to transcend beyond their ordinary culture and concerns, crosses the borders of life as we used to know it and seeks to new better place. It is also believed that people have chance to contact God through spiritual ceremonies and get helped by supernatural power. For instance, ceremonies and rituals of baptism and circumcision for infants, and conformations for adolescents, marriage, and funerals for the dead. Through these spiritual ceremonies, people are crossing the physical boundaries and reaching something supernatural that they believe will give them power to encounter challenges and difficulties during stages of life. There are three elements in religious belief developing most religions in America, which are fundamental, ritual, and tradition. The first element is the fundamental structures which are defined with a myth, philosophy, or theology and limited by the boundaries that create the basic ways in which people, cultures and communities imagine, define, and accept how things are and what they mean. A second essential element of religion is ritual. Rituals are a representative set of…show more content…
According to Peter Van der Veer’s article on “Syncretism, multiculturalism and tolerance”, “theologian Calixtus of Helmstadt was the first to use syncretism in theological debate to mean the sinking of theological differences, at a church conference in Thorn in 1645” (Veer 197). In other words, he explained syncretism as “an attempt to sink differences and effect union between sects or philosophical schools” or more simply, a “union of different, supposedly equal, theological viewpoints” (196-197). Vietnamese Catholic can be considered as a syncretic system derived from deeply rooted African beliefs and widely spread by colonial French Catholicism. However, when I came to the United States, I’ve learned that Americans usually think that the use of Peyote was wrong and they tried converting Natives to Christianity. However, Natives counter argued that their Peyote represented the version of their savior. This created syncretism between Native American religion and European Christianity religion because Catholics eat the “body of Christ” in the form of bread, and Natives eat peyote, which symbolizes Jesus. Peter Van der Veer concluded in his article of syncretism as “a term which in comparative religion refers to a process of religious amalgamation, of blending heterogeneous beliefs and
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