As the world becomes increasingly more interconnected, differences among the many religions prove to be obstacles to the global society. In an effort to overcome these obstacles, religious authorities propose the essential sameness of all religions (that all religions point towards the same goal); however, this hypothesis oversimplifies all religions to an arbitrary base. On the other hand, Stephen Prothero’s, the author of God Is Not One, proposal for the acknowledgment of the differences preserves the multidimensional aspects of religions. By rejecting the hypothesis of a basic and similar structure of religion, Prothero allows for them to exist as complete entities; however, Prothero also creates false barriers that over differentiate religions.
A religion can be thought of as a paradigm comprised of dogmas, cultural structures, and world views that govern the connection between an order of being and the human race. The majority of religions use cultural narratives, iconography, and sacred histories to elucidate the radix and meaning of not only life but also the universe. Devotees of a certain religion derive their morals, values, beliefs, and life choices from their respective indoctrinated convictions. Currently, there are approximately 4 thousand varying religions that an individual may subscribe to. However, I am only going to address two of the most dominant faith traditions; Islam and Christianity. Regardless of my own religious beliefs, there is no denying that Islam and Christianity share many similar tenets that go unrecognized or ignored by followers of each monotheistic faith. The identification of these similarities and the causes for unfamiliarity between the two religions is my paramount goal within the parameters of this paper.
There are three different perspectives towards all religions: Excluivism, Pluralism, and Inclusivism (lecture notes, 1/12). These views towards religions vary greatly and determine the parallels or disconnects between all of them. In brief, excluivism determines that whatever faith is outside their belief system is false. Pluralism is on the other side of the spectrum. Pluralism express the fact that though there are many different religions and practices they are all equal in truth. Catholicism takes the perspective of Inclusivism. This point of view stresses the fact that all religions have some grasps of objective truths but, to do not have the universal truth.
All religions are very specific with the details which set that religion apart from others. However, when all the little details are melted away, there are only a mere handful that are different in essence. When looked at closely, even the religions which are perceived completely dissimilar at first glance are surprisingly similar. For example, the Voodoo religion, and that of early Christianity are stereotyped as extremely different, but with closer inspection, not only are these two religions are very obviously similar, but Voodooism stemmed, partly, out of Christianity. Both religions revolve around a mortal individual being used as a mouthpiece by a higher, being, be it spirit or god, to communicate with our mortal world. Yet at the same time, each religion has taken it’s own path and although equivalent in essence, have very different aspects with respect to background (such as time and status), as well as publicity, and language.
The relationship of the believer to these beliefs is critical and necessary, as is the supernatural component, most commonly being the belief in God. It is widely popular to use the term religion to denote any and all sets of beliefs, rules, or principles that anyone may use to guide his or her life, but a definition this broad make the word less useful. Terms like `a philosophy' or an `outlook on life' may serve as generic terms to cover all the possible paradigms that people may use in their way of reacting to the world. By substituting the word `religion' to cover all of these, we make the word redundant with the terms that already refer to this, and are left without a useful word when we wish to collectively refer to what are commonly understood to be religions: Christianity, animism, Islam. Often the impulse to broaden the use of the word comes from the assumption that religion is an indispensable component in everyone's life. Anyone who rejects his or her original religion must replace it with something else that serves the same purpose, and whatever that is shall be considered a religion. This is one of the ways that communism becomes defined as a religion in the minds of many, especially since often that belief system appears to share with religion an unreasoning acceptance of dogma. But the f...
Religion is a topic that varies from person to person and culture to culture. Although religion is broadly defined as “the belief or worship of a spirit or god” (Hopfe and Woodward ), each religion of the world has their own beliefs and worship strategies that defines that particular religion. Across the world, religions have their own beliefs and rituals; however, they are all commonly linked with the tradition of beliefs, holy places of worship, and celebrations. While each contrasting world religion will be discussed in this paper; they will collectively be centered around the question of how each religion practices their own beliefs, places of worship, and celebrations.
Yu, Han. “Memorial on Buddhism”. Making of the Modern World 12: Classical & Medieval Tradition. Trans. Richard F. Burton. Ed. Janet Smarr. La Jolla: University Readers, 2012. 111-112. Print.
Religion is an ever-growing idea that has no set date of origin. Throughout history religion has served as an answer to the questions that man could not resolve. The word religion is derived from the Latin word “religio” meaning restraint in collaboration with the Greek word “relegere” which means to repeat or to read again. Religion is currently defined as an organized system of beliefs and practices revolving around, or leading to, a transcendent spiritual experience. Throughout time, there has yet to be a culture that lacks a religion of some form, whether it is a branch of paganism, a mythological based religion or mono/polytheistic religion. Many religions have been forgotten due to the fact that they were ethnic religions and globalizing religions were fighting to be recognized, annihilating these ancient and ethnic religions. Some of these faiths include: Finnish Paganism, Atenism, Minoan Religion, Mithraism, Manichaeism, Vedism, Zoroastrianism, Asatru, and the Olmec Religion. Religion is an imperative part of our contemporary world but mod...
The definition of religion has two parts in the Webster’s dictionary, the first being a simple belief or reverence in a supernatural being, the second being a personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief. The common man often sees the large religions in the simplest forms, creating obvious differences between the basic beliefs of major religions. These differences, seen in the comparison of Judeo-Christian and Islam worldviews, have had an immense impact upon each separate culture and interpretation of religion within each culture.