These religious experiences are judged based on their moral and spiritual impact and are best explained by moving from self-centeredness to Reality-centeredness (Hick, 2004). Harrison points out that Hick’s religious convictions themselves require support (Harrisson, 2015). It is not enough for Hick to say he is giving a religious interpretation of religion, or that he is starting with a conviction of a transcendent realities existence, these things themselves require reason for us to support them. Starting with the conviction that there is a transcendent reality that religious experience is a response is not a position
This paper will show how my own actions and decisions are based on my values regarding my religious viewpoint. My religious viewpoint is that I neither believe nor disbelieve in God, or any god for that matter, and because of this ambivalence, my values, and therefore how I act in a given situation, is based on my own morality developed from my social and life experiences rather than theological doctrine. To understand one’s religious viewpoint, one must first know how to accurately define religion. Because there are so many different religions, it is difficult to accurately define religion to encompass all of the differing viewpoints of those various religions. Some religions believe in the supreme God, some believe in other gods, some do not believe in God or any other god.
A typical definition of religion refers to a set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals, which are based on the ideas of the sacred, which in turn unites believers into a socio-religious community. Sociologists generally define religion by reference to the sacred or they focus on the social aspect of religion rather than the theological because it makes social analysis and comparison possible (Scott 2014:641). Similarly, Geertz (1973) argued that religion involves a meaning system with an interrelated set of beliefs, symbols, values, moods, and motivations. Another important dimension of religion refers to its structural system with established status, organizational patterns, and even bureaucratic dilemmas. Religion also is composed of a belonging system, with friendship networks, group boundaries, and informal norms which may be quite independent of the formal structure or official meaning systems (Roberts and Yamane 2015).
James on the other hand, holds salvation in a higher regard, proving it to be one of the cornerstones of his definition when he explores individual religious testimonials of transformation. In retrospect, although there are certainly similarities between the two theories, Durkheim and James, have similarities in that they both operate on the acceptance of the existence of sacred and profane spaces, as well as utilizing experience as a tool to study religion, but they also have their differences in their methods. Durkheim studies a communal past, while James can study the individual’s present role in religion and religion’s present role in the individual.
This paper comprises conversations from two persons engaged in this fundamental concern, Robert Sharf1 and Matthew Kapstein, about the study of religious experience. Sharf argues that religious experiences are personal inner-focused, non-discursive and/or non-conceptual mystical experiences that point not to a distinctly numinous inner world but rather point to themselves. (Sharf, 114.) As such, these experiences should be relegated to the domain of the ineffable. Phenomenologically, religious experiences are subjective mental events taking place in the intangible substrate of the human mind which elude the opportunity for public scrutiny.
Not being too narrow is focusing on one aspect or religion. For example, stating religion is about bettering one’s life does not take into account the var... ... middle of paper ... ...ood or bad. In addition, it is important not to place all religions under one category. To avoid something that is too narrow, the definition needs aspects of religion other than intentions. To counter being too broad, perhaps, like the second definition, it needs to include a “holy” or “sacred” aspect.
On one hand, I believe in religious freedom, therefore accepting of diversity, as is their right. On the other, I am not religious. If we are willing to accept that the definition of inclusivism could fit within the bounds of secularism then yes, I am an inclusivist. However, if the term means specifically those that are religious than no, I am not. Wuthnow I believe would not categorize me as an inclusivist.
Lincoln also uses the term Minimalist which is more or less the opposite of Maximalist. Minimalists, believe that religion should be "restricted to an important set of (chiefly metaphysical) terms, protects its privileges against state intrusion but restricts its activity and influence to its specialized sphere"(5). The Minimalist makes sure that religion stays within its own "sphere" and does not spill over into economical or political order. Lincoln then sets out his definition of what a religion must consist of, and split it up into four parts. The four parts being Discourse, which contains the verbal and textual examples of "transcendence", Practice which contains the rituals done religously, Community the people practicing said religion and construct their reality around it, and Institution recognized as understanding and representing the religion.
Why is it that cults are less accepted by society, but having a religion is fully accepted and in some cases even encouraged? What makes them so different? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary a religion is, “1. The belief in a god or a group of gods, 2. An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies and rules used to worship a god or groups of gods, or 3.
However, he does not deem that such a principle exists (Wæver, p. 210). Based on these different viewpoints, I have established a unique concept of secularism: the principle that religion and politics be kept apart, that the state remains neutral in regard to religion, and that liberty, equality, and fraternity be upheld in an attempt to successfully promote religious toleration and pluralism. Although I do not consider myself a radical secularist, I identify more strongly with Walzer’s viewpoints. He stresses the importance of the structural, ritual, and political/cultural aspects of society necessary to successfully separate religion from politics. I strongly agree that a sharp institutional divide between church and state needs to exist, in which the church does not interfere in matters of the state and vice versa.