The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today is Politics

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The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today For me, the word ‘religion’ conjures up images of wailing fat ladies dressed in their Sunday best singing at the top of their lungs about the glory of God. Of course, this image comes from my childhood when I attended the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica every Sunday, rain or shine, with my grandmother. For her, Church, Christianity and God was a way of life; a set of principles she believed in and lived by. For others less convinced, the idea of religion or ‘being religious’ is as far fetched as aliens and UFO’s. Throughout the centuries, religion has played an important part in shaping the political landscape of most modern societies and one reason for studying religion is to understand how and why certain societies developed in the way they did. The church – used here in generic terms – was often married to the way in which rulers administered laws and punishments. Often some used the church to swindle people out of their wealth and to gain their allegiance through fear. While other rulers such as Henry viii manipulated the religious order of the day by breaking away from the Catholic Church and forming a new Church of England so he could marry his mistress. For most, Islam is a way of life which is revered by its followers but according to Laura Hayes, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, they controlled 90% of the country's territory and their policies—including their treatment of women and support of terrorists—ostracized them from the world community. The Taliban considered themselves mujahideen or holy warriors of the Islamic faith. ... ... middle of paper ... ...of the people’. Religion and politics have come full circle as in today’s society there are laws which govern the recognition of a new ‘religion’. For example, a legitimate religion has the right to claim tax exemption and must promote the moral and spiritual welfare of the community. It is my opinion that although there are other reasons for studying religion, the most compelling reason by far is to better understand and cater for the diversity of modern society. Bibliography Atkins, Peter quoted in Poole, Michael. A Guide to Science and Belief. Lion Publishing.1990 Boeer. M. M. Karl Marx’s Interpretation of History. Mason, Claire. New Religious Movements: the impact on our lives. White Thompson Publishing Limited.2003 Pfeffer, Leo. Quoted in New Religious Movements: the impact on our lives.

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