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What is Meant by Religion?

analytical Essay
1941 words
1941 words
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What is Meant by Religion?

A person's religion is his or her set of beliefs about the supernatural which provide meaning, purpose and an overall set of principles to the believer. A common dictionary definition expresses this well: "Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe" (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition).

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...

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... is that God's grace is a pure gift with no connection to the merit of the receiver. Third is the only cause for salvation is God's grace, and not the activity of the sinner, his good works, in combination with grace.

Luther's conflict with the Church was one of stubborn and bipolar mutual condemnation. The publication and then burning of theses, first by Luther, then by Tetzel in response, and then by Pope Leo X, and so on to the Diet of Worms and Luther's books, is a good model for how this conflict played out. Each side issued ultimatums, which could only be obeyed, or burned. Since these versions of Christianity were developing in a mutually exclusive way, the power of kings and princes became the deciding factor in determining which direction a state or country would go. Everyone had to choose one side, and by so doing, become intolerant of the other.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that a person's religion is his or her set of beliefs about the supernatural which provide meaning, purpose, and principles to the believer.
  • Analyzes how broadening the definition of religion makes it redundant with the terms that already refer to religions, such as christianity, animism, islam.
  • Explains that if a person ceases to believe in religion, that person has given up all of the things that might religion offer, ranging from community to consolation in the face of death.
  • Explains that religion is something many people who have it cannot imagine how anyone could live without it. there is a difficult chasm between religious and non-religious people.
  • Explains that southern baptism in the us does not consider themselves "religion," but rather "know" that they are the truth. this fundamental rejection of all other religions is ultimately a rejection
  • Explains that a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by christ to give grace. it refers to baptism, confirmation, penance, holy eucharist, anointing the sick, matrimony, and holy orders.
  • Explains that the seven sacraments are keyed to the critical moments of a person's life, and the eucharist is the one of unity with the community.
  • Explains that they accept the descriptions of sacrementality as truthful, but don't understand them at all.
  • Explains that cunningham provides four truths that express what looking at the world from the catholic point of view means.
  • Opines that the world is a creation of god, not identified with god.
  • Explains that we can come to know god through our perception of the world, not necessarily aided by revelation.
  • Explains that there is sin in the world, and that we have a propensity towards sin.
  • Analyzes how martin luther argued that salvation comes through faith alone, and not through works, based on his reading of the new testament.
  • Analyzes how luther's conflict with the church was one of stubborn and bipolar mutual condemnation. each side issued ultimatums, which could only be obeyed, or burned.
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