The Evolution Of Human Religion Essay

The Evolution Of Human Religion Essay

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Our textbook introduces us to the major developments in the history of human religion by acknowledging most “religion seems to grow out of human experiences” (4), and that within these experience we can see an outline of universal patterned growth when it comes to the creation or emergence of religious practices and structure. That is not to say that all regions follow a set path in their development; however, it is with that in mind we can see the evolution seems to follow a pattern or wave of growth in concepts and complexity of thought. Much like the concentric rings that move forward from a point of origin when a pebble is dropped in a pool of water, the growth, spread and influence of religious development can be viewed in the path of the created ripple. As each ripple or “wave” passes over, its influences are felt and thoughts and ideas are changed or created.
Viewing these patterns as “waves” of development and looking for influence in the Hindu Traditions, we are taken from one of the first early concepts in the growth of religious theory: Shamanism, or the creation or inclusion of a person “who acts as an intermediary between humans and the spirit world” (6). This development points to “man 's” awakening thoughts on an afterlife and a spirit or soul that needs guidance and protection and a concern for an afterlife. This desire for a connection becomes the driving force in our second wave of change: “Connecting to the Cosmos” (8).
This wave can be seen as one that sought to connect the earthly realm of humans to the realm of the stars or heavens. By creating sacred areas as close to the heavens as possible either by locating them on a high elevation, at a point of religious significance, or by physically building a ...


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... collections intern consists of four sections: hymns (Samhitas; the earliest parts), directions for the performance of sacred rituals, (Brahmanas), “compositions for the forest” (Aranyakas), and philosophical works called the Upanishads (“sitting near [the teacher]”)” (34). The Vedas constitute the base of Hindu traditions and one could think of them as explanatory texts or guide books on basically everything you could want to know. From the creation of the universe and the “origins of the four classes” (37), to introductions in philosophical thought, codes of law and ethics, ways of worship to the revealing of the concepts of Karma. As I previously mentioned these texts are considered sacred among Hindus and different from other religions in that they believe the origin of the works are not directly transcribed by a “God” or Deity but rather are divine revelations.

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