How Much Deviation from Religious Doctrine is Acceptable? Essay

How Much Deviation from Religious Doctrine is Acceptable? Essay

Length: 2489 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Central to any religion is a unified set of beliefs that is shared amongst all its followers. These can range from stories about the origin of the universe or the lives of prophets or other important religious figures to sets of rules governing how you live your daily life. It is these beliefs that define who is a follower of that religion, and deviation from them could result in a person being outcast, persecuted, or even put to death in various areas and time periods. However, these beliefs are by no means universal. Interpretations of religious doctrines may strongly differ even between members of the same religious sect. These issues are very relevant even to non-believers as they have a strong influence on people’s opinions of important social issues, such as gay marriage, abortion, and the teaching of creationism in public schools. We have read about several different and contradictory interpretations of Christian theology in class, and through surveys and discussions we have seen that within our own class members of the same religion vary greatly in their beliefs. An important question then is how much should an individual be allowed to deviate in their beliefs from established doctrine? The answer is not so obvious because once some deviations are allowed it can be not easy to know where to stop. I think it is easier to focus mostly on Christianity in answering this question both because of the material we covered in class and because it is most relevant to America today. It is important to realize that from a historical context religious doctrines are by no means an absolute truth, as many would believe. They have been altered many times in the past and should be able to continue to change with the times. No religion shou...

... middle of paper ...

... arbitrary set of rules. This applies not just to religion but to political and moral ideologies as well. If we really want to seek the truth, I think we could really learn a lot from the Gnostic tradition.

Works Cited

Bacon, Benjamin W. "The Canon of the New Testament" The Biblical World, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Feb., 1903), Published by: The University of Chicago Press. Web. Available at:

Cicero , John Ross, and Horace McGregor. The Nature of the Gods. Penguin Classics, 1972. Print.

Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage, 1989. Print.

Plato, and Christopher Gill. The Symposium. Penguin Classics, 2003. Print.

Weir, Peter. Dead Poets Society. Perf. Robin Williams. Touchstone Pictures, 1989.

Arcand, Denys. Jesus of Montreal. Centre National de la Cinématographie, 1990.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Castle Doctrine Essay

- The Castle Doctrine is a law that gives citizens the right to protect their homes and other property by any means necessary---often resulting in the use of deadly force. The Castle Doctrine is different in all the states and is not federally mandated, which is one of the biggest issues with the law. Governor of Ohio: Strickland called the bill “common-sense legislation”, Strickland also stressed that it will also clear up ambiguous sections of Ohio's concealed-carry law “What we've clarified in this bill I think will go a long way toward providing both law enforcement as well as law-abiding citizens some confidence that what they're doing is, in fact, consistent with the law,” he said....   [tags: The Castle Doctrine]

Free Essays
940 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Jonathan Edwards on the Doctrine of Original Sin

- Biographical Information JONATHAN EDWARDS was born to the Reverend Timothy Edwards and his wife Ester, October 5, 1703. He was the fifth of eleven born to the Reverend; who made their home in East Windsor, Connecticut. Being from an evangelical Puritan household, he was also expected to study and learn the Bible as well as the strict tenants of Calvinism. The debates over his Reformed Calvinist faith and the “liberal” movements captivated his thoughts and his pen. He considered Anglican Arminianism and Deism to be heresy that stood in direct opposition to his Reformed Puritan upbringing....   [tags: religious philosophy]

Research Papers
2402 words (6.9 pages)

Essay about Woman and Religious Tradition

- In this essay, I will assess the claim that traditions are parallel in regards to woman by comparing the common beliefs and practices in Hinduism, Confucianism and Islam. I will be concentrating on the commonality of traditional religious practice that is exceedingly male dominated. As Young states, “The tendency toward male domination in the world’s religions (called patriarchy) has inspired movements that have touched virtually all religions in an effort to liberate women from what are considered oppressive religious structures.” He goes on to say, “These campaigns have also sparked resistance among traditionalists, who view attempts to elevate the status of women as an assault on an order...   [tags: Confucianism Doctrine, Hinduism, Islam]

Research Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis of Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

- The term the Shock Doctrine was created by journalist Naomi Klein in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism which refers to the idea that economic liberalists formed an entire industry take advantage of disasters such as natural disasters or military coups and privatize everything they can get their hands on. The name of this industry is the Disaster Capitalism Complex and it is comprised of the corporations and organizations that see recently shocked areas as ripe for the emplacement of economically liberal policies and institutions....   [tags: shock doctrine]

Research Papers
1676 words (4.8 pages)

Admonishment of Secular and Religious Authorities in Martin Luther's Address to the Christian Nobility

- In the year 1520, Martin Luther published the treatise, Address to the Christian Nobility. This work showed the core of Luther through his admonishment and exhortation of secular and religious authorities of the time. In Luther’s address, he meticulously pinpoints the “three walls” of the Roman Catholic Church and proceeds to break them down one at a time through thought-provoking and idea-inducing arguments. Address to the Christian Nobility impacted Europe not only through politics and religion, but also, through economic means....   [tags: catholic, doctrine, treatise]

Research Papers
735 words (2.1 pages)

Religious Conquest of the Americas Essay

- Before Columbus landed in the West Indies in 1492, The Spanish Inquisition made it known to anyone within Spain’s domain of influence that if a person was not of the Catholic religion, they were to be punished severely and sometimes even fatally. This influence would undoubtedly be brought over to the Americas a century later, as the colonization of the New World would begin by then. While it was very essential for the Spanish (as well as the Portuguese) to improve their economy by using the resources they found in Latin America, it seemed to a number of them as if that was the only reason for being there, or the main reason at the very least....   [tags: Religious History ]

Research Papers
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Is Torture Ever Acceptable? Essay

- Torture is the process of inflicting pain upon other people in order to force them to say something against their own will. The word “torture” comes from the Latin word “torquere,” which means to twist. Torture can not only be psychologically but mentally painful. Before the Enlightenment, it was perfectly legal to torture individuals but nowadays, it is illegal to torture anyone under any circumstances. In this essay, I will demonstrate why torture should never acceptable, not matter the condition....   [tags: Human Torture Essays]

Research Papers
867 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Process of Making the Monroe Doctrine

- The Process of Making the Monroe Doctrine United States president Theodore Roosevelt announced the Roosevelt Corollary, an addendum to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, in response to European nations that were trying to force Venezuela to repay its debts. Roosevelt threatened to send naval ships to Venezuela if those nations sought to forcibly collect the debt. Stability must be preserved, Roosevelt said in his 1904 annual message to Congress, even if it requires an “exercise of international police power.” The Roosevelt Corollary, based on the 1901 Platt Amendment, became the cornerstone of U.S....   [tags: Monroe Doctrine American History Essays]

Research Papers
868 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Religious Head Garments

- In many religions, the use of garments such as the jewish yarmulke or the islamic hijab are not merely worn out of choice, but out of strict ritual or religious obligation. For religious groups, donning traditional dress is not just seen as religious duty, but ties closely with spiritual practice and provides a sense of spiritual identity. Widespread use shows that it has become an integral part to the continuity of multiple religious practices. Provided that wearing religious garments is based on manifesting central religious beliefs(SOURCE), to what extent can a State hinder this expression of freedom....   [tags: religious beliefs and expressions]

Research Papers
3092 words (8.8 pages)

The Doctrine Essay

- The Doctrine The doctrine of precedent is based on the need for certainty in the law. It means that lawyers can properly advise their clients on the basis that like cases will be treated alike, rather than judges making their own random decisions which nobody could predict. This helps people plan their affairs. According to Lord Denning, ‘It is the foundation of our system of case law’....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
588 words (1.7 pages)