Comparative Study Of Religion And Religion

873 Words Dec 9th, 2015 4 Pages
Comparative Religion was by far one of the most eye-opening courses I took as an undergraduate. Going into the course, I thought I would be simply comparing religions. I thought I would be learning about various religions and the similarities and differences between those religions. However, it was quite different. Yes, I learned about the major world religions and their practices, but more importantly, I learned how to approach the study of religion through various religious scholars. One of the hardest parts of the course was not being able to truly define “religion”. It is based too much on an individual’s interpretation and personal beliefs; therefore an unbiased definition cannot be given. Tweed puts it perfectly as “doomed attempts to characterize religion” (Tweed, 30). However, after studying religious scholars, Tweed, Reader, Eade, and Sallnow, I was able to come up with this definition of religion. Religion is based on an individual’s belief or non-belief in a higher power, way of life, and values. Religion occurs on an internal and external level that is influenced by society, institutions, and religious texts.
My favorite definition of religion is by Thomas Tweed, “Religions are confluences of organic-cultural flows that intensify joy and confront suffering by drawing on human and superhuman forces to make homes and cross boundaries” (Tweed, 54). Meaning, religion is a convergence of factors that intensify joy and confront suffering by leaning on both human and…
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