In The Sacred Quest, University of Notre Dame professor Lawrence Cunningham attempts the search for a coherent definition of religion. While he doesn’t strive for a one-sentence interpretation of what indicates a real, organized religion, he arrives on several elements and functions to give meaning to his definition. To Cunningham, there are five elements that make up a religion: belief, feeling, action, individual and community aspects, and values. Cunningham argues that these five elements exists in order to explain what could not otherwise be explained, enable people to sustain hope in the face of difficult experiences, and provide ways of thinking that provide goals and respond to “great problems” in life (158). All of these aspects work
Although broad in nature, religion is complex and mysterious, yet pure. Simply put, religion represents supernatural beliefs, where traditions and ideologies vary greatly. However, religion is greater than that of a belief, but rather a way of life. According to Mary Fisher, author of Living Religions, religion is something of a sacred reality, serving as a significance and lifestyle for millions of people around the world (2). Nonetheless, figures such as E.B. Taylor, J.G. Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Émilie Durkheim, and Karl Marx have analyzed the mystery of faith, bringing new meaning and definition to the subject.
At the beginning of the semester, I wrote: “Religion is the institutional manifestation of feeling and believing in something beyond yourself” (Kelley 2016). Twelve weeks later, I consider this definition incomplete and problematic; nevertheless, it reveals how religious thinkers such as James Frazer, Emile Durkheim, William James, Mircea Eliade, Jeffrey Kripal, and Bruce Lincoln infiltrate our quotidian definitions of religion. In this paper, I hope to develop a new conception of religion, recognizing the impact of such historical thinkers on personal conclusions. In other words, I hope to show that we are
The question as to what it means to be human is often thought of as being the foundational question for almost all religions. Indeed, it can be argued that the religious impulse itself is first and foremost an impulse to understand the nature the meaning of life, and therefore of what it means to be human. Despite the importance of this question, the Bible provides relatively few answers, other than the idea that to be human is to be in some way close to God and to have been created by Him. This closeness and the nature of having been created has a variety of consequences which this paper will explore. These consequences that can be seen to be intensely positive but which also come with a heavy price and with a strict legality. Finally, they may also be shown to be entirely arbitrary and to position their unfathomable nature on the fact of having the 'created ' nature of a person.
The following essay shall consider the given extract from Schleiermacher’s “On Religion; Speeches to its Cultured Despisers”. Schleiermacher’s fifth and final speech explores the range of religions presentations viewed across the world and how this impacts the idea of the plurality of God. Not only this but in his conclusion, Schleiermacher puts forward the idea that Christianity can be viewed as separate from all other religions as the most accurate form of religion, and his reasons for this will take up the majority of this essay 's discussion.
Religion is constructed on faith and belief of an individual even though it is the individual choice to follow it or not. It has stirred a lot of debates for years; those who are trying to prove that God exists throughout history and follow to modern day. While, those who are atheist are trying to prove their point of God does not exist. There are still more and more theories and debate over the subject of religious view. It is a matter of theism versus atheism; new and old philosophers have joined the debate and all with different sides to another philosopher’s theory or view on the matter. In this paper, I will attempt to illustrate the reasons given by Louis Pojman of why religion is good or bad, as well as evaluating Bertrand Russell argument about religion. This can define the meaning of life and the creation of life as we know it. It can change views or switch sides for there is always another explanation to exactly what religion is all about and having a superior ruler that created all.
Nye discusses the term “religion” twice as a noun, once as an adjective, and once as a verb. One noun represents religion as a “universal” aspect of humanity, the other noun signifies a specific religion, the adjective form describes a behavior or experience, and the verb is the act of practicing, itself. The various meanings of the term “religion” as demonstrated by these parts of speech set up the basis for the fact that religion has a multitude of implications. Nye focuses on these complexities, and, in particular, draws attention to religion’s variations cross-culturally. He writes how even within the same religion, religious practices and beliefs can differ greatly. He also explains how the word “religion” itself is difficult to translate into other languages, and some cultures do not even have a word for it. Nevertheless, Nye argues that, rather than the as a term, religion can be translated globally in terms of the kind of life it prescribes.
When thinking about morality, it is necessary to consider how aspects from both nature and nurture, along with free will, may form ones moral beliefs and dictate ones moral actions. To understand how moral beliefs as well as actions formulate and operate within individuals and societies, it is imperative that a general definition of morality is laid out. Morality, then, can be defined as ones principles regarding what is right and wrong, good or bad. Although an individual may hold moral beliefs, it is not always the case that moral actions follow. Therefore, in this essay I aim to provide an explanation that clarifies the two and in doing so I also hope to further the notion that one’s moral framework is a product of all three factors; nature, nurture, and free will. The first part of this essay will flush out what exactly morality it and how it manifests similarly across individuals and differently across individuals. Contrariwise, I will then explain how morality manifests similarly across societies and differently across societies. Alongside presenting the information in this order, I will trace morality back to primordial times to showcase how morality has evolved and developed since then, not only from a nature-based standpoint, but also from a
Within the works of both Abraham Heschel and Paul Tillich, there is a main focus on what faith is and what the components of faith are. The books Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion and Dynamics of Faith, written by Heschel and Tillich respectively, both share a common ideology about the faith expressed by man in relation to the divine. However, there are a few points of contention within their beliefs that cause the reader to realize that though they may seem to have the same thoughts about faith at a cursory glance, they are not completely the same. These deviations emphasize the difference in their development of faith, and how their fundamental views of the divine are the cause of this variance. By bringing attention to these differences,
Having firmly established the distinction between religion and speculation, he next states that without religion, both praxis and speculation become barren and produce no fruit since religion is the sense for what is infinite. Without religion, he claims, the otherwise finite nature of thinking and of acting shrink to arbitrarity since they do not grasp at the universal intuitions of infinity and thus do not grasp at a true concept of the universe. Religion is, therefore, a necessary part of the triplet of thinking and acting if one is to hold the unified view of the universe which underlies Schleiermacher’s entire conception of reality.
In this essay I will be looking at the theories of Edward Burnett Tylor and Émile Durkheim, and comparing them to see which theory I think gives a better explanation about what religion is, or whether religion is actually definable. On the one hand we have Tylor’s theory that tells us that religion is belief in spiritual beings and that religion is just a step on the way to reaching full evolutionary potential. Durkheim’s theory, however, says that religion is very much a social aspect of life, and something can only be religious or “sacred” if it is something public (Durkheim 1965:52). Ultimately these theories do not give us an outright explanation about what ‘religion’ is, but there are aspects of the theory that can be used to gain an understanding or idea.
However, there is another side to religion, one that is quite contrary to idea of unification and acceptance. When looking through the scope of history, we can also see religion as an exclusionary tool, often used to differentiate groups of people on an innate level. As many of these idealogies attempt to assert
Some people believe our life is based off of morals, a belief of right/justification or wrong/ unjust. Living this way perceives their ways of the world by doing what they feel is good or bad or what is lead by their conscience regardless of religion. Others believe in religion, a feeling or act of faith, from God or “gods” ( Merriam-Webster). These acts motivated by faith and God/ “gods” provide a comprehension between choices, a choice given to all for all based off of a religious belief. In analyzing this presentation, it will show what the writer of this topic is trying to point out to the intended audience or its purpose, while conveying to the readers what morality and religion is.