Quinn's Religion in Daniel Quinn's Novel Ishmael

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Quinn 's Religion In Daniel Quinn 's novel Ishmael, religion clearly plays an important role with respect to the central theme of the story. Quinn 's broad definition of the term accurately demonstrates our unconditional acceptance of culture today, as well as the problems that arise from regarding a culture that is not necessarily true.

In the story, Quinn never truly defines religion, despite drawing on several examples of both Eastern and Western religious thought. By leaving religion to be broadly interpreted, he subtly demonstrates his personal contempt for the way that the word is currently used in today 's society. Gage Canadian Dictionary defines it in three ways. First it is the "belief in or worship of god or gods." According to
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The apparent success of the Taker culture is merely an illusion, according to Quinn. Until humanity stops insisting on taking part in a story contrary to the natural and unbreakable laws of nature, we are destined to see civilization crash down upon us; the plot will invariably end in disaster.

It is from this account of history that Quinn 's own, abstract definition of the word religion begins to emerge. Quinn states that "any story that explains the meaning of the world, the intentions of the gods, and the destiny of man is bound to be mythology" (Quinn 45). Religion is the historical reference of the values held by a society, with regard to its culture and mythology. It is when meaning pertinent to how a culture should live is applied to the story currently being realized by that same culture that religious thoughts appear. Such a process could apply to any aspect of societies ' indoctrination, whether a Koran or Bible is used in the process or not. To expound upon this point, let us note that the philosopher Paul Griffiths similarly shares Quinn 's open interpretation of the nature of religion. In The Uniqueness of Religious Doctrines, he describes religious doctrines as having five major functions. They are the rules that govern the life of the community, and provide "structure and order the intellectual, affective, and practical life of the community" (Griffiths 541). As well, they also define the bounds of the community, excluding what
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