REL 113 Common Practices in Religion

Decent Essays
Common Practices in Religion
Calvin Young
REL 133
March 31, 2015
Mr. William Sunday
Common Practices in Religion
Although religions today take on many shapes and forms, and may seem so dramatically different from each other, in order to study and understand these religions, their similarities must be identified. This paper will first present a definition of religion that will connect to all religions at the simplest base. Then this paper will examine the common practices and experiences that are present in both the primary religions of the world, as well as the indigenous religions. Finally, this paper will discuss the issues that are critical to the academic study of religions.
Definition of Religion
The most common failing in
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Michael Malloy identifies several of these critical issues in his book Experiencing the World’s Religions (2013). The first of these questions is whether the religion can truly be observed or is the act of study changing the events observe, thus invalidating the research. If the religion cannot be seen without altering the ceremony and culture, then study will only provide information on what the observer can change, rather than what the religion is. Secondly, can the major religions be classified into such groups, can all the Buddhist sects be labeled as Buddhist, or must the religions be taken individually, and who makes the decision of what to label the religion. Lastly, the issue of experiences of the religion by different interior groups. A researcher must ask what the various experiences of the religions are between men and women, or the experiences of a child, adolescent, adult, and elder. Also, a researcher must ask how the ceremonies are different for the converted if the religion allows for converts.
This paper has presented a definition of religion, as well as an examination of its parts to determine if the definition is adequate to apply appropriately. Secondly, this paper has examined several practices and experiences common to both major religions of the worlds, as well as indigenous religions. Lastly, the key critical issues of the study of religions and reasons for their consideration have been identified and discussed.

Molloy, M.
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