There are many books on religion that try to break down each with enough facts to get the reader to understand. Though books are filled fact after fact and at times, slight biases, they sometimes forget to include values and reasons why people follow them. Because of this, students can miss out on a chance to get a deeper understanding of religion and the people that follow it. Huston Smith’s The World's Religion, Revised & Updated is that book that can broaden students’ viewpoint of all religions.
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
In his book, A Critical Introduction to the Study of World Religions, Craig Martin aims to introduce undergraduate students to a socio-functional approach in exposing the methods in which religion disrupts class equality. He succeeds by using intelligible explanations, arguments, and examples to skeptically understand how man is shaped by religion.
Before attending college here at Seattle University, I never necessarily thought that I would be interested in learning about religions other than my own. Throughout my life I was raised to follow the Christian faith. Everything that pertained to my life revolved around my faith. Although I do not regret being born and raised in a Christian home, some occasions have risen where I felt a sense of being “forced” into the religion. This caused myself to ultimately grow a disconnection from my faith. Coming to Seattle University with a sense of disconnection from my religion in actuality provided me the motivation and inspiration to possibly learn about different religions in order to compare and contrast their views from my personal ones, which
The first articles, for example, have already opened my eyes to the movement of Christianity’s popularity. It fractured the cornerstone of my stereotypical idea of what a Christian looks like. A Christian may be anybody and, sadly, I was surprised by this. This led me to wonder how much any religion may differ among its followers when the ethnicity and regions are changed. I had not even cared to contemplate the ideas already presented in class but enjoyed the experience of knowledge being thrust upon me. As with biblical heritage, in which, I have used my knowledge of the bible long after the class finished, I am enthusiastic to the idea of learning something that could be applied to my everyday life. This class may differ, though, as the concepts learned may be applied to other religions, whereas, studying the bible was only good for
In summary, there are many benefits and drawback to the academic study of religion from the outsider’s point of view. Benefits can include factors such as gaining a new understanding of a religion or being able to gain an unbiased perspective. Drawbacks, however, include factors such as an ethnocentric point of view of an individual or simply missing minute details in a belief of religion. When everything has been said and done, I do believe that the outsider’s perspective on the study of religion is very important and something that should always be
Providing students to explore one’s religion or spirituality can begin to bridge the separation that exists between faith traditions in institutions. Dr. Casey mentions repeatedly that “the term religion is problematic,” and although this is true, this perspective can change. Religion is so deeply engrained in individuals and this does not have to form a type of “war zone,” but instead, it can provide us with an opportunity to learn about other citizens, rather than creating a sense fear or anxiety within us. Although we may be living in “an age of chaos today,” building understanding amongst global citizens is the prominence of religion in this
This class would focus on the five religions with the most adherence in Winston-Salem and worldwide: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Students would learn the central tenants of each faith, as well as the similarities and differences between them. As juniors and seniors in high school, these students exhibit a greater amount of maturity and a greater ability to think critically about religion. By offering Introduction to Religion as an elective course, students get to decide whether or not to take this course; therefore, students who sign up will likely display a genuine interest in the subject. This discussion-based class would create a forum for students to professionally discuss religion and the influence it has on society. In the classroom, religion can be taught objectively to increase students’ knowledge about religion without influencing their personal
Growing up in a religion is different than learning about multiple religions objectively. This is a point that well made by Morreall and Sonn. Though the early pages of the book are vague when
During Wednesday’s class we moved onto the topic of, Understanding Religion. The professor had also asked the class if one can understand religion, as either an insider or outsider to the said religion. After drawing some ideas together, the class was able to come to the agreement that there are two different ways to primarily understand religion without submersing
The history of religion continues to play an important role in defining why certain aspects of religion are the way they are today. Understanding religion’s history can also help one appreciate the importance, value, and determination that certain individuals went through in order for that particular religion to gain freedom and acceptance in society. Throughout history, Christianity has shown exactly this. By learning about its history, one can gain an understanding of how it emerged into being one of the most popular religions in the world. Furthermore, better understanding of the religion, both historically and contemporarily, can help dispel any negative preconceived notions about Christianity.
While religion is a complex topic and an ongoing search for answers and explanation, the in-depth class discussions throughout the semester have significantly helped shape my personal understanding of religion. With the thorough reading and, discussions, my knowledge on the different ideas behind multiple religions has expanded. I gained a spiritual awareness of the diverse world of religion and an appreciation for all it has to offer. Now that I possess a better understanding of many different religious ideologies, I have a clearer view of what role “faith,” “religion,” and “critical reason” play in my life. Faith and Critical Reason has shaped my spiritual understating of myself in a positive way.
Religion has existed for countless centuries. Christianity is one of the major religions in this world, which had people be criticized, battle in wars, and killed for, but it still survived to this day. The purpose of this paper is to study the source of the religion, recognize the teachings, observe its spread throughout the world, and to identify how it stands among people today. Approaching this paper by a factual report I will explain these major points and why we need to know about this religion and other religions that existed before our generation.
Religion can be defined as a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance. It contains a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices that allow its followers to live their life a certain way. The world consists of 19 major religions, which are further subdivided into 270 larger groups. According to David Barrett et al, editor of the “World Christian Encyclopedia,” there are 34,000 separate Christian groups around the world. Just from those numbers alone, we can conclude that religion has a prevalent effect on people and society. Religion is viewed as a positive influence on an individual both psychologically and physically. Throughout history we can study the various effects that religion has on society. Studies generally provide great evidence in favor of religion having a positive effect on individuals and society as a whole.
Looking back at the beginning of class I realize now that my definition of religion was lacking. I thought that it could be defined as the belief that actions have consequences, and it didn’t matter if those consequences were controlled by supernatural entities or some cosmic force, just that all actions, good and bad, will have some type of consequence. I had supported this statement by identifying several terms from Joyce Flueckiger’s article from class. Specifically, I was looking at terms from South Asia such as karma and samsara. Flueckiger elaborates on these terms by defining karma as, “actions and its consequences” and samsara as, “The cycle of birth and rebirth based on one’s past actions” (Flueckiger, 2015). These terms explained