Religion And Religion : Religion

2637 WordsDec 4, 201411 Pages
One of the most difficult topics to discuss in society today is religion. Religion is a very complex notion to describe. There is in fact, no sound definition because it is so subjective. Religion is what the individual makes of it. It is a belief system that integrates culture, teachings, practices, personal experience, and artistic expressions which relate people to what they perceive to be transcendent (Brodd et. al. 9). Religion has shaped humanity into what it really is today as much of human history was made in the name of God. Understanding religion is paramount in understanding the various cultures of the world, their values and their meaning. Even understanding the many religious traditions is central to the keeping of collective lifestyles based on ethics and other moral foundations and provision of the tools for cooperation and conflict. It remains an unanswered question whether or not there is a means for “sustaining a diversity of religious traditions and a wide range of ethical values while living together as one” (Kurtz 3). The central thesis of this essay will focus on four major world religions; Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity. Focusing on the aforementioned religions’ key similarities and differences, this essay will attempt to understand the broader cultures that developed out of those religions. The founder of the Buddhist religion, Gautama Siddhartha, was given the name “Buddha,” which translates into “the Awakened One.” Since everyone in

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