Religions of the World Essay

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Religions of the World

Religions of the world must be studied subjectively, or with the attitude of pluralism, the view that they are all equal. A number of methods are used to study religions. The most common is the historical comparative method in which a certain faith's history and traditions are deliberated. This method focuses on orthodoxy, meaning "correct thought." Another method is the phenomenological method. This method, unlike the historical comparative method, is centered on orthopraxy, or "correct practice." Other less common methods involve subjective modes of study such as the confessional method of study, which interprets a religion based on a particular point of view, and the empathetic approach, which is based
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Rocks also possess religious references. Easter Island and Stonehenge, for example, hold religious significance of ethnic religions of the past. The Kotel, or the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem is a more modern example, being the last standing part of the second temple. Other examples of physical geography in religion are trees, which were used to create totems, and rivers, such as the Nile, which was sacred in the ancient Egyptian religion and the Ganges, which is still sacred today to the Hindus. Water is used as a means of purification in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The desert is also and example. It is often considered to be a means of spiritual refinement. The ecology of religion is of great importance. The processes of nature become ritualized in attempt to change the processes or powers behind them. Simple ethnic religions, especially, are built around cycles of nature as fertility rituals. The more complex the religion becomes, the more complex the type of ritual practiced becomes. When Christianity began, it practiced many of the values from the Mediterranean agricultural societies from which it originated. Christianity began to take on the characteristics of the people who accepted it. For instance, the Jewish Passover became Easter, Christmas was not originally practiced, but Christians gradually absorbed the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Religion also relates directly to the land. Environmental

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