The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today is Politics

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The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today

For me, the word ‘religion’ conjures up images of wailing fat ladies dressed in their Sunday best singing at the top of their lungs about the glory of God. Of course, this image comes from my childhood when I attended the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica every Sunday, rain or shine, with my grandmother. For her, Church, Christianity and God was a way of life; a set of principles she believed in and lived by. For others less convinced, the idea of religion or ‘being religious’ is as far fetched as aliens and UFO’s.

Throughout the centuries, religion has played an important part in shaping the political landscape of most modern societies
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Does anyone have the right to question or challenge another person’s religious convictions regarding their morals and values? How should members of the western religions view those who practice ancient and seemingly barbaric forms of religion? Upon viewing the state of affairs in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq someone uneducated in the laws of Islam could easily assume that the Islamic way of life seems to promote violence against women and those who wish to relax the laws.

Closer to home, Britain remains a multicultural environment. In some areas the ethnic make up of certain areas have changed dramatically in the past 10 years. According to Nicola Davies, Slough represents one of the most multicultural parts of England.

Of the 119,067 residents, 12 per cent are of Pakistani heritage, five per cent are Black or Black British, 14 per cent Indian heritage and 63 per cent White. Twenty per cent of the residents were born outside the European Union. Thirteen per cent of the population is Muslims, nine per cent Sikhs, four per cent Hindus and 53 per cent Christians.

This means that schools and other public places have had to restructure their curriculum or modus operandi to accommodate the freedom to practice other religions as stated in the constitution.

In one predominantly Slough school, the decision
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