In the study of religion, one can quickly discern that there are two major differentiations between the anthropological definition of religion, and that of religion in the context of belief systems. Religion, in the context of anthropology, can often be related to social institutions. On the other hand, religion in the context of belief systems indicate faith in something or someone...such as oneself, a god, or object. As identified by scholar Clifford Geertz, the anthropological definition of religion is “a system of symbols which acts to (1) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (2) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (3) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality
Marilynne Robinson’s Essay “Darwinism” Introduction to Christian Theology REL 103 Kaitlyn Spencer Marilynne Robinson is a Pulitzer-winning novelist who has graced us with her essays found in The Death of Adam. Robinson gives the read the feeling of being much more educated than he or she really is. These essays provide readers with different ways of discussing history, religion and society. They, although difficult to comprehend at times, are flawlessly argued and, throughout, are grounded in universal human experience. When reading them, it is hard not to be persuaded, especially if reading them with an open mind.
The stories which humans tell about their origins are always cherished and held in high regard. In fact, no culture has existed which has not created or attempted to create some story of origins. Every culture has had some means in which to say this is where we came from. Especially in cultures where religion found itself prevalent, the mythology of origins became not only a status or anthropology but also a theology. In which case, we find that Christianity is not alone in this struggle, though our struggle may be unique in kind.
Karen Armstrong, author of “Homo Religiosus,” claimed that without the physical rituals and traditions, religion morphed into a belief. Simply put, Armstrong argued that religion requires not only blind faith but also customs and practices that affect one’s physical and mental behaviors. It is through these rituals and taboos that the religions grows and forms, and yet also changes when deemed necessary. Additionally, Armstrong constantly compares religion to different art forms. She does this to convey the message that much like art, one must focus and study religion for lengthy periods of time to be properly understood. However, this connection also suggests that art and religion can perform an analogous role to humankind when required, as they both evolve and change when a society 's infrastructure does. Throughout her essay “Homo Religiosus,” Armstrong focuses on the similar role that both art and religion play in society to discuss her claim that religion is not just a belief, but rather has to do with changes in physical and mental behaviors that in return create change in society and the religion one needs.
In this essay I will be looking at the theories of Edward Burnett Tylor and Émile Durkheim, and comparing them to see which theory I think gives a better explanation about what religion is, or whether religion is actually definable. On the one hand we have Tylor’s theory that tells us that religion is belief in spiritual beings and that religion is just a step on the way to reaching full evolutionary potential. Durkheim’s theory, however, says that religion is very much a social aspect of life, and something can only be religious or “sacred” if it is something public (Durkheim 1965:52). Ultimately these theories do not give us an outright explanation about what ‘religion’ is, but there are aspects of the theory that can be used to gain an understanding or idea.
Since the beginning of time humans have endeavoured to explain the causes and reasons behind their existence. As a result of this thirst for knowledge many different beliefs and values have been formulated with the aim of explaining this age-old question. Most of these beliefs are prevalent today in the
In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?, Alvin Plantinga argues that proponents of naturalism, like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, tell us that, according to the theory of evolution, neither God nor any other agent has designed or created the living world, and that evolution, therefore, clearly contradicts the central
Kumare as a Human Construct This movie demonstrated how much religion is a human construct. Kumare made his own religion by incorporating elements from other religions and coming up with his own elements. His religion, however, had no power without his followers who gave life to his teachings and ideas. The
Most of the human ‘Homo sapiens’ is born into a religion. That religion could be Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian or Atheism, etc, a set of beliefs which someone inherits from his family, and till the death, that man will likely stay with his or her religion because almost every human has tendency to be religious. On the other hand, the reality of the religion does not matter to him unless someone conducts any investigation to get to the religious truth. In the essay ‘Homo religiosus,’ Karen Armstrong says that, today’s religious followers accept the religion into which they were born, without doing the hard work required. This means that someone follows his ancestor’s religion from the beginning for his life and he or she is not able to prove his ancestors were wrong because he or she has faith in his own religion. Faith is the main concept of the religion because people have deep faith in their own religion. In addition, faith is nothing but mere fantasy and faith has no basis in reality. Therefore, people have no ability to conduct investigations to find out the religious truth. In addition, elements and places of religion vary from religion to religion. Religion is one of the most prehistoric institutions which have been noticed to practice in any society past and present even in the ancient world where cave paintings were popular. Institutions, like politics and entertainments, have been greatly influenced by the religious faith. The truth of religion might give
When dwelling into the explorations about science and religion, one can find it quite amusing. "If science and religion are to continue to coexist it seems opposed to the conditions of modern thought to admit that this result can be brought about by the so-called
The riddle of the origin of man has been subject to many ponderings and theories for thousands of years. In America, two theories concerning this timeless question have driven a spike through the general populace. These two beliefs, Evolution and Christianity, have driven a riff through the American populace and fueled several debates and conflicts over which is the truer theory. Incidents such as the decision of the Kansas school board to ban schools from including the Evolution Theory from their curriculum are becoming a tragically frequent and threaten to escalate if not checked soon. However, there is a growing belief in America today in the possibility of believing that evolution is an inescapable fact while still
Individual accounts of psychology in the readings, despite negligible difference, are evidence that an individual’s behavior or experience can be reflective of a greater societal trend. Karen Armstrong’s work “Homo Religiosus” analyzes the transformation of the religious institution over time and the various practices performed by individuals and groups. Armstrong describes a spiritual Palaeolithic hunter tradition to transition a boy into manhood:
Human evolution according to research started over 6 million years ago. The outcome of the evolution process is the current human beings. Scientific studies have revealed over the years a remarkable affinity between the chimpanzees/Apes and human beings. Even though this reality is not a definitive prove that human beings evolved from apes, it does show that the human beings are in one way or another related to other primates. Scientists suppose that the humans and the primates shared a common ancestor. The subject of what makes humans what they are and their origin has been the exclusive purpose leading to many scientific studies globally (Coolidge & Wynn, 2011). Studies believe that Africa was the origin of evolution millions of years ago. Fossil remains have been discovered in different parts of Africa as well as other regions of the world. Different hominins have been discovered around the world in the last 1 million years. Thus, the different discoveries have led to comparisons between the various species of hominins to clarify on their similarities as well as differences. This essay seeks to explain whether they were distinctively different species or regional versions of the same species.
What is the role of the religion in the journey of human evolution? Millions and millions years ago our first early-ape ancestor Lucy has to walk African savanna and she did not know her uniqueness, unfortunately. Walking is the interpretation of the environment and its adaptive solution for surviving
As a student of religion I have learnt that religion is an indispensable part of human life. History shows that every religion, it may be revealed or not, has risen in the crucial moment of the human history. According to the Semitic tradition human history has began with Adam and Eve, first prophet in Abrahamic tradition. In Indian tradition, though God is omnipresent but he directly intervened into this world, what we called Avatara, to make a clear distinction between right and wrong. In primitive society also people’s lives were highly motivated with religious affiliation.