Essay on Why Is Religion Important?

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"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life."
-- Buddha

"So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you."
--Jesus Christ

Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, or whether you think religion has played a positive or negative role in history, it is an incontrovertible fact that from the beginning of time, humans have engaged in activities that we now call religion, such as worship, prayer, and rituals marking important life passages. Moreover, religions have always asked fundamental questions, such as: What is the true meaning of life? What happens to us after death? How do we explain human suffering and
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By studying different religious doctrines, rituals, stories, and scriptures, we can also come to understand how different communities of believers—past and present, East and West—have used their religious traditions to shape, sustain, transform themselves.

More than ever before, the world we live in is both multicultural and global. We no longer need to travel across the ocean to visit a Hindu temple or an Islamic mosque or to meet a Sikh or a Jain. The chances are that you can find a temple or mosque within a few miles of where you live, and it is almost certain that you will be meet someone from any and all of these religious traditions on campus or on the street. This makes it even more essential that we cultivate our ability to understand and interpret other people’s religious traditions.

Finally, the academic study of religion is inherently multidisciplinary. This is reflected in our program here at Washington University, which draws faculty from different disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, such as history, anthropology, literature, art history, and political science. Studying religion thus provides you an opportunity to learn about a range of disciplinary approaches, and, even more

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