Personal Religious Biography Journal

Pages: 6 (1781 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Personal Religious Biography

Growing up in a religious culture makes it virtually impossible for people to be unaffected by the religion supported in their community. My personal experience with religion is a complex one, given the fact that Catholic communities are extremely religious and most Catholics go through great efforts in order to behave in accordance with the principles promoted by Catholicism.

In spite of the fact that my passion for religion is not as ardent as it was during my childhood I nonetheless managed to remain religious, as I think religion is essential for guiding one through life and helping the respective person as he or she makes choices based on reason.

I am not among those who are enthusiastic with reference to their religion, as I mainly prefer to keep a balance when concerning my religious activities and thinking. While there are a great deal of Catholics who claim to be religious people, some are actually unaware of the meaning and purpose of religion, believing that religion is all about respecting God's word and being arrogant when coming across a person who is not religious. It is curious how some like to claim that they want to spread a religion of love and yet are disobliging to those who are not willing to join them.

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Regardless of what people think of religion, it definitely changes you. It makes no difference if one chooses or not to be religious, as their character is shaped from their early years and through adulthood if they live in a religious community. People first identify with their ethnical background, but religion is also important when their identities are created, as the masses will behave toward a person on account of what they know concerning their backgrounds.

It is not abnormal for people to change their religion, considering that their childhood is filled with religious experiences that some thought to be inappropriate for their character. It is mainly because of the religious fanatics in their childhood religion that people choose another spiritual path in their adult lives. Being a catholic is certainly stressing for a child, as he or she has to go through religious rituals on a daily basis and is required to respect their religion with great commitment.

Journal on Personal Religious Biography Assignment

I am not personally in favor of one religion or another, but I prefer to stick to Catholicism because of the experiences I had as a Catholic and because I found this religion to be very helpful if employed correctly and in a relaxed manner. One does not necessarily have to express their religion through obsessive behavior in order for the respective person to be religious, as it is enough for him or her to be able to make the difference between good and wrong and to discover how performing good is a rewarding activity both for those who help and for those who receive assistance.

Loyalty to a religious denomination usually decreases as one advances through life, to the point where one becomes an obscure believer, changes his or her denomination, loses all interest in religion, or merely keeps his or her religion without being especially passionate about it. Jewish people for example are among those who are likely to be treated in accordance to their religion and will be haunted throughout their lives by it, as the present society is still behaving discriminatory towards Jews.

Religious families are strongly affected by their religious denomination, as the family's structure is based on religious principles and each member is expected to bring their contribution by conveying essential religious principles. Catholicism itself tells children to listen to their parents, serving as a source from which one learns that he or she must be a religious person (considering that the parents are religious) (Schorr, 1980, p. 7). Because my mother is to some extent similar to me when concerning her affinity for religion, I most probably inherited this approach on Catholicism and thus became the religious man I am today. There is apparently more to the influence that my mother's religious nature had on me, as mothers are presumably more important than fathers in determining the level of religious devotion found in their children (Pearce & Thornton, 2007).

Given the difficult religious times society is currently going through, it is not surprising that some people convert and deconvert several times in their lives. It is as if individuals develop immunity to the communities they were raised in and concomitantly develop vulnerability for joining other religious communities.

It is almost impossible for one not to feel that the religions they grew up in are exaggerated in certain matters. Catholicism involves a community which is constantly trying to trigger religious feelings in individuals and because of the naivety expressed by certain Catholics (as some consider it perfectly normal to try to convert others), the masses feel inclined to ignore them at times.

Even someone that becomes an adult within a Catholic community is likely to consider that particular principles in this religion are exaggerated. However, this might be because of the way I interpret them, as there is a possibility for me (and others) to have a distorted view on certain aspects relating to Catholicism. For instance, some believe that it is essential for them to attend church in order to demonstrate their religious character. In contrast, my opinion is that going to church should not be something obligatory, since anyone could attend church, regardless of their opinion in regard to religion and this would not make them any more religious than they were before.

The largest part of Roman Catholics are accustomed to considering their church to be the original one, coming from a long line of influential Christians, with Saint Peter as its first Pope. Even with that, because of the wide spread of Catholicism across the globe, the Vatican is apparently expressing an inclusivist opinion in regard to religion. Globalization has made it possible for numerous religious extremists to realize that there is little effectiveness in adopting an exclusivist approach on religion.

To a certain degree, Roman Catholicism can be associated with Western European traditions, as it was initially perceived as a religion supported only by people in this territory. It gradually became clear that Christianity was not the same thing in the East as it was in the West, as these were virtually two different religions. Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity are two dissimilar cultures, known to use different practices in worshiping.

Throughout the Middle Ages the Catholic church developed in accordance with Western European customs. People in the territory became devoted to religion, bringing it into their homes and shaping their lives in relation to Catholic traditions.

Influential religious people like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure demonstrated that Catholicism was not all about worshiping blindly. They came up with theories involving morality which brought together philosophical concepts and religious principles.

As Catholicism spread through virtually every home in Western Europe, state leaders started to perceive the church as a threat. Popes were also worried that their authority was endangered by certain influential families in Europe. This resulted in an impressive display of power put across by the Catholic Church, as it brought some of the most high-ranking dynasties in Europe to the verge of extinction, removing power from them and preventing them from ever getting involved in matters which concerned Catholicism ("Roman Catholic Church," 2009).

The fall of the renowned Hohenstaufen family is attributed by some to the disagreements between it and the papality, with the latter being a main actor in its collapse of the Hohenstaufen dynasty ("Roman Catholic Church," 2009).

Matters became critical when considering the arguments between the Catholic Church and state leaders. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were marked by events which caused the papality to lose its influence over France and England. Moreover, the Reformation made it possible for people to lose interest in serving Catholics and the general public finally started to differentiate between politics and religion, with the power of the Pope being reduced to his religious purpose ("Roman Catholic Church," 2009).

The Catholic Church gradually lost its sphere of influence in Europe whereas the state increased its power. With the twentieth century seeing individuals like Stalin and Hitler harshly opposing the church, Catholicism experienced a dramatic lose which lasted up until the last few decades, when a number of reforms intended to renew it partially succeeded in bring back some of its former glory. However, it has recently been affected because of the numerous cases of Catholic priests abusing minors.

When regarding my beliefs in relation to other religions, I consider myself to be somewhere between pluralism and inclusivism. While I believe that Catholicism is one of the religions most likely to assist people on their road to enlightenment, I also believe that people can be influenced to have a moral life by allowing principles in other religions to govern their thinking.

The "just war" theory goes back several millennia at the time when… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Personal Religious Biography" Journal in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Personal Religious Biography.  (2010, July 24).  Retrieved August 4, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Personal Religious Biography."  24 July 2010.  Web.  4 August 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Personal Religious Biography."  July 24, 2010.  Accessed August 4, 2020.