Study "Religion / God / Theology" Essays 1-55

123. . .Last ›
X Filters 

Faith, Religion, and Theology. Book Review

… ¶ … faith, religion, and theology.

While faith, religion, and theology are interrelated, it is important to understand that they represent different concepts. It is not uncommon for one to hear someone say, "I am not religious, but I am spiritual." Such a distinction indicates that people may not be able to define the different concepts, but that they have an inherent understanding that there some differences. Faith is what drives people to search for truth and makes them believe that there is some truth out there. Religion is not faith, but refers to the ceremonies and other rituals that might be linked to a particular faith. In fact, "Religion is structured in terms of creed, code, and ceremony" (p.3). Theology differs from both religion and faith. From a Christian perspective, "theology is…the process and the product of conversation between the Christian tradition and our contemporary situation" (p.4).

B) What are the two important elements of theology (for both theology in the narrow and broad sense)

Theology is a process and a product. First, as a process, theology is the way one reconciles modern religious expression with a religious tradition. The process element of theology is primary in its definition, reminding people that theology is an ongoing and fluid part of religious studies. In this way, "theology is a dynamic 'conversation' involving three basic conversation partners: a religious tradition, a contemporary situation, and a person engaged in understanding the tradition and the situation, and in relating them to each other" (p.286). Second, as a product, theology can refer to the result of those reflections on religious tradition.

C) How do Catholics and Protestants differ in their view of the Bible?

Protestants believe that the Bible is the sole source of Christian belief, while the Catholic Church has allowed tradition to be a source of authority. For example, the Pope is said to be God's mouthpiece, and is able to provide extra-Biblical religious authority.

D) Explain the major claims of fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism impacts every religion, but the text focuses its examination on Christian fundamentalists. These fundamentalists claims that the Bible is infallible, that history should be interpreted through the Bible, that the apocalypse is coming, and focuses on the idea of the rapture to save the devout. This infallibility does not attach solely to the people who originally wrote the Biblical books, but also to the myriad number of translations that have led to the modern Bible. Fundamentalism impacts life outside of religious areas, for example, fundamentalists claim that the earth is only as old as it would be according to the Bible and that evolution did not occur. Therefore, it is fair to say that fundamentalism is critical of modern life, science, and any other advances that it views as taking people away from life as described in the Bible.

E) Explain how to understand the…… [read more]


Faith and Beliefs Book Review

… Faith, Religion & Theology, Brennan Hill, Paul Knitter, and William Madges delve into an examination of faith. They begin by distinguishing faith from belief. Next, they discuss how faith relates to the mind, heart, and will and how the mind, heart, and the will participate in the faith response. They discuss active faith. Finally, they touch on all of the major religions and discuss the uniqueness of Christian faith. Taken together, these explanations of faith help explain the role of faith in Christianity.

Hill, Knitter, and Madges begin their discussion of faith by distinguishing faith from belief. The two ideas are very similar, but there is a fundamental difference separating them. "Faith is our trusting commitment to a relationship; whereas beliefs are the ideas, the truths, the cognitive content that are integral to our commitments. When beliefs change, the faith relationship can be altered" (Hill et al., 1997, p.24). This explanation makes it clear that the authors believe that faith is active and intentional, while belief can be both inactive and unintentional.

That is not to suggest that the authors think that faith somehow belies belief. On the contrary, they believe that the mind plays a critical role in faith. "Faith is in one sense the human capacity to believe that the truth of the matter is somewhere out there to be discovered" (Hill et al., 1997, p.10). In fact, rather than suggesting that faith is something one should have without knowledge, the authors suggest that "faith in someone implies knowledge of that person," and think that religious faith has the same pattern (Hill et al., 1997, p.10). Therefore, there is a certain level of uncertainty that comes with faith, and that uncertainty does not undermine the faith. However, faith is not solely an intellectual endeavor. Faith involves emotions as well, and Hill et al. describe it as "resting in the closeness of another" (1997, p.14). It is knowing and trusting that loved ones will remain true and loving. Choosing to place that trust is how the heart interacts with faith. While both the heart and the mind can urge one towards faith, they…… [read more]


Spirituality, Religion, and Faith Term Paper

… There is no pure faith or pure spirituality, for Richard McBrien, outside of culture, for the Catholic Christian, or for any individual. Even the devoted reader of self-help books, one might add, participates in a cultural tradition, namely the American and secular Protestant tradition of self-improvement at all costs. (25-26) Even spirituality for McBrien, like religion and like faith, is still collective in the sense that it is not immune from cultural influences. Even as the production of an 'individual,' that individual is still subject to cultural assumptions and religious assumptions regarding spirituality. Thus McBrien states that there is no faith that is "available in some non-theological state" - that it is no more "possible, in other words, to isolate the former [faith] from the latter [a theological state] as one might separate two chemicals in a laboratory experiment." (22)

McBrien presents the most persuasive definitional distinction between spirituality, religion, and faith, namely that such distinctions are really transient. Spirituality may be deemed individualistic, but that is, again, because of the individualistic culture in which our particular vision and version and place in time Catholicism is being expressed. Even the most traditional view of spirituality in the context of the Catholic religion and structural notions of faith, as expressed by Guinan, is of its own moment, in dialogue with culture, contemporary notions of human personhood, and the Catholic tradition of community, hierarchy, dogma, and doctrine. Consequently, church doctrines of faith do not 'happen' outside theological endeavors. Faith is not to be equated with doctrine; rather doctrine, faith, and the individual are always in dialogue with religious structures and cultural influences. (23)

Works Cited

Carlson, Paula J. And Hawkins, Peter S. Editors. Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith. Augsburg/Fortress, 1994.

Guinan, Michael D. "Christian Spirituality." Catholic Update. http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0598.asp

McBrien, Richard. "Faith, Theology, and Belief." Catholicism. Vol. I. Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, Inc., 1980, pp. 23-77

Sachs, John R. The Christian Vision of Humanity. Basic Christian Anthropology, Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 1991.… [read more]


Evil Is Divided Into Two Main Categories Book Review

… ¶ … Evil is divided into two main categories. First, there are moral evils. Moral evils are "bad deeds committed by agents who are capable of moral decision making" (p.415). Examples of moral evils include, but are not limited to: wars, murder, abuse of power, domestic violence, rape, child abuse. Second, there are natural or physical evils. "Natural evil refers to events that are not committed by human beings, but that have evil consequences for humanity or other sentient creatures" (p.415). Natural disasters are probably the most commonly-recognized type of natural evils, though things like birth defects could be considered natural evils as well.

How do process theologians explain evil?

Process theologians take a metaphysical approach to theology. They believe that suffering and tragedy are inherent to the human condition, and reject attempts to sanitize evil. However, that does not mean that they necessarily think that God is evil or uncaring for allowing suffering to occur; instead, God empathizes with this suffering, as exampled by the willful sacrifice of His Son / Himself. This requires abandoning the idea of an omnipotent creator-Father version of God, and embracing a more universal, empathetic, caring version of God. This still leaves room for an omniscient God, as Hartshorne would suggest, but leaves God unable to directly intervene in acts of either moral or natural evil (p.420). That might suggest a God that suffers even more than any member of humankind, because He knows of all the evil that occurs but is absolutely powerless to prevent it from occurring.

3. How does Kushner explain evil?

Harold Kushner provides an interesting example of process theology. Kushner had previously accepted a very traditional Judeo-Christian approach to evil, placing natural evil as the consequence of sin. However, Kushner had a young son afflicted with the disease progeria, which not only caused his early death, but also caused him tremendous pain during his lifetime. Watching his son's death, Kushner changed his approach to the question of evil. Instead of assuming that evil things occurred because of punishment for sin, a difficult concept to swallow when an innocent child has been afflicted by such a natural evil, Kushner instead embraced the idea that evil and suffering were random occurrences. Kushner felt that his son's illness put him in the position of having to choose between an omnipotent God and a totally good God, because an omnipotent God who would refuse to intervene in a child's suffering conflicted with his concept of a good God. Therefore, while Kushner's version of God is still a creator being, it is a being that cannot continue to interact in the same way with the universe. God created universal laws and randomness. Moreover, while God may not be able to directly intervene in times of evil,…… [read more]


Rhetoric of Religion Research Proposal

… Rhetoric of Religion

God and Race in American Politics: A Short History by Mark a. Noll

Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press 2008 224 Pages

This work is a demonstration of the ability of any historian with the knowledge to do so being able to draw a direct line between decisions made today and their ideological basis. The work demonstrates very effectively that the theological standards and persuasions of the past strongly influence decisions about the nature of political decision making, by both the electorate and elected officials, as well as all the legislation and policy which they push forward, and its legitimate success and/or failure.

The thesis of the work is based upon the idea that the religious standards of antebellum America and all the contentious rhetoric associated with the questions of the determination of standards laws and even election outcomes have been significantly influential even to the present. The ideal of moral standards surrounding race and religion are the basis of modern political stratification. "The religious baptism of racially-based political positions, which occurred with increasing force from 1830, permanently stratified American political allegiance such that patterns from the earlier period have continued through a host of momentous alterations to define the present." (Noll, 2008, p. 14) Noll goes on to state that; "the race-religion connection in American history is suggested by two matters: the results of elections and the perpetual conflict over whether and how to use national power to shape social and cultural norms." (14)

The work then goes on to develop this thesis by utilizing thematic demonstrations of the ideas of the thesis. Noll's chapters include: The Bible, Slavery and the "Irrepressible Conflict, in which he discusses the fundamental attempt by individuals then and now to reconcile or reject slavery based on religious ideology, the Origins of African-American Religious Agency, in which he discusses the standards and ideologies of African-American faith living with and transitioning out of slavery, the Churches "Redemption," and Jim Crow, in which he discusses the ideologies associated with absolution for African-American slavery coupled with the religious resolution for segregation in the form of the Jim Crow laws and standards, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement, in which he discusses the motivational aspects of religion on various facets of the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Movement as the Fulcrum of Recent Political History, in which he draws direct lines between the ideological foundations of the civil rights movement in the rhetoric of religion and how these ideologies became the foundation of modern ideals about moral and doctrinal right, wrong and to determine modern social and cultural norms and taboos and finally, Theological Conclusion, in which Noll traces many of the ideologies of this work back through theological interpretations.

The work clearly draws a line between the religious rhetoric of the early antebellum years back to foundational ideas about what is an is not an acceptable "moral" stand for candidates, and diverse other social and political orders as well as building a case for… [read more]


Faith Religion and Theology Book Review

… Cultural and Political Impact of Medici Family

What is Freud's view of faith or his criticism of it? -- Sigmund Freud was a 19th century psychologist and philosopher, considered by many to be the father of modern psychiatry. Although he grew up Jewish, he was never really able to come to terms with the psychological basis for religion and spirituality. He was very honest about his atheism, but also very well aware that religion had a profound and dramatic effect upon society. For Freud, religion and faith in the supernatural were expressions of deeply buried neuroses and distress. Humans use religion, according to Freud, to organize the universe into understandable chunks and to give structure to social groups, wish fulfillment, explanation for delusions, and an attempt to control the self and the outside world (Palmer, 1997). A few of Freud's pertinent comments on religion can be found in:

"Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires." (1933, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis)

"Religion is comparable to childhood neurosis." (1927, The Future of An Illusion)

What is Marx's view of faith or his criticism of it? -- Karl Marx was a 19th century social philosopher, primarily concerned with the way the Industrial Revolution had spiked a brutal and inequitable society in which the worker was continually exploited. He was concerned with the way the upper classes, for him the property owners, or bourgeoisie, controlled the workers, or proletariat. One of his views on religion focuses on the way religion is often used to control the masses, make them feel better about their lot in life, work hard, and not question the central order of things. In other words, religion is something that makes one "feel good" about their suffering, and because we humans suffer so very much, we need our constant fix of this opiate (religion). Like a drug, religion not only makes humans feel better, but it is addictive, and shrouds the truth about exploitation and control from the minds of the masses. Additionally,…… [read more]


Moltmann and Pannenberg - Theology Essay

… Jesus directs humankind to the eschatology.

Pannenberg offers a very traditional understanding of God as omnipotent and omniscient, but Moltmann does not (Hallenger, 2008). Instead, according to Moltmann, God is a fellow-sufferer, which is an issue for many more traditional theologians. However, both of these men claim that time should not be spent reviewing the notion of suffering as something to be justified; rather, suffering is to be overcome and ultimately, God will (Harvie, 2008). Meanwhile, we should not silently accept the suffering we encounter or witness. Christ's cry on the cross is perhaps the best example - we should offer a like cry of protest while at the same time working for a better future. We can because we know that there is hope for the future.

References

Hallanger, N. (2008). Reason for Hope: The Systematic Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, Second Edition -- By Stanley Grenz. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 15(1), 128-130. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9418.2007.00372_2.x.

Harvie, T. (2008). Living The Future: The Kingdom of God in the Theologies of Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg. International Journal of Systematic Theology, 10(2), 149-164. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2400.2007.00275.x.

Moltmann, J. (1993). Theology of hope: On the ground and the implications of Christian eschatology. Minneapolis, MN: First Fortress Press. NIV Life Application Study Bible. Grand…… [read more]


Bible Role & Characteristics of God's Angels Essay

Angels of the Lord


Chapter 3: Angels

Angels have been used by God to accomplish his purposes and to assist his people throughout history both recorded and unrecorded history. Angels are mentioned 273 times in the scripture and in… [read more]


Theology Pascal's Projected Apologia Essay

… To a certain degree, though, Lash is offering a Christianized version of the conclusion in the modernist philosophy of Wittgenstein: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Lash implies that, to a certain degree, rhetorical invocations of God among "believers and nonbelievers alike" have cheapened religion, because "speaking appropriately of God is, while not impossible, the most difficult, the most demanding, the most dangerous thing that human speech can do." This fails to distinguish that, of course, for a believer taking the name of God in vain is a sin; for the nonbeliever it is merely a rhetorical tic, which serves to cheapen the sincere rhetoric of believers.

Jonathan Edwards provides in his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" a sort of riposte avant la lettre to Lash here. It is worth noting that the full force of Edwards' rhetorical facility is here put onto display effectively to dramatize abstract theological concepts for an audience. In this case, Edwards -- a doctrinal Calvinist -- is trying to impress upon his New England Puritan congregation the full meaning of Calvin's doctrine of total depravity. This requires from Edwards a metaphor not so much to express God -- which is the sort of thing that Lash is warning us about -- but a metaphor to express the insignificance of man in comparison. This leads him to the famous comparison of the hand of God holding man like a loathsome spider above the fiery pit. If one views Edward's description in light of Lash's concerns, the result is likely to make God seem merely petty -- although one could certainly argue that Calvinist theology has already done the job for Edwards. But to a certain degree, using Lash to read Edwards is irrelevant. Edwards' own doctrinal certainties had already emerged from the culture of post-Reformation Puritan England: the backlash against Roman Catholicism in this period cannot be understated, as the English Puritans committed the sort of acts of iconoclasm (such as the destruction of Banbury Cross in Oxford) which one would more readily associate with the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas. Among other forms that this iconoclasm took was a total prohibition on stage drama, which was upheld in Edwards' New England. In other words, Edwards' own theological tradition emphasized the tremendous danger involved in dramatizing situations incorrectly, and thus providing a temptation to wickedness.

In a sense Edwards is doing for his congregants what the precisely similar sort of theological approach on the Roman Catholic side -- the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola -- would instruct Jesuits in training to do for themselves, in forcing vivid rhetorical and imaginative contemplation of the prospect of eternal torment. In light of these examples, Lash's complaints seem to derive from the sort of ecumenical multicultural jumble sale in which he extends the accusation of cheapening God by discussing Him to pretty much every creed on earth save Theraveda Buddhists, and nonbelievers as well. This understates the capacity… [read more]


Peter Weyland's 2023 Ted Talk Essay

… He is curious and wants to be recognized for his ability to think on his own, without having to serve anyone. The fact that Shaw does not renounce God when she is provided with the ability to understand the complexity of her background is an attempt by the producers to show that the ability to create should not actually be associated with the measure of divinity.

Cloning is one of the greatest technological advancement in recent years and it provided society with the ability to understand that people actually hold great power over genetic material. Many are likely to express distrust concerning the matter as a result of associating it with science fiction or media stories emphasizing this concept as something scary and dangerous. When seen from a scientist's point-of-view, however, cloning is a much more complex idea. "It describes scientific techniques used to find out how living things grow. It is a tool for studying diseases and creating new medicines. It describes processes that have been used by crop farmers for hundreds of years." (Thomas 4)

Cloning brings on serious questions with regard to religion, taking into account that it goes against the idea that God is the only one who can create life. Many theologians are even likely to believe that individuals supporting cloning go against everything that religion stands for, taking into account that their actions might be interpreted as being in disagreement with the role of God.

Most religion communities are probable to be against cloning and this is actually bad when looking at matters from a scientific perspective. One needs to understand that technology makes it possible for society to evolve and for doctors to be able to fight diseases more effectively as a result of having access to ideas and concepts enabling them to rapidly identify maladies and to combat them with little to no effort.

Ideas like cloning provide a theologian with an ethical dilemma and it would be very difficult for me to get involved in a debate concerning whether or not it would be normal for society to support the process. While this process is against a series of theological ideas promoted throughout time, the fact that it provides the world with the power to get involved and save the lives of people who would otherwise have little to no chances to survive means that it brings on a moral problem. One practically needs to decide whether it would be best for him or her to stand by religious teachings or whether he or she should get actively involved in preventing other people from dying.

Works cited:

Thomas, Isabel, "Cloning," (Raintree, 2012)

Dir. Scott Ridley.…… [read more]


Pastoral Theology Essay

… Pastoral Theology

How theology has meaning for the pastoral ministry

The role of the minister in a community is crucial for the way in which that community develops in the good practices of the Lord and in the spirit of the Church. He represents a vital figure in the society and a respected individual of the community as a whole. However, this role and this position is provided not necessarily by the specific clothes he wears but by their significance in relation to the teachings of God. Theology plays in this case perhaps one of the most important parts in improving the knowledge of the priest and in this way in better knowing the advice and guidance the priest must provide to believers in every day situations as well as trying conditions.

The priest needs first and foremost a particular gift or divine guidance that is revealed in the dedication with which he studies the word of the Lord. "Many are called, few are chosen" is stated in the Bible. The future priest must exercise an inner calling from the early ages of adulthood and must live his life in full accordance with the rules of the Church and in complete harmony with the community he is based in. This is one of the first indications of his future calling and his commitment for the world of priesthood.

Another element that is crucial for a good priest and a worthy voice in the community is that of the parents of the future priest. Education starts at home since the early years of life. A balanced education, with loving parents and considerate to the needs and requirements of the child is vital because it contributes to a balanced and harmonious development.

The most important part in becoming a good priest however lies in his desire and will to study theology as a means through which he can improve his skills and knowledge about God and develop new tools through which he can help the congregation. The interpretation of the will of God in a manner that is in accordance with the Church is crucial for the well being of that congregation.

The leanings achieved through the study of religion allow the minister to consider aspects related to his own sermons and exercise as a priest. In this sense, for instance, "the fact is that our congregations comprise people who have indeed adhered to Jesus Christ and who are conscious both mentally and practically of what faith is and requires. For such people the sermon is an exhortation to help them proceed on the blessed path they have chosen. On the other hand, a good part of our Church constituency is formed of nominal Orthodox, who know of the Christian faith but have never…… [read more]


Roman Religion in Antiquity Essay

… In the event of a successful conquest, the divinity in question was then accepted as Roman.

The is a concept echoed in the work of Hijmans

, who focuses on two different solar deities found in the Roman pantheon; Sol… [read more]


God Describe an Experience Essay

… These gifts of God in which pain and suffering seems inevitable, are probably most likely part of the mystery of life that is assumed when dealing with the spirit and spiritual matters.

Regardless of Barth or Haight, faith seems dependent upon trust. Trust relies on mystery to give it context and purpose. Faith is a function and system of trust, but trust would not be needed if there were no mystery. God is our symbol to recognize this mystery. Symbols are metaphors to explain the necessary confusion that brings knowledge.

1. Discuss Haight's understanding of the nature of scripture and its use in theology. In what ways does this understanding cohere with the understanding of revelation and faith contained in his text The Dynamics of Theology and Dei Verbum?

Scripture and the written word are tools of man and man alone. The same may be said about spirituality and religion. Do animals recognize Christ in all his goodness? It is unlikely that they recognized Him in the same manner that humanity has come to grips with this colossal mental undertaking. Faith, in my opinion is demonstrated and celebrated through the revelation of God through the written and spoken word. It is important that we select our words carefully and with kindness and with foresight.

The nature of Scripture and its use in theology is an engrossing subject that can be interpreted in many ways, so a relative interpretation of spirituality must be respected. Contained within the dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation within the Catholic traditions, revelation is explained through the words of interpreters dedicated to the revelations of the Catholic traditions. The words themselves are sacred and divine inspiration and interpretation is actually a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Schaab's Exploration into God reverberated Haight's interpretation of symbolism for God, " theology quite literally, the study of God is essentially an exploitation into the mystery of God into the mystery of those things which God created into which God is related namely the natural world " (p.1) . Mysteries and symbols are interchangeable in my opinion and this is an agreement to which all those who approach the subject of God must understand before continuing further.

How is revelation interpreted relatively? Word's often inspire believers into action. Sometimes, actions inspire believers to create words. Literal interpretations of God are merely actions of divine inspiration. Understanding that the subtle matter that lies within all living matter can also be interpreted as god or deity. It is only when one creates a symbolic interpretation through myth and symbolism, that should be accepted in all forms, does meaning become attached to the material actions. Then, it is possible for God to become aware in the consciousness of those who have seen the message revealed.

Haight explained symbolism as something through which something other than itself is made present through which all experiences with God and talking about God is meditated (p.130). God is therefore a symbol of the history of life. Christ further… [read more]


Philosophy of Religion God and Morality Term Paper

… Religious Ethics

God and the good: The divorce between religion and ethics

Theistic belief systems have generally prescribed behavioral codes for adherents that ultimately derive their authority from God or other supernatural entities. However, while the prescriptive role of religion has waned in increasingly secular societies, God and morality have actually become more closely entwined as philosophers turn to the persistence of moral responsibility to argue for the existence of a divine lawgiver, or else reject the possibility of God and morality together.

Some of the simplest religions attribute evil itself to personal or collective failures to conform to taboos or other supernaturally mandated rules for behavior. In these worldviews, disease, death, famine, and other misfortunes are direct results of transgressing the prevailing moral code:

They know that such sicknesses are unusual, and that they are proof that the inhabitants of the afflicted village have violated some important prohibition or failed to perform some important duty toward the mystic powers, and the illness shows that they are being visited by divine wrath (Aldrich166).

The threat of divine punishment (and the countervailing rewards for good behavior) remains a motivating factor even for moderns who have otherwise abandoned most of the other paraphrenalia of religious life; God may nominally be dead, but the sentiment that universe still chastises sinners and repays the virtuous is alive and well.

On a deeper level, religious ethics regulate human conduct in order to restrict opportunities for the creation of suffering or evil, or to alleviate its inevitable effects. God demands some behaviors and forbids others, generating a template for how worshippers can be "good," and this system of obligations and prohibitions serves as the basis for both religiously informed law and personal morality. Since these codes of behavior emanate from religion, their prescriptive power hinges on religious belief:

Virtually all religions include a code of moral conduct. […] Morality needs religion. And one respect in which it can be said that morality needs religion is that the goal of the moral life is unreachable without religious practice. […] In the premodern age and even today in large portions of the world, the relation between morality and religion was taken for granted (Zagzebski 344-5).

With the breakdown of religious certainty, human beings have been forced to search for new ways to identify, practice, and justify moral behavior. This search reached a zenith in Kant's attempts to work backward from moral certainty to a proof that God exists. While the argument is complex, it can be abstracted as a variant on the familiar cosmological proof: rather than establish a first physical cause or creator, Kant establishes a first moral cause and defines the divine in those terms (Palmquist 76). In so far as we are disposed to differentiate between right and wrong, he argues, we must inherently trust in some ultimate ethical arbiter and live our lives as if this arbiter exists with the authority to enforce its mandates.

This "proof," Kant points out (372), is compelling on… [read more]


Science and Religion Seek Term Paper

… There is the fear that religious leaders are not able to answer questions unlike scientists who through research, they are able to get answers. This leaves reasoning through religion questioned. The religion bases its faith from the past leaders teaching them who God is and what he likes. Science on the other hand is learnt from philosophers who spend most of their time researching on different fields in order to get their answers.

Conclusion

Religion and science are two different lines of studies contributing to a lifestyle. However, they have similarities that have contributed in doubting of the religious beliefs. Science being the study of the world around us has worked hard to proof the non-existence of the supernatural being. Unfortunately, they have only succeeded in everything else, but not creating a soul. Religion on the other hand is the study of the existence supernatural being. It has its issues too because of the many unanswered questions that the human race needs to be answered. Religion is unquestionable because God is mysterious, and no human has the answers. Through belief, Christians have agreed and disagreed with the bible causing churches to split. In conclusion, science has not yet succeeded in discovering creation. On the other hand, religion has been successful in making the followers trust in whatever they are taught.

Works cited

Atran, S., & Norenzayan, A. "Religion's evolutionary landscape: Counterintuition, commitment, compassion, communion." Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2004, 713-770

Nuckolas, C. "Boring Rituals," Journal of…… [read more]


New Millennium Research Paper

… Systematic theology asks questions in a sublunary manner. It develops answers cast in a similar way: What are the features of God? What is the nature of sin? Who are the chosen people of God? How is systematic theology used… [read more]


Theology Is Not a 'Thing Term Paper

… We are responsible for the other, and it is only by my involvement in, and relationship to the other, that I can define 'Truth'. Value for the other, in other words, dominates attempting to find meaning for myself.

Scripture gains its meaning when it results in higher ethics and ethical direction. Truth is empty without love. Love and goodness have to preside. Practicum must precede theory.

A craft more than a method

Gadamer differentiates between "truth and method'. We are all addicted to 'method' or instruments that serve as heuristics to gaining certain ends. These may be health, or cessation of smoking, and so forth. Truth, to Gadmaer, was more important, since it steeped us within the context and helped us gain an inside, novel perspective of it. Method distances us form the process, whilst truth steeps us within the world. Heidegger compares this to the carpenters working with woods to build cabinets. Knowledge is insufficient. It is by experimenting with, and fusing himself with the different kinds of wood, that the carpenter becomes more skilled. He becomes a part of it -- in it -- rather than detached from it.

This is practical theology. Dwelling within the world -- understanding it, using it as Truth rather than Method -- and thereby 'living' it.

On Earth

Practical theology is to be lived in the moment, within the context of the times that we are. This may be challenging. We have to be flexible and able to read political and social conditions. We are called to think and act according to the context of the moment.

As it is in Heaven

Practical theology is both transcendental and uncommonly practical. It is 'on earth' in that it is meant to be lived. It transcends 'earth'; and is 'like heaven' in that it focuses on grace and glorious utopian aspects such as love for all.

Nonetheless, the two can be combined. We can work towards a practicality by perpetuating, and ceaselessly working towards these utopian concepts. Doing so makes earth in this world a heaven of the next.

Appendix

Veling brings three pages of quotations where he shows the distinctiveness and specialty of practical theology. In essence, it translates religion into a more appealing, less abstract, more practical system that concretizes God-human relationship and brings the Divine existence into the lives of each and every person.

Source

Terry…… [read more]


God Look on My Works Essay

… Sallie McFague stakes out a very different position than either of the other two thinkers discussed here. While Freud saw religion as an artifact of human history that individuals might be able to evolve beyond, and St. Augustine saw the worship and acceptance of divine love as something that individuals might be able to evolve into, McFague sees the way that the idea of God operates within human society and psyche as essentially metaphorical.

McFague, a feminist Christian thinker, is little concerned about whether God exists or not, and if there is indeed the existence of a divine entity what form that existence might take. Rather, she asks people to consider not the nature of God but the function of the idea of God. In this stance she is much more closely aligned with (and allied to) Freud than Augustine, although there exists in the writings of all three of these thinkers an acknowledgement that how we conceive God as being important to us as individuals and as members of groups must be addressed. That is, all three writers ask their readers to think about God as a type of human experience.

McFague does not posit, as Voltaire does, that it God did not exist then it would have been necessary for people to invent him. Or rather, she does not state this with the directness that Voltaire did, but running throughout her 1987 work Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age. Rather, she engages her readers in asking them to understand why it is that in different ages and in different forms of religious traditions and liturgies individuals conceive of God differently?

Given that the divine comes to have so many and so varied forms in human history, she asks, we must consider that each era chooses certain metaphors with which to discuss religion because those metaphors are the best matches between a time and place and human longing for the divine. Her writings, while based in Christian doctrine, have a deep vein of agnosticism in them, while Freud (in rejecting religion) and Augustine (in glorifying it) are equally convinced of its reality. For McFague, religion (like all other creations) can be used for good or evil. For neither Freud nor Augustine…… [read more]


Academic Engagements With Course Materials Term Paper

… " And somehow, Maimela continues, this theology of oppression builds a case for concept of an "authoritarian" God who "establishes different social classes in every society." In other words, Maimela is viewing the Christian church mainstream as perpetuating the belief… [read more]


Eastern Religion, Eastern Mysticism Term Paper

… And the magic and wizardry in the stories is something of a story in itself.

The popularity of the movies, in particular, can be attributed to the American pop culture's love of magic, and mystery, and characters that can fly… [read more]


Japanese Religion Essay

… Zen Buddhism can often be misinterpreted and, if that happens, it is because, to think of it as a religious concept, it's very easy when, in fact, Zen, at its origins, is something derived from action and not from words.… [read more]


Religious Traditions Global Religions Term Paper

… Theistic religions experience faith as god as holy presence, characterized by emotions, fascination, and the awe-inspiring fear (Warren, 2012). For example, the revelation of God to Moses in form of a burning bush that led to fascination and fear of God (Moore, 2005). In non-theistic religions, the faith and god experience adopt the form of mystics or mysticism. A common traditional religion that uses mysticism in its faith and god believe is Hinduism and religions like Buddhism. In Hinduism, the faith and god experience is by having an individual becoming one with the divine by inward contemplation (Moore, 2005). This implies that faith and the experience of god in different religions forms the basis for their varied forms of worship, prayer, and rituals. For this reason, the Hindu will adopt contemplation and meditation to worship God or pray.

It is also noted that traditional religions will experience different forms of worship and carry out unique prayer and ritual practices depending on their individual experiential experiences (Martin, 2006). In all religions, experiential practices begin with religious experiences of individuals, who become the founders and leaders of the religions. For example, Prince Gautama experienced enlightenment under a bodhi tree, and became the Buddha, giving birth to Buddhism. Muhammad experienced revelations from Allah, leading to the formation of Islam (Brood, 2009). In the recent past, Christianity especially protestant and evangelical churches have given rise to new evangelical movements arising from experiences of individuals, who break away from the main church.

Often, members of a religion in a community practice these rituals, worship, myths, and creeds. All forms of religions naturally are composed of communities or a social interaction of people with shared beliefs, faith, God experiences, creeds, and doctrines. This religious social construct forms the organization of religions, with a distinct leadership hierarchy. The main responsibility of leadership of religions is the maintenance of the rituals, doctrines, creeds, teachings, prayers, worship, religious ethics, and morals (Wilson, 2000). The leadership is required since religions devote a lot of attention and efforts in the maintenance of ethics and morals among its followers and community. Ethical and moral dimensions of any traditional religion entails teachings on the principles of appropriate individual behavior, life, and community living (Clayton, 2004). For example, the Christian tradition is based on the Ten Commandments, while the Buddhist ideal is compassion similar to Christian love for one's neighbor.

References

Brodd, J. (2009). "World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery." Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press, Christian Brothers Publications.

Clayton, J. (2004). Universal Human Rights and Traditional Religious Values. Society, 41(2), 36-41.

Martin, L.H. (2006). Cognitive Science, Ritual, and The Hellenistic Mystery Religions. Religion & Theology, 13(3/4), 383-395.

Moore, A. (2005). Christianity: Worship, Festivals, and Ceremonies from around the World / Hinduism and Other Eastern Religions: Worship, Festivals, and Ceremonies from around the World/Islam: Worship, Festivals, and Ceremonies from around the World…. School Library Journal,…… [read more]


SARA Miles Take This Bread Term Paper

… ¶ … Bread

Sara Miles "Take This Bread"

One day when Sara Miles was 46 years old she did something she had never done before, the celebrated the sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the first time. She described this monumental event as "outrageous and terrifying," and said it "made no sense. I was in tears and physically unbalanced." (Miles, p. 59) But if one reads her book, entitled "Take This Bread," and reads it carefully, one will see that this experience is one that she had been preparing for her entire life. While she claims that she had lived a secular life, and for the most art she did, she unknowingly maintained Christian ideals inside of her in the guise of secular ideology. When she said that she had spent 46 years living a secular life, what she did not realize was that she had spent 46 years preparing for her role as a Christian who's mission it would be to spread the word of Christ through her feeding of the poor and needy.

As the author stated is the book, "my education had taken place among all kinds of people, on several continents." (p. 14) But as it had been based upon physical experiences and questioning, she had very little trust in official dogmas of any kind. However, her experiences in the poorest places on Earth, such as when she visited the peasants of the Philippines, or El Salvador, taught her the compassion and generosity of the poverty stricken and their food. Everywhere she visited, "despite the danger my presence often meant, strangers fed me, freely. Food took on new meaning for me…" (p. 40) The author began to understand how the sharing of food with the hungry could bring about a spiritual happiness that is the basis of Christianity.

But even as Miles traveled around the planet, working with the downtrodden and poverty-stricken, it was in the sense of a secular political movement. She witnesses atrocities and injustices that were intolerable, but she witnesses them from a political perspective, and her answers came back from that same political spectrum. But all along, in the recesses of her mind she remembered the generosity of the poverty-stricken when it came to sharing the sustenance of life: food. She described how the food of the rural poor tasted like dirt, and the food of the urban poor always had a greasy taste, but "people gave me food, and I ate it all…." (p. 49)

While Sara Miles traveled the world writing about Marxist, socialists, and other revolutionary types, she was setting the stage for her own epiphany, simply by eating with the ordinary poor. Without realizing it, she was…… [read more]


Italian Renaissance Research Paper

… Science in the Italian Renaissance: The End of the Medieval World

Robert Bellarmine wrote "his displeasure with Copernican theory" (Patrick 1253) to Paolo Antonio Foscarini in 1615. Bellarmine was a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, a doctor of theology… [read more]


Judaism and Christianity Term Paper

… Christians believe in divine intervention and miraculous healing as an integral part of their faith. The New Testament and the various gospels are replete with innumerable miraculous episodes of Jesus.

God and his attributes

Judaism and Christianity are both religions… [read more]


How Could Every Religious Faith Be Right? Essay

… Greco-Roman and Christian Thinking

What is truth and in particular, what is the truth about God and religion? Which religion is more truthful about God, the afterlife, and other moral and spiritual considerations? Is truth knowledge, and how to humans know that is true about the spiritual side of life and what is a made-up reality that organized religion has used to attract people to its dogma? The fact is that truth in most cases, when it comes to religion, is in the mind of the believer. This paper uses scholarly references to provide responses to important issues and questions.

Between Religion and Science

Most informed, alert people believe in and for the most part accept empirical science. They accept that what can be proved through repeated research procedures is true. The "scientific method" is based on "impartial repeatability," which means that if the experiment has been conducted properly, any other person following the same procedure can "obtain the same results" (Price, 2008). People that trust the empirical science that explains the origins of the earth, for example, thus believe that carbon dating proves that the earth is around three billion years old.

There can be no legitimate theory that challenges the fact that the earth is that old because of the exactitude of science in this regard. But on the other hand, people who accept "creationism" or what has evolved into "Intelligent Design," are linked to religious beliefs that reject science. They are of course perfectly within their rights to reject evolution and Darwinism (who posited that living things evolved through "natural selection"), but objective, educated, informed people -- who may also be very spiritual, believe in God, and adhere to the dogma of a particular faith -- more often than not believe in science.

Meanwhile, a peer-reviewed article published in the Singidunum Journal of Applied Sciences examines the conflict and the connections between religion and science. Duro Susnijic writes that science has not really threatened religion because in developed nations where science "…has been developed the most," there one finds "the largest number of believers" (Susnijic, 2012). On the other hand, though there are large percentages of "believers" (who believe in a particular faith), they do not practice their faith through worship in a congregation.

In Finland, Susnijic reports, an estimated 83% of the citizens are believers in God and a certain faith, but only 5% "visit the church once a week" (96). In England, 60% of the people say they are believers in a faith, but only 10% participate in worship services; and in Denmark the ration is 80:13 (Susnijic, 96). The bottom line, according to Sussnijic, is that any religious belief "…does not have to be scientifically true, but it can satisfy other needs (96).

Truth in Religion in China

Robert C. Neville is an author and Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University. He writes that what is "…distinctive about truth in [early] Chinese religion is that is it mediated not so much… [read more]


Working Through R. Paul Stevens Essay

… "

These alternatives to a "calling" are in sharp contrast to what the Bible says about vocations, Stevens reflects. He uses the words of Martin Luther -- one of the "Reformers" -- to illustrate the importance of ordinary people understanding the value of a calling. Luther criticized those entering monastic situations who believed that they had a "special calling" and that they were "superior Christians" -- while ordinary Christians were supposed to react to the commands of the superior Christians (75).

The call of God "…comes to each at the common tasks," Luther wrote; hence, Luther believed there "simply is no special religious vocation." In fact, Luther's views coincide seamlessly with Stevens, which of course is why Stevens chose Luther's narratives. Luther was known to rage against the attempt of people to "find a superior way beyond keeping the Ten Commandments"; Luther wrote, "Search not for things beyond your ability, but the things that God has commanded you" (75).

How Stevens' Narrative could Influence the Understanding of the Ministry

Stevens has made his point dozens and dozens of times in his book, and that is, theology can be and should be done today by ordinary people. Ordinary people may in fact be surprised to learn that they are doing theology "much of the time," Stevens asserts. In private conversations when people are sharing the good news about Jesus Christ, or just reflecting on how a neighbor came to the aid of a homeless man in the street who was bleeding, this is a kind of theology. In other words, the ministry has been placed on a kind of pedestal and as a result many loving Christian people have been alienated from that supposedly lofty place. It is time now for laypeople, ordinary people, workers, dancers, garbage men and teachers to realize they, too, have the power of theology, even though they may not see it that way.

Works Cited

Stevens, R. Paul. 2000. The Other…… [read more]


Religion Meaning Ethics Future Monotheism Research Paper

… .." (Exodus 20:5). This is fundamentally different from the 18th century Enlightenment philosophy of Deism. While Deists acknowledge God as the creator, they believe that He endowed humans with reason and has now stepped back from caring about world events. Now our reason must hold sway in determining ethical decisions.

Freedom and the freedom to choose to do right and to sin is an important component of monotheistic faiths. However, the 20th century philosophies of existentialism and nihilism stress the negative rather than the positive aspects of such freedom. Nihilists suggest that there is no inherent truth structure at all to the evolution of the universe. Existentialists concur but, in adopting at least some of the perspective of monotheism, stress the responsibility of human beings to do what is right. With freedom comes great responsibility, including the often heavy responsibility of creating a moral structure in the absence of God. Yet this freedom does not necessarily make the individual happy. The existentialist Jean Paul Sartre famously said that anguish is inherent to the human condition (Zunjic 2012).

Naturalism can be called a kind of 'nature worship.' Instead of looking for God's hand in the natural world, naturalists stress that human beings must look for moral guidance in nature and in history. Practical rather than esoteric wisdom is the highest value. In contrast, pantheists believe that God or at least a divine presence is evident in nature. But this may be the result of the influence of many Gods and many sources of divinity, not just one. New Consciousness believers stress that the individual is the greatest source of power, and God's hand is evident in the human person. But rather than seeking guidance from outside, formal structures of religion New Consciousness adherents look to psychology and personal sources of reflection for wisdom.

References

Exodus. (2012). Bible Gateway. Retrieved at:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A5&version=NIV

Zunjic, Bob. (2012). Jean Paul Sartre. Phil 358. University of Rhode Island. Retrieved at:

http://www.uri.edu/personal/szunjic/philos/human2.htm… [read more]


Role of Spirituality Research Paper

… , 2007, p. 268).

Women are three times more likely to be depressed than men, with 5-12% suffering from major or severe depression, compared to 2-3% of men. Males are also more likely to deny or mask depressive symptoms, less… [read more]


David Walker, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass Essay

… David Walker, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, And How They Used God to Understand the Experience of American Slavery

The Role of God in American Slavery

Throughout history, humans have always used God and religion to normalize behavior or make sense of trials. No historical event makes this clearer than American slavery. In the American South, slaves, slave owners, free blacks, abolitionists, and those who sympathized with the cause of slavery all used God and religion to color their view of the subject. On the other hand, the economic and social value of slavery certainly colored these people's view of God. For slave owners, God and Christianity were used as scapegoats for the social construction of slavery. Because these people claimed that God had ordained slavery, they saw themselves as good Christians for having slaves. Others even believed that God had created slaves as inferior creatures, so it was the slave owner's duty to take in the slave and keep him or her "safe" from the outside world, much like one would do with a dog or a cat. Slaves and others who sympathized with them, however, saw God as a liberator, one who would set them free from their plight. By examining the writings of free black David Walker and slaves Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner, one can realize how slave owner, slaves, and free blacks used God to understand the concept of slavery.

In his "Appeal," free black David Walker begins by asking God to help him make his case. He goes on to suggest that he understands how slave owners and those who sympathize with the condition of slavery have pulled God and religion into the political issue. Walker writes that he knows that will be "assailed by those…who are of the firm conviction that Heaven has designed us and our children to be slaves and beasts of burden" to them and their children." In his narrative, slave Frederick Douglass echoes this fact by suggesting that slave masters played many tricks in order to keep slaves ignorant, or stop them from rising up. One of the tactics that Douglass mentions, specifically, is the use of whisky during holidays. Douglass suggests that slave owners enjoyed it when their slaves spent the entire holiday getting drunk because it made them see that work was better than a drunken stupor. In addition, Douglass goes on to argue that the slave owners found more degrading, physical sports such as wrestling and boxing to be more acceptable pastimes for slaves than reading or learning to read for a similar reason -- it kept the slaves feeling like a much lower class than the slaveholders and kept them busy with activities that would not likely lead to revolt. In this same way, slave owners would attempt to pass their religion to their slaves in order to keep them quite, telling them that slavery is ordained by God. What Walker…… [read more]


Beliefs, Concepts, and Elements of the Religion Thesis

… ¶ … beliefs, concepts, and elements of the religion, including the essential elements of the Gospel in the religion. Judaism is one of the world's best-known religions, and Jews have a long history of their beliefs, and a long history… [read more]


Blaise Pascal's Pensees Term Paper

… Blaise Pascal's Pensees

The Pensees - Blaise Pascal

Pascal characterizes the existence of God as man's search for truth and knowledge about His real being. In progression he started his notes by identifying what is the logical thinking of man. How man acquires knowledge and uses this to completely understand the certainty of God's presence among all of us. But all of this is useless according to Pascal's notes. He argues that logic and reason of scholars, mathematicians, philosophers and other wise men are not enough to completely comprehend the utmost reason of His being. There is a limit in the comprehension of the real truth. He notes that "It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that He should not exist" (Pensees 230 Section III). If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither part nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. (Pensees 231, Section III)

By means of defending the Christian belief against those who persecutes and criticize the being of the divine providence, he later re-affirms this argument by offering several proofs that god really exist. He declares that the greatest proof of God's existence is the presence of the scriptures which gives man knowledge to recognize the apparent truth that lies within the holy writings. "It is not after this manner that Scripture speaks, which has a better knowledge of the things that are of God. It says, on the contrary, that God is a hidden God, and that, since the corruption of nature, He has left men in a darkness from which they can escape only through Jesus Christ, without whom all communions with God is cut off." (Penesees, Section IV)

The existence of God according to Pascal is not about the knowledge and understanding of man, but it is about faith. He established this by declaring that "Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them. (Penesees 265, Section IV) "Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a reason?" And concerning God's existence, he wrote, "Reason can decide nothing here." Pascal provided us this guarantee, however: "By faith we know His existence; in glory we shall know His nature (Penesees, Section VIII).

2. The human condition according to Pascal is completely wretched. Man has the knowledge to understand and comprehend all of the things around him yet it is limited to know the truth about the real God and the origin of all things. Yet, even as desolate and pitiful as Pascal describes it, man is completely blessed by means of knowing and sensing what is the truth and reality within his condition. He attests that man has Gods favor and inherits His greatness even in the… [read more]


Free Will: Comparing Aquinas Term Paper

… (ST: II: 6:3) This of course fairly explains how, for example, rape is different than consensual sex because in a rape the woman is physically incapable of preventing the actions her body is forced to make.

In fact, the Bible… [read more]


Marilyn Manson? Term Paper

… Davis feels that cults and other ethno-sociological problems are also the result of Los Angeles' totalitarian system. He writes, "Paranoia about nature, of course, distracts attention from the obvious fact that Los Angeles has deliberately put itself in harm's way.… [read more]


God and Family: A Proclamation to the World Research Paper

… Ask the children to work together to twist the strings into a rope. Point out that just as twisting the strings together made a strong rope, working together can make a strong family. Put each of the following words on separate wordstrips: Successful, families, work, together. Attach the wordstrips to the rope. Invite the children to read the sentence together.

Successful

Families

Work

Together

Encourage understanding (role-playing): Show a picture of Noah, and briefly tell the story of how Noah built an ark and gathered animals to prepare for the flood (see Genesis 6 -- 7; Moses 8). Divide the children into groups, and ask each group to role-play one way Noah's family may have worked together (such as gathering wood for the ark, building the ark, and herding the animals). Invite the other children to guess what they are doing. Explain that Noah's family was successful as they worked together.

Encourage application (drawing pictures): Explain that just as Noah's family worked together, it is important for us to work together in our own families. Give each child a piece of paper and crayons, and invite them to draw pictures of their families working together. Invite several children to share their pictures and explain how doing what they have drawn will help their families be successful.

Retelling stories: When children retell a story they have just heard, they will remember it better.

Scriptures: Having children read from their own scriptures reinforces the importance of the scripture and invites the Spirit. If possible, invite the children to mark verses in their own scriptures and then read them together.

Object lessons "tie [an] invisible idea & #8230; to some tangible object the [children] already know about and then build from that knowledge" (Boyd K. Packer, in TNGC, 163) ("2014 Outline for Sharing Time: Families Are Forever October: "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" Came from God to Help My Family," 2013, p. 1)

This is merely just information I think might help the paper. This will not be apart of the actual paper! This is just an example of proclamation of scripture and so you can review the references and see if you are okay with it. The final end product will be 10 pages with 10-20 intext citations. Paper will be completed before or on due date and handed over.

Citation Source: 2014 Outline for Sharing Time: Families Are Forever October: "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" Came from God to Help My Family. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.lds.org/manual/2014-outline-for-sharing-time-families-are-forever/october-the-family-a-proclamation-to-the-world-came-from-god-to-help-my-family?lang=eng

References

Allen, O.W. (2005). The homiletic of all believers: A conversational approach to proclamation and preaching. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

Bohannon, J.S. (2009). Preaching and the emerging church: A homiletical analysis and critique of a select number of emerging church pastors -- Mark Driscoll, Dan Kimball, Brian McLaren, and Doug Pagitt -- with contemporary implications for evangelical (expository) preaching. Retrieved from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary website: http://search.proquest.com//docview/305159784

Brown, T.L. (2008). Delivering the sermon: Voice, body, and animation in proclamation.… [read more]


Fideism vs. Rationalism Research Paper

… In his Summa Theologica, he wrote:

We have a more perfect knowledge of God by grace than by natural reason. Which is proved thus. The knowledge which we have by natural reason contains two things: images derived from the sensible objects; and the natural intelligible light, enabling us to abstract from them intelligible conceptions. Now in both of these, human knowledge is assisted by the revelation of grace. For the intellect's natural light is strengthened by the infusion of gratuitous light (12).

Many great religious thinkers, such as Aquinas, help us to appreciate the underlying rationality of fideism. All human knowledge and reason is seen as dependent on faith. This is because we have faith in our senses, reasoning, experiences, memories, and information gained from interacting and speaking with others. Thus, faith is an integral part of rationality.

To fully answer the question of whether fideism or rationality is better equipped to help mankind understand religious systems, perhaps the best view is akin to that of Aquinas where both fideism and rationality are essential -- co-actors that help us understand religion. They complement each other and advance our religious understanding. Blind faith could be classified as mere superstition. Similarly, reason absent of faith could lead to anarchism or relativism in which all beliefs are uncertain no belief is justified.

The fact that different religions exist is a symptom of people holding conflicting beliefs, and yet all of them, it can be argued, hold some basis in what is truth. This is because each religion sees a different aspect of the same reality. Noted religious writer Hallanger offers an interesting analysis of this concept. Two people can climb the same mountain from the north and from the south. The north side of the mountain may be covered with evergreens; the south side may be barren and rocky. Each will judge the entire mountain based on the rational - what they see. Each will hold a true belief that is also a mistaken belief (129).

Similarly, we can think of religion this way. Different religions are viewed by many as separate paths to the peak of the same mountain whose summit is God, salvation or religious truth. Each path can be described differently- and accurately- but there is more to the mountain than actually realized. The paths of rationalism and fideism as stand alones operate the same way. They are one-sided and each has its own blind spots. Points-of-view regarding faith and religion that deny the merits of other points-of-view miss the bigger picture. Both ideologies hold value for understanding religious systems.

References

Aquinas, St. Thomas. "Summa Theologica." Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Calvin College Computer Science, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.

Hallanger, N. (2008). Reason for Hope -- By Stanley Grenz. Reviews in Religion & Theology,…… [read more]


Deity of Christ Research Paper

… Dissection here would rather imply murder, as the divinity is inseparable (Moule, 1977)."

Many authors have interpreted "Son of God" in a much wider context of the Gospel of John. According to Pink (1975), one proof of the Jesus' divinity… [read more]


Emily Dickinson Essay

… Emily Dickinson was one of the most varied, lyrical, and enigmatic poets of her time. During a time when American literature was itself varied and enigmatic, this is quite an achievement. One of the most fascinating themes in Dickinson's poetry… [read more]


Comparing and Contrasting Christianity and Islam Essay

… Islam Christianity

The Distinctions Between Common Faiths: Christianity and Islam

World religions such as Christianity and Islam both today and throughout history have been directly linked to one another by similarly inspired scriptures. It is from these scriptures that observers… [read more]


Rights of Women in Islam Research Proposal

… ¶ … Misunderstood Role of Women in Islam

The Islamic faith represents one of the most widely spread and acknowledged religions in the world. Often misunderstood and even more often exploited, members of the Muslim faith have developed an identity… [read more]


Creation Myth Analysis Term Paper

… The Law was both cause and effect in the recreation of the race after the Babylonian exile."

Unless this fact is taken into account, Wellhausen cautioned, "one will above all fail to understand the great work accomplished by the prophets… [read more]


Francis Bacon in an Early Work Term Paper

… Francis Bacon

In an early work, intended as preface to his life's work Sir. Francis Bacon pronounced his desire to discover and share truth, in his case truth about nature and the knowledge of it. He believed himself destined to… [read more]


Role of Islam Term Paper

… Even if different in appearance, the resemblance between the decorations used in a mosque in Afghanistan for example and a mosque in Spain are obvious. Why is that? One of the obvious reasons could be that, as is the case… [read more]


Muhammad: A Warrior Reformer it Is Ironic Book Report

… Muhammad: A Warrior Reformer

It is ironic that today even many of the more politically modest populations of Islam view themselves as being at war with both the Jewish and Christian faiths. This is because more than any other set of influences, these religions would have a determinant role in the inception and proliferation of the Moslem faith. Indeed, the prophet Muhammad, the figure at the center of the Islamic faith, would emerge as a reformer of already existing monotheistic traditions. In this regard, he would occupy a role in the scope of the Christian kingdoms not unlike that occupied by Jesus Christ in the Hebrew kingdoms.

In many ways, Jesus and Muhammad may be perceived as twin pillars on a single continuum. Indeed, "Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition. He adopted aspects of these older religion's theologies while introducing new doctrines." (Katz, 1) Thus, it is not surprising that upon its inception into the world at around 570 CE, the Islamic religion produced a legal code which was monotheistic, centered on the prescription of ethical law and applicable in both the theocratic and civil arenas.

This law would likewise predispose the Muslim people to many rituals which echoed those of the Judeo Christian ethic. Like Jesus Christ before him, Muhammad was fundamentally a reformer of theological law, and thus, the first prophet to a new religious entity. As a result, many of the laws contained in the Shariah are more conservative variations on existent Christian and Jewish law, such as with the heavy emphasis on the daily practice of worship and a highly modest set social, cultural and family value systems.

Much like the religious reformers that came before him, Jesus included, Muhammad would suffer heavy persecution for his role as a cultural antagonist. As the text by the MidEastWeb for Coexistence…… [read more]


Book Night Essay

… ¶ … Wiesel's Night

Night is a title that aptly reflects its message. In night, the obverse of day, all of life's normality is torpedoed. The son is made to look after the father; wanton murder is unleashed; God is concealed (as per the kabalistic statement that He is concealed at night); and people telling truths are shunted aside for desired fabrications. Just as at night reality is obliterated by obfuscation and surrealism, so was it the case in Wiesel's 'night'.

Eliezer, an adolescent scholar from a backwards Carpathian village, had spent his life in the Talmud and Yeshiva and was unaware of events in the outside world. He was aware that the Messiah would come one day, but was not expecting the Messiah in the form of the Germans. The first glimpse that his life would change was in the form of Moshe the Beadle who, in 1942, escaping from a Polish-bound train, returned to Sighet and pounded the village with horrendous facts about Jews forced to dig their own pits and then shot alive; about babies thrown in the air as shooting targets; about Malka, a young girl, who took three days to die.

As happens during the night when sleep assumes a different form of reality, the people of his town refused to listen making Moshe, Night's first unheeded witness.

He's just trying to make us pity him. What an imagination he has! they said. Or even: Poor fellow. He's gone mad.

And as for Moshe, he wept (Night, pp. 4 -- 5.)

Day became inverted into night.

Reality became further more inverted, "The barbed wire which fenced us in did not cause us any real fear. We even thought ourselves rather well off; we were entirely self-contained…. -- it was an illusion" (Night, p. 9.) Wiesel relates how his rabbi, whom he, Eliezer, was formerly afraid of, was compelled to march through the street, his face shaved, his back bent "and there was I, on the pavement, unable to make a move." It was, Wiesel describes it, "like a page torn from some story book" (Night, pp.14-15).

Refusal to face reality was exemplified by another situation where, on their third night in the cattle car, a woman shrieks that she can see flames until she is beaten into silence by the others. These were nightmares that could occur only at night, but they came true in Auschwitz. Here, the very young, the mentally and physically handicapped, the crippled, the pregnant, and the very old were cremated in an observe inversion of day where normality decrees that it is precisely this most vulnerable human sector that is protected.

Shlomo, Eliezer's father, begins his physical decline indicating another inversion of reality. Normally, the father is supposed to take care of the son; here roles were reversed. The young man become the older man's caregiver and was resentful since he felt the other's existence threatening his own.

In another inversion, kaddish, the Jewish prayer that is routinely said for… [read more]


Three Pillars Confucius Jesus and Muhammad Thesis

… ¶ … Pillars: The Religious Common Thread

1998 documentary on the subject of some of the world's major religions is visionary in its approach, which may have seemed academic at the time of its conception but is today aggressively relevant. At a time when so many religious factions in the world are literally clashing in hold war, a film which offers stark evidence of the common philosophical and ethical threads which are woven through some major ideologies has a deeply constructive potential. In Three Pillars: Confucius, Jesus, and Mohammed, documentarians offer a premise which seems simple enough. Identifying the dominant figures in Confucianism, Christianity and Islam, the film makes the case that all shared experiential, ideological and social characteristics which would become essential to the lives of their followers.

Confucianism is a valuable touchstone for the discussion, preceding as it does such philological approaches to spirituality as Buddhism and Hinduism. As the documentary tells, the evolution which brought the greater landmass of central and south Asia into the modern era is a history rife with transfomative forces both inclined toward forward progress and to the ends of extending influence. The enormous expanse of land, resource and population that is and has been China, to varying size parameters, has by virtue of these outsized characteristics, been site to wild fluctuations in the areas of continuity of control. The onset of a historical trend which would become known as the dynastic cycle would be preceded though by a sustained period of Chinese social stability, distinguished in particular by the influence of Confucius (551-479 BC) and his refined code of ethics. As with such figures as Jesus and Mohammed, whom we will address hereafter, Confucius commanded a personal mythology in his passing which only grew. As the documentary tells, after the passage of full millennium since the death of this great teacher and scholar, the Ch'in Dynasty rose from a crowd of seven divided pre-Chinese kingdoms to bring the Confucian philosophy to central authority.

This would lead to what the film describes as a sustained enlightened period for its institution of a meritocracy, where the magistrates and other government officials were selected for civil service on the basis of their scholarly capabilities. The Civil Service examination, here became an important methodology for the establishment of the greatest interpreters of Confucian philosophy. The greatest development of this time period was the adoption of standards for census taking, equitable tax collection and fund allocation, and socialized working programs. All of these were products of the academic ideology which pervaded government and directed it toward an end of increased employment, more even resource distribution and an ultimate surplus of agricultural commodities and centers of commerce. This was the period which began to see the rise of…… [read more]


Culture of Sinhala Elite Term Paper

… Hansen gives the credible argument that the Shiv Sena's success is due to their violent attitudes to the common system of democratic process within India today and continues to discuss the globalization of the economy of India with the effects it is having upon the lives of the common folk (Hansen PG).

By looking at and comparing the studies of the two books and understanding the impact and effect that religion has upon common folk we can argue that the Hindu religion is being usurped by a political hybrid of religion and politics that only allows for religion to be voiced when it is the ideals of those in charge, bringing forth religious change so that the newer generations can strive forward with what they feel are religious restraints when in reality what they are doing is destroying a belief system that is centuries old.

At the beginning of this paper religion as a man made form was discussed, however politics like religion is man made yet sadly politics destroys the old ways and is inconsiderate of superstition or tradition, if anything stands within its path then it is subsequently passed over.

References

Brow, J (1996) Demons and Development: The Struggle for Community in a Sri Lankan Village (Hegemony and Experience - Critical Studies in Anthropology and History) University of Arizona Press;

Everson, M (1991) The study of ritual as an aspect of human religiosity Mankind Quarterly, Fall/Winter91, Vol. 32 Issue 1-2, p57, 19p

Hansen T, B (2001) Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay. Princeton Univ Pr

Hopkins (2001) [online] accessed at http://www.apocryphile.net/jrm/articles/hindudiff.html

Sen, K.M. 1961 Hinduism [online] accessed at http://www.hronline.com/aryasamaj/vedicp.html… [read more]


Existence of God and Religion Term Paper

… Religion

Anselm, Aquinas, and Hume (Word Count: 1185)

The central argument made by Anselm in his Proslogion is that the ability to conceptualize the existence of God is sufficient to prove God's existence. In his Summa Theologica (written in response… [read more]


Ethics Epistemology Religion Term Paper

… Religion

This work looks at the concept of religion by first explaining its definition. It argues about whether God really exists and takes the standpoint that He does exist. The argument of this paper is based on this thesis and… [read more]


Religion What Roles Do the Gods Essay

… Religion

What roles do the Gods and Goddesses play in Hinduism and what do they tell us about the Hindu concept of the Divine (Brahman)?

There are different roles played by the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. Each god or… [read more]


Public Theology Essay

… Public Theology of Vinoth Ramachandra

As the Public theology investigates the religious concepts or thinking that underlie political, social, economic and cultural discourses, it has a strong impact on human rights (Public Theology, 2010). Vinoth Ramachandra's concern on the status of women in Asian society leads to investigate how women are treated in Asia, particularly he discusses the status of women in Pakistan.

Ramachandra's public theology revolves around two points; firstly the ordinary people cannot deny the importance of fighting for their rights because fight for their right is not only the job of a politician. Secondly, the ordinary people are affected more than the ruling class of a country since the ruling class is more protected by law and power than the ordinary man. Quoting the example of Mokhtaran Bibi who was gang-raped in Pakistan, Ramachandra emphasizes who a weak woman's dedicated efforts to get the justice lead her to finally getting it. Ramachandra advocates that the successful fight for one's right has double advantages. It does not only help a person get his or her rights but also the person becomes a light and example for the others.

The rights, Ramachandra claims can be of many types. The rights of achievement make a person entitled to an honor or reward. The rights of contract are written and the violation can be challenged in the court of law. It is the social laws that help people be respected due to age or cared due to their youth. Ramachandra says that some societies will even feel that some groups have natural right to rule (Ramachandra, 2008). However, what authors debate is that despite all the rights of people of different ages, status and demographic profile, the human rights stand alone and demand to be given to people no matter which gender they belong to no matter which socio economical class they live in and no matter how educated or un-educated they are. The human rights, Ramachandra says are not someone's property rather every single human being is entitled to human rights since he or she belongs to the human race.

Ramachandra is critical of the belief that the rights are only given to those that fulfill their responsibilities. He says that although human beings have rights to life and property there are cases when the rights cannot be claimed in the court of law but can be claimed on society as a whole. Yet there are other rights that cannot be claimed at all. His point is a little tricky yet understandable as he gives examples to make his points clear. As ten people are waiting to be rescued from a building on fire, not all of them can be rescued yet everybody has right to be rescued, the ones left cannot claim that they had the right to be rescued first.

The human rights debate could never be better described without example of the tribal and feudal setups. The feudal lords and the tribal leaders have actually the so… [read more]


Existence of God for Years Essay

… Existence of God for years has been the most debated topic. Many philosophers, scientists and theologians have presented their views about the existence of God and provided proofs to validate their theories and beliefs in this regard (Existence of God,… [read more]


Does God Exist? Essay

… Existence of God

The debate about the existence of God is probably one of the most ancient ones. However, the supporters of either side have not been able to convince each other since the ones who believe that God exists… [read more]


Religion Vocabulary, Christianity Essay

… Luke also talks about the baptism of Jesus and His temptations; and finally, details the crucifixion and resurrection. There are several parables contained in the text, which are among the most fruitful of the Bible such as the parable of the good Samaritan (NIV).

b. Important religious holidays and details about celebrating them:

Easter: Easter is the holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is not just one day, but is the culmination of a series of holidays known sometimes as the Holy Week. The Holy Week starts with Good Friday, which commemorates the day of the crucifixion. The date of the Easter holiday changes from year to year (BBC Religion). Specific ways of celebrating Easter differ greatly depending on one's denomination.

Christmas: The holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus. It is celebrated on December 25 by most Roman Catholics and Protestants, and on January 7 by Orthodox Christians (BBC Religion). The rituals and methods of celebration differ depending on one's denomination.

Pentacost:

Reformation Sunday: the holiday commemorating the start of the Protestant Reformation. It usually occurs on the last Sunday of October ("Questions and Answers about Reformation Day," n.d).

Good Friday: The Friday before Easter is a "day of mourning" for Christians because it commemorates the "Passion," or crucifixion of Jesus (BBC Religion, n.d.).

• Birth, wedding, and death practices [not beliefs, but actual celebrations]

These important life rituals differ depending on the culture, but generally Christian rites of passage include a baptism or Christening for the young child. The Christian wedding is administered by a priest or pastor, who blesses the union in the name of God. A Christian death ritual is generally a burial rite.

• At least two sacred places for the faith, and how the places are significant

The Holy Land (Israel and Palestine) are the most important places for the faith because these are the places where Jesus lived and taught. However, there are many other places that are sacred for Christians. For Roman Catholics, this would be St. Peter's basilica at the Vatican because this is the seat of power of the Church. There are also many churches and monastaries throughout Europe that house religious relics.

• Other information of interest to you

Christianity has had a great impact on world culture and politics, and remains an important aspect of human society.

References

Babylon Dictionary. Retrieved online: http://dictionary.babylon.com/

BBC Religion. Retrieved online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/easter.shtml

Bible: NIV (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1&version=NIV)

Fairchild, M. (n.d.). Basic Christian beliefs. About.com. Retrieved online: http://christianity.about.com/od/christiandoctrines/a/basicdoctrines.htm

"Questions and Answers about Reformation Day," (n.d). Retrieved online: http://www.stpaulskingsville.org/reformation.htm

Religious Tolerance.org… [read more]


Christian Education Essay

… Theology of Ministry

To me, ministry means the sum total of all that I am as a human and how that relates to my experience with religion. Looking at the Bible, Jesus was, first and foremost, a teacher. Furthermore, he did not just rely upon the traditional Jewish teachings to explain what it was to be a good man; he was a good man. I think of Sunday Adelaja as an example of what ministry means. He kept faith in adverse circumstances, he inspired others to become Christian, and he acknowledged that he had been a sinner, but tried to make changes in his life and live as much without sin as possible Adelaja, 2008).

My feelings about ministry, which is that it must be lived, are much like my feelings about Christianity. "Sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian any more than sitting in an oven makes you a biscuit." I have heard variations of this expression throughout my life, and they speak to my personal understanding of what it means to be Christian. To be Christian means that one is in a personal, spiritual relationship with Jesus. It is my belief that all human beings need to be in a salvific relationship with Jesus the Christ (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, I believe that to be Christian means to understand the meaning of love. God's love for humans means that he is constantly working in our lives, even if we cannot see it. His grace is what allows us to see him. Some people will reject God, and that is something that they can do through their free will, but that does not relieve Christians from their obligation to reach out to people and try to share God's gifts with them. That does not mean acting as if, by being Christian, we are superior to anyone; we were all sinners before being introduced to God's grace, and remain sinners even afterwards. Therefore, a Christian does not reject any person based on his or her history.

My view of God, truth, and Scripture is complicated, as I do not view the three in the same manner. The Bible says that "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). This is taken to equate God with the Bible with truth. However, the Bible is full of seeming contradictions. I do not believe that these contradictions necessarily exist. Looking at the Bible as a whole, one sees a story unfold, and I believe that story, the story of God's love and redemption offered to a struggling group of people, is the truth. Therefore, to understand a Biblical passage, it is important to examine the context of that passage and what was going on at that point of time. The relationship between God and His people is more important than any single isolated account in the Bible. In this way, I support Groome's approach, which places participant's experience in a direct relationship with religious tradition (1980).

As a result, I reject the idea that the… [read more]

123. . .Last ›
NOTE:  We can write a brand new paper on your exact topic!  More info.