"Religion / God / Theology" Essays

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Religion and Society Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  4 pages (1,112 words)
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¶ … Catholic Religion Over the Last 100 Years

Allsopp, M. And O'Keefe, J.J. (1995). Veritas splendor: American responses.

Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.

Authors Allsopp and O'Keefe explore Pope John Paul II's encyclical Veritas Splendor, an extensive analysis of Catholic morality which has come under extreme criticism over the last fifty years. In this book, the authors offer a series of essays that deal with the various responses of American Catholics to this highly-controversial document.

Bokenkotter, T. (2000). A concise history of the catholic church. New York: Image Books.

As an updated edition, this expansive history on the Roman Catholic Church examines in great detail the various events and doctrines that have helped to determine the Catholic Church's present status in the world. Chapter 15 in particular covers the history of the church from about 1850 to the early 1990's and discusses theology, church tenets and controversies, such as abortion and gay marriage. d "http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/orange-arrow._V42752349_.gif"?

Butler, F.J. (1994). American catholic identity: Essays in an age of change. Kansas City,

MO: Sheed & Ward.

In this work, Butler examines in great detail twenty-two addresses concerning exactly what it means to be a Catholic in post-modern America and provides a splendid overview of early to late 20th century American Catholicism related to ethics, morality and the ever-growing dissent against the Church's antiquated views on human society and its relationship to God.

Chittiser, J. (2000). Womanstrength: The old church and the modern woman. Kansas City,

MO: Sheed & Ward.

As one of America's leading dissenters, Joan Chittiser offers a wide-ranging and provocative collection of essays written by some of today's most important religious scholars and historians on the overall role of women in the Catholic Church, beginning in the late 19th century and up to the present day.

Cuneo, M.W. (1997). The smoke of satan: Conservative and traditional dissent in modern american catholicism. New York: Oxford University Press.

In this book, M.W. Cuneo explores the different types of dissent against the teachings and tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, dating back to the late 19th century, and their impacts on American culture and American Catholicism. Cuneo also examines how dissent by practicing Catholics has changed the views of the Church related to ethics and morality.

Davidson, J.D. (1997). The search for common ground: What unites and divides catholic americans. Huntington, IN: Sunday Visitor Press.

Renowned sociologist J.D. Davidson provides an in-depth sociological analysis of pre- and post-Vatican II Catholics between the 1950's and the 1970's. He also discusses with much insight how the decisions of the Vatican Council have affected American Catholics over the last twenty years and then proceeds to explain why the Council made specific decisions which continue to influence Catholic thought and attitudes.

Gleason, P. (1979). In search of unity: american catholic thought, 1920-1960. Catholic

Historical Review, 65(2), 185-205.

In this essay, Patrick Gleason examines how Catholic thought evolved between the end of World War I and the beginning of the radical 1960's. His basic focus is upon… [read more]


How Religion Shapes Society Thesis

Thesis  |  8 pages (2,067 words)
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¶ … Religion Shaped American…

How Religion Shapes Society

"How Religion Shaped American Society"

"How Religion Shaped American Society"

Ignorance of Other Religions before WWII

American society prior to WWII would seem to have been relatively insular when it came to faith. When WWII brought the plight of the Jews and even the Catholics, also targeted by Hitler to the… [read more]


Religion - Perspectives on God the Character Thesis

Thesis  |  1 pages (311 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Religion - Perspectives on God

THE CHARACTER of GOD and IMPLICATIONS for HUMAN LIFE

The concept of "God" as unlimited truth and goodness is not new to me; it is featured in most of the religions to which I have been exposed. In general, every religious view of the Creator in my society seems to share the belief that their God is omnipotent, omniscient, and uniquely allied with their particular religious group.

It is unfortunate that so many with strong theistic beliefs are (apparently) even more threatened by the fact that others may not share any belief that there is such a thing as any "god" than by the awareness that so many others maintain specific religious beliefs that absolutely contradict their own. In fact, some of the most typical responses to finding out that someone is an atheist include biased assumptions that the person must, therefore, be an anarchist, or simply devoid of any…… [read more]


Philosophy - Existence of God Many Philosophers Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  4 pages (1,368 words)
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Philosophy - Existence of God

Many philosophers over the centuries have addressed the question of the existence of God, with particular focus upon the Christian God. Indeed, some have even suggested the demise of God, even while churches continue to flourish. This issue has in fact taken a prominent position in philosophical argument as early as Plato's time. Today, with religious diversity increasingly tolerated and even celebrated, not only the existence of God, but also the exact nature of this existence, is heatedly debated among philosophers and believers alike. From the perspective of the Christian, there are several arguments that can be held forward for the existence of God, and also to counter arguments against this view. Religious philosophers such as John H. Hick have gone as far as presenting "scientific" arguments for the existence of God in order to provide a more solid basis for today's believer. Others, such as Quinn & Meeker, present strategies that believers can use to justify a specific belief system in the face of increasing religious tolerance and diversity in the world today. Faith is presented with great challenges in a world that is increasingly materialistic and scientifically oriented. This however does not mean that there is no room for faith or indeed that human beings have lost their need for this element in their lives.

The Probability of God

Hick (26) suggests provides some arguments for the probability of God's existence. While the philosopher must acknowledge that preconception and pre-existing faith issues will influence the individual's assessment of whether God is probable or not, it is nonetheless useful to have this as a basis for further argumentation. The author cites Swinburne in the view that it is simpler to explicate an unlimited spiritual force than a limited one - in other words, the existence of God is a simpler belief than believing that he does in fact not exist. The fundamental reason for this is the fact that an unlimited force can absorb all improbability, while a limited force must also include an explication of what limits it, and in what respects it is limited.

This view can be demonstrated by the scientific example of the speed of light. Scientific theories tend to be built upon zero or infinite values unless there is strong evidence to suggest that this should not be the case. In this way, scientists initially believed the speed of light to be infinite until evidence revealed this not to be the case. When applied to theism, the assumption is that an unlimited, infinite divine being is most probable.

Arguments for the Existence of God

In Chapter 2 of his book, Hick (15-29) provides arguments for the existence of God that can be supplemented by the scientific postulation of his probability. To the Christian individual, the most useful of these could include the cosmological argument, which concerns the physical universe and the evidence it provides towards proof of God's existence, and the moral argument, which finds proof for God's existence… [read more]


Religion - Exodus Exegetical Discussion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  13 pages (3,723 words)
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Religion - Exodus

Exegetical Discussion of Exodus 19:5-6

In an attempt to understand the glory and inspiration of early Biblical texts, it is necessary to attempt close readings of individual passages. God intends for the Bible to serve as a learning tool and a way to bring us closer to Him. Only through introspection, reflection, and study can we truly… [read more]


English Literature Science and Religion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,281 words)
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English Literature

Science and Religion

What exactly are the three approaches to natural theology?

According to McGrath, Natural Theology does in fact have three very specific and unique approaches, which are identified and explained as follows:

LITERAL APPROACH- Under the literal approach, the argument is made that a Biblical passage/concept is meant to be interpreted literally at face value (McGrath, 1998). For example, one commonly cited theological concepts, dating back from the words of the Old Testament, is the wages of sin being equated with death. In the Literal Approach, one would be justified in the killing of another person if it were able to be established that the person was a sinner.

ALLEGORICAL (NON-LITERAL) APPROACH- Allegorically, the afore mentioned Biblical concept would not be interpreted literally (McGrath, 1998); for example, perhaps one would interpret that the wages of sin are a spiritual, rather than physical death, or the death of a friendship, etc. This approach allows for more independent thought in theology and the proliferation of more theological theory development.

ACCOMODATION APPROACH- Using the Accommodation Approach represents a sort of theological compromise, whereby the theological and natural world would be taken into account in the interpretation of theology (McGrath, 1998). For example, John Calvin combined what was in his time (the 16th century) thought to be valid scientific knowledge with theology to extensively comment on the wisdom and character of God.

2. What exactly is a cosmogonic myth as defined by M. Eliade? As defined by M. Eliade, a cosmogonic myth is a myth which becomes the model for the philosophical and theological thought in a given culture (Eliade, 1998). In other words, cosmogonic myths bring together theological doctrine and the deep thought that involves a consideration of the meaning of life and other questions which have kept thinkers occupied quite literally since the beginnings of intelligent thought. Among the classic classifications of cosmogonic myths are the ideas of primordality (what existed prior to the ordering of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis), dualism/antagonism (the idea of the existence of a Supreme God along with common human beings, both interacting in the same physical and spiritual worlds), creation/sacrifice (the ideas of life and death among others), and speculation (again, the classic consideration of the purpose and meaning of life itself). In a larger sense, the cosmogonic myth as defined by Eliade encompasses life and death, the meaning of both, and the relationship between humans and their God.

3. What exactly is the essential ethical theme that emerges from myths of cosmic cataclysms, with respect to the judgment of humankind before and after the cataclysm?

Cosmic cataclysms themselves are based upon the concept that all things are created in nature, and as such can be destroyed in nature (Eliade, 1998). The classic example of this is often presented when discussing the power of water. In nature, for example, water has the ability to create beautiful valleys, mountain formations and the like. Conversely, however, water also possesses the… [read more]


Non-Denominational Religions Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,495 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Non-Denominational Religions

The new facility housing the Faith Fellowship Ministries World Outreach Center (FFMWOC) in Sayreville, New Jersey is a welcoming complex with a modern feel. Founded in 1998, the FFM is a "Christian ecumenical, interdenominational, interracial, interdependent, and international association of churches, pastors, and ministers" that commits itself to the "growing body of Christ," ("History"). Although interdenominational, the theological… [read more]


Religion in God We Trust, E Pluribus Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,914 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Religion

In God We Trust, e pluribus Unum -- the two major strands of American religious thought?

The predominant philosophical strain of American religious and political thought, according to the French Alexis de Tocqueville can be summed up as a philosophy of pantheism, pluralism, materialism, and above all, of the tyranny of the American democratic majority. Tocqueville suggested that Americans,… [read more]


Religion/Theology Environment and Globalization Christine Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (687 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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If global corporations think only of growth and income, they do not include everyone in their plan.

The next suggested step is a "new participation'42 by "creative leadership'42 within the Christian community. Burke suggests that a new view needs to emerge. The Church must change, become more aware, and more vocal towards the health of societies. The rich nations have the means to ransack the earth of its resources without regard to those less fortunate. At some point one must ask what the real cost of an SUV is, how much grain does a cow consume, and where does all the non-reclaimed garbage go? A holistic view encompasses each aspect of the whole. Globalization forces a narrow view on the world without considering the whole.

The final step is to return to the roots of our collective past and pray for the wisdom to create and share a vision that includes every part of the world, not only those who can pay for admission. One must move within the Christian community to enlarge its vision beyond the needs of the few, toward a holistic view of the many. "Nature has always had this potential of pointing to the divine."40 Burke urges the Christian community to reconnect to nature, understand and spread the impact of globalization throughout its community, and shape a new path toward a future that includes life.

In conclusion, Christine Burke calls for a new vision. She believes that each individual can contribute toward this vision by becoming aware. One's faith must participate in the world and its healing, and the Christian community must live their faith. Burke sees this as the mandate of the gospel. Personal choices, community choices, world choices, must reflect holistic goals if the world is to survive. If one can change oneself, then one can change the world, and who better to follow that Jesus?

Works Cited

Burke, Christine E. "Globalization and Ecology." Earth Revealing, Earth Healing Ecology and Christian Theology. Ed. Denis Edwards. 2001 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc.: Collegeville,…… [read more]


Jesus, God and Man Book Review

Book Review  |  3 pages (1,034 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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If Christ was not the God man, and he deliberately taught his followers that he was, then he could only have been a deluded megalomania who eventually died for his own lies. Such a man would not be worth of following.

If Jesus was not the God - man, and he taught his followers that he was, the other option is that he was deluded, and did not know it. In other words, the conclusion to this consideration is that Jesus was not God, and actually thought that he was. What kind of man would die on a cross for something that was not true? Such a man would not be the kind of person that would amass a following that would endure for 2000 years after his death. It would be likely, like the followers of other deluded men throughout time, that after his death, his followers would have scatters, and the sect would have died.

The third, and only other option is that Jesus was god, and he knew it, and this is the central theology he presented to his followers. This is the only reason that holds up under scrutiny of both the scriptural record, and an examination of the lives of those who followed Christ. Each of the apostles stayed true to their claims, what they believed were the claims of Christ, even though it caused them to loose their lives. Each of them carried the message to other countries, leaving their culture, families, and heritage in the middle east in order to carry out what they believed was the message, and the purpose of Jesus Christ.

In considering the New Testament, Brown identifies that from the first chapters of the Gospels, until the last words, the central theme of Jesus' divinity is clearly communicated.

Brown says "For orthodox Christians they have helped to shape the central doctrine of Jesus God and man." Each infancy narrative serves three main purposes:

To bridge the Old and New Testaments.

Present the major themes of the entire gospel.

Foreshadow the cross and resurrection.

At the end of the gospels, when Pilate asks this same question of Jesus, "Are you king of the Jews?" Jesus, in Mark 15:2, answers, "You say that I am." And in Luke 23:3 and Matthew 27:11: "You say so." Whoever has the earlier tradition, it was also an instruction in christology for Mark's community on the unity of Jesus, Son of Man, Suffering Servant, Messiah, Son of God..

At the end f his life, and the end of the gospels, the issue no longer matters... No need to keep a secret any more. He will soon be vindicated by God as the one sent by God.

A found ths book a very positive contribution to the study of Jesus' divinity. The message was clear, biblical, and thorough. At the same time, it was not written in such a highly scholarly format as would make it difficult to understand.

Bibliography

Brown, Raymond E. Jesus, God and…… [read more]


Western Religion in His Book Term Paper

Term Paper  |  21 pages (6,937 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Education is to be had on penalty of Sin.

The author Neusner avers that there are several forms of Judaism -- each presenting a different viewpoint based on culture and philosophy. Rabbinic and Talmudic Judaism are two of the main. (pp. 41-49) Contemporarily, secularism has taken root under the strength of Western culture. Incidentally the Torah has also undergone severe… [read more]


Religion: How Universal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (914 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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They all agree on two essential facts: 1) the tomb in which Jesus had been buried was found empty and the entrance stone rolled away; 2) Jesus appeared alive to his followers (Schreck 70). The Catholic church emphasized that the proclamation of God's word, kerygma, or the act of evangelization, must be folowed by an ever fuller instruction in the Christian life that contributes to the person's growth in holiness (Schreck 265). This is the primary mission of the church: "to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit to God's love as revealed in Jesus Christ, so that all people will come to know, love, and serve God, and receive the gift of eternal life" (Schreck 265).

According to Catholic theology, what is the relationship between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? How do they work together? Catholicism believes that the normative revelation of God, for all times and situations, comes from the Holy Spirit through the two channels of sacred Scripture and sacred tradition. The Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation explains that "Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture from one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the church" (Schreck 120). Although, many Christians believe the phrase, 'the word of God' refers only to the Bible, Catholics understand that both the Bible and sacred tradition are God's revealed word:

For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity of God's word which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit" (Schreck 121).

The Church can rule on what is apostolic and what is not, and it can rule on which traditions are apostolic and which are not, therefore, it can "rule on the canon of tradition the same way it ruled on the canon of scripture" (Akin pg). As the living Bride of Christ, the Church recognizes the voice of her husband. The mechanism by which the Church establishes the canon of tradition is the same as the way it establishes the canon of Scripture.

The same principle works in both contexts, thus, "the Church is the witnesses to both canons" (Akins pg).

Works Cited

Akin, James. "THE TWO CANONS: SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION." http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/2CANONS.htm.(accessed 01-23-2003).

Schreck, Alan. Basics of the Faith: A Catholic Catechism. Servant Books. 1987; pp. 69, 70, 89, 90, 110, 112, 120,…… [read more]


Reason, God and Religion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,328 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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It is indivisible and it is everything in power. It is immutable and never departs from its own nature through multiplication (1 x 1 = 1). All that is intelligible and cannot be engendered exists in it: the nature of ideas, God himself, the soul, the beautiful and the good, and every intelligible essence, such as beauty itself, justice itself, equality itself, for we conceive of each of these things as being one and as existing in itself." (Page IX)

This helps us understand how Plato used some Pythagorean views to develop his understanding of the existence of God. He also maintained that God can only be truly discerned by philosophers beause they were in a better postion to understand what he called 'forms'. These forms were again taken from Pythagorean system and referred to divinity and its various representations. Plato mainated that everything present on this earth was created in the image of one Great soul and this is how he proved the existence of God. Another important thing that both Plato and Saint Augustine propounded was the belief that God must always be presented as someone good and pious. Augustine is considered a sort of plagiarist when it comes to his views on Christianity. He took inspiration from Plato's religious views and extended them to the realm of Christianity and many are of the view that most of his thoughts are not original at all. Descartes similarly connected his views on God with knowledge. He felt that God must be a perfect being who should possess infinite knowledge or else he couldn't possibly be expected to control the entire Universe. But there are certain flaws in his philosophy, which a modern day reader would find rather confusing. Descartes unlike Plato believed that understanding of God should begin not from numerical understanding of forms but from creation of doubt. He felt that complete doubt was the one thing that could lead man to the source of all knowledge, which is God. Now that we know what Augustine, Plato and Descartes said about God, it is important to find out just how did they solve the problem of evil. If God is infinitely good and pious, how can He be held responsible for creating something as despicable as evil? Plato probably did not essentially create evil. He created good from which evil originates because man misuses the gift of free will. Augustine presented his argument in these words, "Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name 'evil.'"(3) This was how most philosophers resolved this conflict and came to the conclusion that God himself did not create evil. But evil took birth when man defied the natural order. I firmly believe that man must base his own religious beliefs on reasons because without reasons, he is likely to lose his faith in the times of pain and suffering. This is because we expect God to be kind and perfect and thus cannot understand why he… [read more]


Is God in Christianity Personal? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  12 pages (3,210 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8

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God and Human Relations

God was clearly involved in His people's lives. He reveals himself in many important ways throughout the scripture to his people. We will list a number of ways in which God revealed himself to His people and showed that he was personal. First, with a general belief in the gospels, we accept our Lord's teachings that… [read more]


Confucianism: A Religion Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (526 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

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The relationship of mutual obligations a ruler has with his subjects or a parent has with his child parallels the relationship heaven has with humanity. To turn one's self into an educated person embodying virtues via what we might think as a secular associated (such as honoring the Emperor or raising one's children well) is not dissociated from connecting with the divine. The concept of 'animism' or non-living beings having a spiritual life is also present in many of the East Asian traditions: rather than idolatry, this is actually a way of conceptualizing the cycle of life, as one's ancestors or a spiritual, non-rational mode of existence are manifest in aspects of nature in a hidden form.

This suggests that rather than viewing Confucianism as a non-religion in an ethnocentric fashion, we must accept that 'religion' takes on a different meaning in different social contexts. Confucianism is not simply an ethical system such as utilitarianism in the West as it is tied to higher moral values, familial relationships and traditions, and permeates all of society in terms of its rituals and moral ethos. However, it cannot be confined by the definitions of religion we are won't to make in the west. The 'problem' of understanding Confucianism for Westerners really highlights the need to define what is a religion in a society only after studying the culture that produced it on its own terms, not our terms.

Works Cited

Prothero, Stephen. God is…… [read more]


Assembly of God Nursing Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (744 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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Assembly of God Nursing

It is important as an aspiring health professional to use all my tools and resources to help those who are most in need of healing. One of my greatest assets is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and strength this belief system provides. The purpose of this essay is to explain the significance and impact of my faith upon my leadership style and how I intend to use my faith to best serve my future patients. This essay will first describe the tenets of my chosen faith before describing the relevance of those tenets to the art and science of healing.

The Assemblies of God

I am a proud member of the Assemblies of God (AG) church in Victorville, CA which is a Pentecostal Christian organization espousing the workings and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior. This denomination of Christianity is very strict and zealous compared to many main stream Christian sects. The General Council of the Assemblies of God proclaim that The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truths

is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, 1

Corinthians 1:10; Acts 2:42). This statement is not inspired or contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full-gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our need as to these fundamental doctrines." With other Pentecostals, Assemblies of God believers summed up their unique beliefs with the term "full gospel" (Jesus Christ as Savior, Healer, Baptizer [in the Holy Spirit], and Coming King), which highlighted salvation by grace, divine healing, Spirit baptism (with tongues), and the soon return of Jesus Christ.(McGee 2003).

We at the church believe that there is only one true God and he has embodied the principles of His essence in the Trinity relationship, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Divine healing is treated as a very important principle within the AG and serves as my motivation for becoming a nurse. According to Trask (2007), "Divine healing was provided for in the Atonement. When Jesus died on Calvary, the provision…… [read more]


Russian Orthodox Religion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,327 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

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The law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations" became official in October, 1990, Knox explains. It totally "contradicted the existing legislation" -- which was Stalin's 1929 degree "On Religious Associations" -- by allowing "far-reaching freedoms for religious communities," Knox continued.

The preamble to the new legislation had four objectives, presented here: a) to guarantee "citizens' right to express their… [read more]


God Is Better Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,726 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5

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This contributes to the idea that most conflicts, regardless of the rationale backing them, attract opportunists and influence individuals to consider the material gains that they can come across as a result of posing into persons who are actually concerned about other aspects of the respective conflicts.

The crusades and the jihad played essential roles in shaping society and have fueled numerous thoughts throughout time as more and more individuals expressed interest in the two. While they are essentially different and it would be absurd to put them in the same context, the truth is that there are great deals of similarities between ideologies promoted during the crusades and during the jihad. Individuals fighting in these conflicts were motivated by their love for religion, by their need to perform extreme acts, or by their material interests. All things considered, religious extremism can have terrible consequences on society as a whole.

Works cited:

Abate, Mark T., "The Crusades, 1095-1291," (Gale, 2004)

Jones, Robert, "The Crusades: A Brief History (1095-1291)," Retrieved September 28, 2013, from the Sunday School Courses Website: http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/crusades/crusades.pdf

Laiou, Angeliki E., and Mottahedeh, Roy P., "The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World," (Dumbarton Oaks, 01.01.2001)

Setton, Kenneth M., Hazard, Harry W., and Zacour, Norman P., (Univ of…… [read more]


Islam Teaches That Faith Must Come First Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (985 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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Islam teaches that faith must come first and that it cannot be tailored to fit around secular lives. At the heart of the commitment it demands is the concept of the Pillars of Faith, a concept shared by all branches of the religion. The number of pillars varies among the different Islamic traditions but all of them represent duties incumbent upon every member of the Muslim faith. The pillars are guidelines for leading a good and responsible life according to Allah's teachings. The pillars shape the daily lives of the more than one billion Muslims worldwide. In the wake of September 11, and more recently the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Muslims attracted considerable negative attention. It can be difficult for Americans to remember that the number of radical Muslims is actually quite small. It is difficult because the actions of a relative few have had such devastating consequences. It is thus important for non-Muslims to understand the pillars of faith that bind together those who practice Islam. Nearly a billion people practice Islam in a peaceable way.

For most Muslims, there are five pillars of faith: Shahadah (testimony of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage). The five pillars are rituals, the practice of which shows God faith and love (Khan, 2008). Jihad, one of the most controversial and inflammatory terms used in the world's religions, is not one of the pillars of faith. It is, nevertheless, the term that non-Muslims are most familiar with, and it often strikes terror in their hearts. The term Jihad has become associated with violence because, as previously pointed out, a small percentage of Muslims have used their faith as a rationale for brutality.

Jihad refers to both personal and public struggles. In terms of a personal struggle, it refers to one's spiritual struggle against pride and self-sufficiency. According to the teachings of Allah, one must be humble and serve God. One should never be so arrogant as to think he can live a good and responsible life without faith and the structure it provides. Jihad also refers to the struggle against enemies of Islam. Like many other religions, tactics include preaching, teaching and working for social justice (Author, Year). It may also include war, though apologists for Islam have tried to minimize this aspect of the religion. Classical Islamic legal doctrine sees armed Jihad as a defensive struggle against persecution, oppression, and incursions into Muslim lands (Rid, 2010). The important word in this definition is "defensive," meaning that Muslims must protect themselves against aggressors. This classical legal doctrine does not advocate for aggression. As pointed out by Author, "One of the challenges for practitioners of any religion is wrestling with elements in their tradition that have been used to justify war and then bending those elements back toward the good." Practitioners of Islam are not the only ones that have had to do this.

For example, Jews look to the teaching…… [read more]


Eliezer's Struggle to Keep His Faith in God Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (792 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

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Elie Wiesel's Portrayal Of God

Elie Wiesel's book "Night" discusses with regard to the experiences that the writer went through as he was taken from his home village of Sighet to several concentration camps including Auschwitz. Although there is controversy concerning the reality of certain facts in the story, it would be absurd to claim that this is a work of fiction, taking into account that it addresses a series of occurrences that were very common for a Jew in Nazi-dominated Europe. The book is largely written from the perspective of a person who, as a survivor of the Holocaust, wants the whole world to understand the process one undergoes as he become more and more distant from God.

The Holocaust is certainly an event who instills theological dilemmas in most individuals familiar with the events that happened in Nazi-controlled death camps. Many people believe that it would be impossible for a true and active God to allow happenings like the Holocaust to occur.

Wiesel started life as an avid supporter of God and as a passionate Jewish believer and he kept his belief to the end of the event as he believed that a higher force would intervene in a biblical fashion and put an end to the injustices committed by the Nazi system. Even with the fact that the camps were liberated as the Second World War was coming to an end, the narrator realized that God failed to act in accordance with some of the most important behaviors that were characteristic to him. This played an important role in changing Wiesel's thinking with regard to religion and with concern to the idea of divinity in general.

Wiesel and his acquaintances in Sighet are initially taken to a ghetto where they start to believe that things are actually looking up for them as they become the members of a community solely formed from Jewish individuals and thus no longer have to deal with discrimination. Most of the individuals in the ghetto are optimistic and rabbis even say "nothing will happen to us, for God needs us." (Legends 124) This further contributes to the idea that most Jewish individuals were unable to realize the situation they were in during the beginning of the Holocaust and some actually believed that they would not suffer as the event progressed.

The narrator proceeds to describe feelings in the…… [read more]


Religion in Indonesia Islam Essay

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Religion in Indonesia

Islam in Indonesia

Islam was largely the dominant faith in Indonesia with the largest tally of adherents that constituted approximately 87% of the total populace in 1985 (Kipp, 2002 p. 78). This heightened percentage of Muslims in the Indonesian dispensation made the nation the greatest Islamic nation globally in the epoch of early 1990. Most islands and… [read more]


Aboriginal Religion, Christianity, and Islam Essay

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¶ … Aboriginal Religion, Christianity, and Islam... 500 words per question (total of 1500 words)

Examine the ways in which Aboriginal religion has influenced the beliefs and practices of indigenous people beyond traditional movements.

Aboriginal religion and culture conceives of time and space in a fundamentally different manner than traditional Western culture (Stanner 1968: 33). The past is not separate… [read more]


2013 Max Points: 180 Write Thesis

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It is within this premise that Escobar meets with Pannenberg and Moltmann on a similar level, subsequently, a different one. While Moltmann wants theology to relate to experiences of life, Pannenberg does not thrive on the same issue, or rather, he does not seem to mark it as that relevant. In his understanding, the Scriptures serve to anticipate a giving… [read more]


Sociology of Religion Essay

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Sociology -- Sociology of Religion

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation significantly contributed to both Capitalism and Secularization in the West. The Reformation eliminated or severely reduced Roman Catholic strengths, replacing the old religious ways of thinking with a "Protestant Ethic" devoted to capitalist ideals of planning, working hard, practicing discipline and self-denial and amassing earthly wealth in order to glorify… [read more]


Holy Trinity Christianity Promotes the Image Essay

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Holy Trinity

Christianity promotes the image of God as being divided into three distinct forms: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In spite of the fact that each of these concepts is meant to put across particular attitudes, they are brought together under one form: God. Orthodox faith is primarily focused on presenting the church as one of… [read more]


Providence Debate According to J Research Paper

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Calvin rejected the traditional theology in favor of Protestant simplification.

Arminius was more cautious: he recognized the need for further study, and intimated a return to the doctrine of the Church Fathers.

Finding an Alternative: A Reconciliation of the Two Views through Scripture

The operation of Providence in man's daily life has been duly noted in Divine Scripture. As Leslie… [read more]


Religion the Cuban Community Term Paper

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He also said that there is not much of a boundary between the religions for most people. People burn candles, they go to church, they pray to the Orishas, and they pray to Jesus. There is no conflict of identity or fear that Santeria clashes with Catholicism. The priest might think differently, perhaps, but it could be that Catholicism has… [read more]


America a Christian Nation? Article Review

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Vitale) The litmus test for the issue of whether the government is establishing religion was made during a 1971 Court decision, now called the Lemon Test. This test says that in order for any policy to be constitutional, it must: 1) Have a non-religious purpose; 2) Not promote or favor any set of religious beliefs; and, 3) Not overly involve the government with religion. Thus, the decision is whether customs are secular in nature, or religious. This also holds true for education in the sense that religions (note plural), religious artifacts, and philosophies, are a significant part of World History. In the educational system, as long as they are taught with a focus on facts and not dogma, the Court believes there is still the requisite separation (Lemon v. Kurtzman).

It is not really possible to definitively argue whether America is a Christian nation and have all sides agree. In terms of Civil Religion, there is no real agreement of the term, thus not agreement on principles and how they apply. For most, Civil Religion implies that a merging of the concepts, symbols, and sentiments of religion can be used for political purposes. Because there is such a wide divergence in viewpoints about actual religious practices, Civil Religion in America fuses certain traditions, certain actions, and even certain beliefs that overlap religiosity and political and civic pride. When we sing "God Bless America," or recite the "Pledge of Allegiance," we are, in effect, saluting a secularization of religion based on tradition (Pierard and Linder).

Truly, America does seem to operate primarily on the ideals of Christianity. Freedom is a central principle of the nation. Classic American philosophies, even in the 20th century, like Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, various inaugural addresses, and even certain foreign policy statements all form the belief that there is a combination of values and justice, and that civil religion and pragmatic Christianity can exist in tandem and cooperate. Some leaders will be more religious than others, some will be more focused on Christianity as a basis for their decisions. But beyond the initial rhetoric, over time we do find that texts communicate a sense…… [read more]


Morality Still Exist if God Research Paper

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As long as a citizen honors his or her civic obligations, he or she is considered 'good' or at very least protected by the laws of the land, regardless of his or her personal beliefs about God.

But although ancient Athens was a democracy, it is interesting that was not the case in Socrates' day, as manifested in his prosecution… [read more]


Economics &amp Apocalyptic / Theology Experience Term Paper

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(USCCB)

All of the guidelines are both beliefs of the Catholic Church and are directly from Biblical teaching. The main component of all is the moral issue because it seems that this portion has been overlooked for too long by the people who control the economy.

It seems to me that the economy has become such a large and imposing thing that the people who are responsible for its management are afraid of it. Instead of the economy supporting the people as it was meant to do from the first teachings of Alexander Hamilton and other forward thinkers, it has become a tool of large governments to control the people. Governments first have to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln that they are by the people and for the people rather than the other way around. This is a moral imperative that cannot be overlooked when opposing political sides begin to wrangle for the votes of the people. The problem with not seeing this as a moral principle is that it then becomes less important in the eyes of the politicians. Showing government that they are obligated by natural law to regard the people's finances as a moral imperative makes it immensely more important.

From all of this study into the economic teachings of the Catholic Church, I come away with a few thoughts. Research has determined that the cause of the economic crisis that has recently depressed the world's economies was caused by missteps within governments. One of the main problems was that these governments became too big and they offered way to many social programs so that they could control every aspect of people's lives. One of the main pieces of legislation that brought down the U.S. economy was that which made it almost mandatory to offer people of simple means to the ability to acquire mortgages that they could not afford. This led to a false inflation of the housing market (a bubble) that was eventually broken and caused much of the mess we have currently. If the government had left the regulation of the economy in the hands of the people, this would not have happened. The economic guidelines of the Catholic Church ad the founding fathers would have prevented much of the economic destruction that has happened.

Works Cited

Bosnich, David A. "The Principle of Subsidiarity." Acton Institute: Religion & Liberty, 2012. Web.

Forest, Jim. "A Biography of Dorothy Day." The Catholic Worker Movement, 1999. Web.

Pelicano, Matthew. Distributism: Economics Built on Revelation. Catholic Online, 2011 4 January. Web.

USCCB. "A Catholic Framework for Economic Life." Economic Justice for…… [read more]


Pastoral Theology Ministry Term Paper

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Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

An Analysis of the Theology of Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Its Relation to Evangelical

Poverty

There are many people in the last 150 years who have sought to embrace what is today called the virtue of evangelical poverty. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz is one of them. In her own words, Isasi-Diaz states, "I am an activist-theologian, and for… [read more]


Elaine Graham's Transforming Practice: Pastoral Book Report

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Graham also employs three criteria to assess transforming practice: transforming practice must contribute to liberation praxis; transforming practice must give special priority to and make space for women's experience and leadership; norms for transforming practice must emerge reflexively out of particular, local practices embodying new patterns of gender. Transforming practice must contribute to liberation praxis because, though this does not… [read more]


Religion Comparing the Catholic Essay

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The church property, material representations of the religion, and anything that is connected with God, Jesus other church is deemed to be sacred, and worthy of respect. Therefore, this is an all-encompassing religion, which impacts on the lives of the followers in many ways.

Part 2

Examining the Wiccan religion, talking to an individual's follows this path indicates some interesting parallels as well as some significant differences. Wicca is a relatively new religion, which the followers early date back to roughly the 1950s, founded by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. However, while the religion itself is relatively new, the foundations were based on much older traditional beliefs associated with a respect and reverence for nature and the concept of duality. Rather than simply one God, as seen Catholicism, Wiccans believe that there is a God and a Goddess, which may be worship through many different aspects manifestations.

The basic belief system is based on the concept of power of nature and the need for respect to the world around us and lives in harmony with nature, so that man is not seen as the most important creature on earth. Furthermore, there is also the concept of natural justice or karma. The belief system means in strongly with the ethical aspects of the religion, where respect and consideration should be given to all living things.

The community aspect is important, but is noted to be relatively small in the region that is relatively fragmented with no single central hierarchy. However, there is a sense of community not only with other Wiccans, but also with other followers of different pagan past. The general approach is an acceptance of a world in which there can be many different religions, and where all religions as well as living beings should be respected. The concept of sacredness also reflects this broader approach, where the entire world and the manifestation of nature are deemed to be sacred. However, there are some specific sacred sites, related not to religious stories, but due to past use. For example, many Wiccans would hold in esteem the ancient stone circles found in Europe.

The role of myths within this religion is far more important. Myths form the central tenant of many of the stories, and represent the different aspects of the different God and Goddess, often telling stories of man's interaction with gods, and the way in which the Gods themselves evolved. Rituals can be divergent, depending upon the individual coven practicing as rituals, but will usually involve the costing of a circle, the calling of quarters to represent different elements and paying homage to the God and Goddess. Just as seen with the Catholic Church, there are also Wiccan rituals that mark different life-cycle stages. The material expression of the religion is seen in many areas; with the potential use of different symbols, such as a pentagram as a necklace, figurines of different aspects of the God and Goddess, as well as an individual alter in the Wiccans home.… [read more]


Religion in Women's Issues Term Paper

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¶ … God has been and always will be male.

In Imaging God, the authors discuss how people conceive of God and how that image, for most Westerners, is that of a white male. However, the authors suggest that even contemporary people may conceive of God as female. Moreover, there is significant historical evidence of goddess worship in a wide variety of societies, with the majority of that worship focusing on the image of the Earth or the heavens conceived as a goddess or multiple goddesses. "Archeologists have discovered relics of worship to her among the cultural remains of people as disparate as the ancient Babylonians and pre-Christian Celts, at sites as distant northern Iraq and southern France, and dating as far back as 25,000 BCE (Renzetti et al., 2012, p.338). Therefore, the suggestion that God has always been and always will be male ignores what is known about the historical worship of goddesses. Moreover, while some people might dismiss the worship of female deities as archaic, polytheistic religions with deities of both genders flourished even during the same time that the world's current major monotheistic religions began to spread across the globe.

2. Compare and contrast the religious traditions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity with regard to the issues of women's roles in each religion.

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all Abrahamic religions, and, as such, share some significant cultural and traditional values. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, these cultural and traditional values have been very unfavorable to women. In modern times, this is not always the case, as less orthodox branches of all three major world religions can be very inclusive of women. However, traditional and orthodox denominations in those religious groups are still restrictive of women. Orthodox Jewish women are still prohibited from reading the Torah during a religious service, being religious leaders, sing in the synagogue, and men and women have to remain segregated during religious services. Likewise, many Christian…… [read more]


Roman Religion Although the Ancient Term Paper

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"

Aeneas marks this altar as specifically Roman according to not only the city's religious tradition, but also its cultural tradition of dress of mythical history. One can see a possible motivation for this intentional linking when considering the other figures depicted in the Ara Pacis' friezes, and particularly the image of Augustus. The procession of which Augustus is a… [read more]


Relevance or Irrelevance of Religion in Our Society Term Paper

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Relevance of Religion in Our Society

Relevance or Irrelevance of Religion in our society

Religion has been linked by several scholars to be an instrument that brings about mental peace and satisfaction to the members of the society. Many scholars agree that there is a need for a secular way that brings this peace of mind. However, all answers lead… [read more]


Religions of Rome Throughout History Book Review

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This meant that there were times when Sol was practiced by the occult (because it was not supported through government policies). When this occurred, it meant that other influences began to have an impact on Sol. In this case, the ideas of the Syrian sun god were intertwined with the current one. This created a new version of Sol that would be practiced during the reign of Emperor Aurelius. These different elements are important, because they are showing how the author believes that there were other factors that had an impact on Roman gods.

The Broad Theme from the Chapter

The broader theme from the chapter is that the various Roman religions were known for borrowing from other cultures. This is because they were taking the best ideas from society and incorporating it as a part of their own culture. Once this took place, is when various influences would have an impact on religion and its practices. Over the course of time, this affected the way that gods were seen and their status in Roman society. The deity Sol is a good example of this by taking the sun gods from Greek and Syrian cultures. These were used to create a deity that was worshiped regularly throughout the empire.

Conclusion

Clearly, Roman religion was influenced based upon assimilating various ideas and traditions. This is because of the attitudes of openness when studying new cultures that were conquered by the Roman armies. As they would bring these ideas back with them and slowly integrate these practices into religious philosophy. Sol was the classic example of this by taking Greek and Syrian beliefs to create a new kind of deity. As a result, this is an indication of how it has shaped the Roman's philosophies and ideas.

References

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Beard Mary. Religions of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Goldhill Simon. Being Greek Under Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006.

Mary Beard, Religions of Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 167 -- 363.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Simon Goldhill, Being Greek Under Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 134.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Mary Beard,…… [read more]


C. S. Lewis Reading Mere Christianity Term Paper

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Lewis Christianity

Creation, Evil and Science in Christian Faith

Christianity is based on certain principles of unbending faith. Within these principles are a wide variance of interpretations and approaches to observance. However, among the universal themes of the religion is a sense of assurance that the conditions of faith are not based on belief but based on knowing certain unshakeable… [read more]


Religion Outline the Early History of Hinduism Book Review

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Religion

Outline the early history of hinduism. How did the gods and rituals brought by the Aryans blend with native religions to produce classical hinduism?

Hinduism is a byproduct of Aryan Brahminism with the incorporation of ideas from other religions. The foundation for Hinduism was laid during the Vedic Age, when Vedas or Brahminism was the dominant religion. Before Hinduism emerges as the dominant faith, Buddhism enjoyed a long period of supremacy. During this era, Buddhism influenced the traditions of Hinduism. Buddhism declined due to the rise of the Gupta Empire which placed Hinduism as the preeminent religion of the subcontinent (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121).

Define the Rig-Veda, the Upanishads, and the Law of Manu. Show how these three bodies of literature demonstrate basic Hindu religious concepts.

Hinduism has a variety of different works; the oldest is the Vedic literature. The Vedic literature is an assortment of stories, songs, and ceremonial instructions that the Aryans created before and during their arrival in India. The largest of this collection of literature is in the four Vedas -- the Rig Veda being the oldest. The Upanishads are philosophical scriptures that serve as the basis for many schools of Hinduism. They teach in order to break the cycle of rebirth and death human beings must realize the self-realization that the atman, or true self, is the same as their Brahma or transcendent self. This causes release from the cycle of life and death. The Law of Manu is a body of work that is said to be the words of Brahma, the deity. It serves as the authority on Dharma, or one's personal obligations depending on an individual's social status (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121).

3. Discuss Jainism and Buddhism as heresies of Hinduism. What was the fate of these two religions in India? Elsewhere in Asia?

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism share common routes from the Vedic tradition. Yet, each religion is unique. Jainism neither accepts nor denies the existence of gods, declaring that human perfection is the ultimate end of life (Hopfe & Woodward 122-133). Perfection is achieved through karma and is determined by an individual's present life. This religion teaches that all forms of life have souls including inanimate objects. Buddhism like Jainism preaches enlightenment and holds the belief that anyone can reach enlightenment (Hopfe & Woodward 134-162). These two religions are at odds with Hinduism because it defies the caste system by preaching anyone can be enlightened not just the social elite and shunning the religious rituals and ceremonies once performed by Brahmins (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121). These two religions are not as prominent in India as they once were. Buddhism's decline saw the rise of Hinduism. However, Buddhism is a major religion in other parts of Asia and successfully spread beyond India.

4. What central lesson must Arjuna learn from his conversation with Krishna in the Bbagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the 18 books in the Mahabharata, an epic which is a major part of Hindu tradition.… [read more]


Religion Christianity and Islam: Religions of Abraham? Essay

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Religion

Christianity and Islam: Religions of Abraham?

Although religious scholars have come to no definitive conclusion as to whether Abraham is the "father" of the three predominant religions practiced in the world today, there are those that posit because of the time in which Abraham lived, and the fact that the three major faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam came after, that because he is the physical ancestor of the religions he has been credited with that title. Nevertheless, despite the scholarly debate both Christianity and Islam, respectively have differences and yet some commonalities in tradition, practice and belief.

Beliefs

Islam and Christianity, although different religions, do have some commonalities as articulated in the scholarly and faith-based literature. Christianity, as does Islam, tracing their roots back to Abraham, considered by many to be the father of the three major religions (Lowenthal 24). In Islam, Ishmael is considered the first son of Abraham and the second son is Isaac. Both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic religions prophesying a belief in a one true God (Games & Coren 144). Moreover, both faiths extol belief in God's prophets or messengers of the word of God, as well as revelation, scripture, the importance and centrality of the religious community and the resurrection of the dead. The issue of community is particularly important as both Islam and Christianity have a dimension of communitarianism: what the church is to the believers in Christianity, the 'umma' is to Islam. For Christians and Muslims alike, there is a great level of accountability to the community (Goddard 1). It goes without saying that both Islam and Christianity are world religions. In addition, both faiths believe in submission to the God. The definition of Muslim is one who submits to God'. There is also the belief by Christians and Muslims that God is a just, jealous, merciful and forgiving God.

Practices

For both Christianity and Islam, prayer is a central tenant of the faith. In doing so, both Islam and Christianity facilitate the communication of man with their God through the practice of prayer (Lowenthal 69). Although the regiment of prayer and the positions of prayer may be executed in a different manner, both faiths posit that believers are to come before God in humbleness and humility and through the course of prayer clarity with regard to one's purpose in life can be achieved (Goddard 4).

Moreover, both Islam and Christianity believe in the word of God being delivered by way of apostles and messengers through a prescribed book. For the Christians it is the Holy Bible and for Muslims the Holy Qur'an. Believers of both faiths are encouraged to subscribe to these devout written works for information, guidance, and examples of right living. Use of the Bible and the Qur'an, respectively, are utilized in private prayer and worship as well as in communal teaching (Games & Coren 143).

In addition, Christians and Muslims ascribe to a moral code of conduct that has many similarities. For example, both teach that faith… [read more]


God Science and Imagination Essay

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God, Scince, And Imagination

Selective Sight

The state of imagination that Wendell Berry discusses in his essay, "God, Science, and Imagination," is certainly a powerful one, as the following excerpt readily shows. "As the word imagination itself suggests, it is the power to make us see, and to see, moreover, things that without it would be unseeable. (26)" The gift of sight (even to those who are literally blind), and the ability to see things that are otherwise not visible, is certainly a powerful one with many potential uses that can cause a lot of benefits -- if used wisely. It is the question of those uses, especially when concerned with the effects of religious dogma and scientific fundamentalism which the author writes about in the same essay, that is most important. Specifically, is it possible to use one's imagination to gain an accurate enough representation of the world, or does the use of such imagination merely limit its viewer to an ideal paradise where he or she only sees that which he or she wants to, and not that which actually exists? The answer appears to lie somewhere between these two extremes.

When considering Alan de Button's essay, "On Habit," one is able to truly see how powerful the imagination, and the mind that empowers it, is. In fact, these two tools allow its author, who makes a concerted effort to note his surroundings (which he typically ignores) on a walk to a train station, to perceive a whole host of things that he was previously unaware of, as the following quotation proves. "Under the command to consider everything as of potential interest, objects released latent layers of value. A row of shops which I had known as one large, undifferentiated reddish block acquired an architectural identity. (63)" This quotation affirms that the human mind can see that which it determines itself to see. As such, it would appear to be possible to escape the trappings of religious fundamentalism and merely view concepts of God and religion without being moved by such strict views, which the following quotation from Berry, in which he discusses the use of the imagination through literature to provide an understanding of things beyond literal human sight, indicates. "As for the afterlife, it has been imagined by Homer, Vergil, the biblical writers, Dante, and others, with the result that at least some of us, their willing heirs, have imagined it also. (26)" This quotation proves how it is possible for people to see things that cannot be seen with the imagination -- which is just an extension of de Button's idea that people see what they want to see.

Therefore, it can be granted that people can live within a state of open mindedness or of imagination. The danger, of course, is in giving up the perception of what is going on in…… [read more]


Religion Each of the Variations of Christianity Essay

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Religion

Each of the variations of Christianity presents significant beliefs about the concept eternal life. Following death, Christians honor the idea of heavenly life, and spiritual immortality in the kingdom of God. The weight of the Christian attitude toward death, and the importance of its promises, is validated by the reality of Christ's resurrection (Kramer: 142). There are three main… [read more]


Judaism Is a Religion Term Paper

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Christianity was the state religion in the Western world from the time of Constantine in the 4th Century AD until the 18th and 19th Centuries. For the Jews, this meant nearly 2,000 years of being ghettoized, persecuted, expelled and exterminated by Christians, with the worst event being the genocide of 1941-45 at the hands of the Nazis. Although the latter claimed to be 'scientific racists' and Social Darwinists rather than Christians, they could draw on a vast and ancient tradition of anti-Semitism that originated in the early Christian era. Moreover, they found many willing perpetrators and accomplices from all over Europe among those who claimed to be Christians, and a Christian majority often very willing to turn its back on the Jews and passively acquiesce in these crimes without protest. This would not have been possible had the ground not been thoroughly prepared by centuries of Christian antagonism toward Judaism, such as the Crusaders who massacred Jewish communities on their way to the wars in the Holy Land, or the medieval monarchs of England, France and Spain who expelled them and stole their property, and the Inquisition that used spies, informers, and torture to discover Jews in hiding, practicing their faith in secret. During those centuries, "the world was mostly Christian, and when it was not, it was the realm of the devil and the Jews," while the official theology of most Christian churches up to the 20th Century held the Jews collectively responsible for deicide -- the murder of Christ (Neusner, p. 263).

Liberal and secular Jews in the 18th and 19th Centuries had supported the French and American Revolutions in hopes that the new governments would liberate them from the ghettos and grant them equal citizenship. Given that Christian states and established churches had always persecuted them, it was "only upon a secular foundation that emancipation was possible" (Neusner, p. 261). In Germany, Moses Mendelssohn advocated assimilation and a new type of Liberal or Reform Judaism for the middle classes in the cities that would shed 'oriental' customs and traditions and become one religion among many in a secular society (Fisher, p. 249). Only with incidents like the Dreyfus case in France, renewed pogroms in Poland and Russia, and the rise of fascism and racial or 'biological' anti-Semitism did Zionists like Theodore Herzl begin to sense that the assimilationist project was going to fail very badly in Europe and the only hope for Jewish survival was a return to Israel. Only the world wars and the Holocaust of 1941-45 made this new Jewish state a reality, however.

Conclusion

Jewish history could best be summed up as repeated cycles of exile, persecution, enslavement and genocide, but also astonishing endurance. They have suffered at the hands of some of the worst tyrants in history, including Hitler and Stalin, yet they have always survived. Jews were expelled from France, Spain, Germany and most recently the Arab countries, but managed to survive all of it, just as they did the Inquisition and… [read more]


World View on My Religion Essay

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Personal Reflection on Religious Perspective

Worldview

I was raised in a Christian family but I have always been bothered by the degree to which different Christian faiths maintain that they represent the only "correct" interpretation of the Gospel and that other Christian faiths are "wrong." I have always found it particularly offensive that some specific Christian sects believe that other fellow Christians are not eligible for eternal salvation at all. Generally, I appreciate that the Christian worldview incorporates secular concepts of benevolence and charity and I have always tried to make sure that my personal lifestyle choices and decisions are consistent with this Christian worldview.

Personal Beliefs about God and Religion and the Sacred-Secular Dance

As an adult, I have chosen not to affiliate with any specific church or Christian sect because I believe that God values all of us equally regardless of exactly how we choose to express our religious convictions. In my opinion, the relationship between the individual and God is a highly personal relationship and that private prayer or communication is much more spiritual and meaningful than ritualized prayers and customs.

It seems to me that the shared ritual of religious services actually detracts from the spiritually meaningful quality of the communications between believers and God because group songs, dances, and other rituals often become the focus of religious worship instead of the actual connection between the individual and God. Whereas it is very difficult for a single individual communicating directly with God to become distracted or to focus on extraneous or superficial aspects of that dynamic, the practice of group prayer (especially those involving complex musical components) often seems to take precedence over communal forms of religious worship. In that respect, private individual prayer seems much less susceptible to distraction and superficiality to me than many forms of contemporary religious services.

Christianity in Relation to American Society

In my opinion, it is a fundamental mistake for Christians to lobby for secular laws that reflect Christian religious beliefs. It seems that many Christians believe that secular laws should be consistent with their religious convictions, most notably in connection with issues such as contraception and abortion. On one hand, my Christian beliefs do prohibit certain forms of contraception and all forms of abortion. However, I recognize that when it comes to very early-term abortions, (such as where fetal development is at the zygote stage before any human characteristics have developed), the moral issue should be entirely separate from the religious issue. That is because the central basis for objecting to abortion (at this early stage of fetal development) is a religious belief that human life begins at conception.

Certainly, Christians should be free to maintain that belief. However, to lobby for laws prohibiting early-term abortions for non-Christians is nothing short of imposing our religious beliefs on others. In principle, it is no different from Catholics lobbying for laws prohibiting anybody (i.e. non-Christians) from eating meat on Fridays; for that matter, it is no different from a Jewish majority… [read more]


Personal Views on Religion in American Society Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (645 words)
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Personal Views on Religion in American Society

Religion is not a reliable way of making decisions or of determining right from wrong. Religious values are largely arbitrary because they reflect the views and beliefs of the people who created them. If there is any doubt about that characterization, one need only look at the sheer number of different religions that exist and at the diametrically opposite beliefs and values that many of them espouse. Objectively, it is fundamentally impossible for the conflicting beliefs of any two religions to be true. While it is understandable why religious teaching may once have been necessary to control human behavior, in the modern era, there is no longer any need because modern societies have formal laws and the necessary authorities and mechanisms to control human behavior and deviance as necessary for the benefit of society. Today, religion promotes unnecessary antagonism among people and also undermines genuine appreciation of objective morality and ethics.

Religion is an important factor in my voting choice only in one sense: I cannot trust the judgment of or take any candidate for political office seriously whose political philosophy is based in religion. On one hand, every person (including politicians) has the right to maintain any religious values or beliefs they may choose. On the other hand, to whatever extent those values or beliefs relate to matters of social policy, it is a form of imposing religious beliefs on members of a society built on the fundamental concept of religious freedom. Perhaps the best example is that raised by early-term abortions and (especially) by contraception via the so-called "morning after" pill. The crux of the political objection to abortion and to contraception are religious beliefs pertaining to when human life supposedly "begins." Early-term abortions and (especially) any contraceptive method that actually prevents a pregnancy from occurring violate no objective moral principle. A zygote that is only days or hours old cannot sense pain…… [read more]


Spirituality Conundrum Research Paper

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Spirituality Conundrum

The Conundrum of the Chaotic Nature of Life:

The Human Need to Make Sense

Playwright Edward Albee once said "Man is a creature who tries desperately to make sense out of an irrational and chaotic universe" (Thoughts About). Cartoonist Scott Adams once said "Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of… [read more]


Can God Be Known From Nature Term Paper

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God and Nature

Jesus performed His miracles to reveal God's truth and to inspire faith. Thus, the miracles recounted in the Gospels provide ample testimony to the numerous ways God acts in the world. McGrath outlines and explains several different ways God acts in the world. The most fundamental way God acts in the world is also the most primordial: through the act of creation itself. God also acts in the world by not acting at all: as explained by the philosophy of deism. McGrath also explains how God acts through secondary causes, indirectly as with "double agency," (p. 96). Finally, Dog acts also through what McGrath describes as "persuasion," or "process thought," (p. 96). Process thought suggests that God acts not only decisively but persuasively in the world while still allowing for the free will of individual actors. As McGrath points out, "the God of process thought seems to bear little relation to the God described in the Old or New Testament," (p. 98). Nevertheless, process thought, secondary causes, deism and multiple types of generative power can all be used to explicate New Testament miracles performed by God's Son.

Described in John 2, the miracle of water into wine illustrates at least four of the ways God acts in the world. First, it is important to point out that the miracles Jesus performs in the New Testament cannot be considered outside the context of Christianity. In other words, the very fact that God's son performs miracles like turning water into wine is an emblem of the way God acts in the world. God deliberately acts in the world through Jesus, acting as both demiurge and as redeemer in Christ. McGrath notes that both concepts of God as demiurge and as redeemer explain how God acts in the world at the moment of creation. Christ can be conceived of as an emanation of God in a poetic way, but not in a literal way because as McGrath points out, "that the act of creation rests upon a prior decision on the part of God to create," which emanation "cannot adequately express (p. 115-116).

The miracle of water into wine is performed by God indirectly through his only Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus is considered as Lord, the miracle can also be conceived of as a direct action of God in the world. The multifaceted and complex analysis of the miracle of water into wine demonstrates the efficacy of God acting in the world through secondary causes. Even when Jesus is considered to be a divine actor, there are intermediary causes involved in the miracle. For example, the family holding the wedding invites Jesus. Their decision to invite Jesus might have come from some inner prompting from God. Jesus's mother attends the wedding too, and intervenes by nudging Jesus. She tells him, "They have no more wine," thus suggesting to Jesus that He should do something about it (John 2:2). Until that point, Jesus had not intended to act; it was… [read more]


Church of God in Christ Thesis

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IV. Mason -- Elected Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ

Mason was elected the Chief Apostle of the church at this meeting in addition to the Articles of the Religion of the Church being amended with the addition of a 'Pentecostal paragraph'. (Owens, 2002) A belief in sanctification is reported to have been "at the same time… [read more]


Martin Luther John Calvin Pascal Essay

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Luther, Calvin, Pascal

The three main premises of Reformation theology include: 1) the sole authority of Scripture; 2) Justification by faith alone; and 3) the priesthood of the believer. These were also the three main premises that steered protestants away from the Catholic Church. In Martin Luther's text, he integrates these three elements to respond to one of the dominant… [read more]


Bible: Nature vs. God Term Paper

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Bible: Nature vs. God

There has always been much controversy regarding the concept of God and His relationship with science. Theology has practically been created as a means to have the world gain a better understanding of God without having to focus on absurd theories that can even be refuted by a child. The masses are inclined to believe that religion and science are opposite to each-other as while one puts across unconfirmed theories, the other's main goal is to only take established theories for granted. Theologians have the task of forming a bridge between religion and science, one of their main points of interest being to explain nature through God, as they claim that God cannot be explained through nature.

The world of science is determined to explain everything it comes across, with the matters that are not yet explained generating numerous debates. Scientists typically perceive nature "as a collection of inert material particles governed by external mathematical laws" (Lindberg & Numbers 169).

Thomas Aquinas, one of the most recognized theologians to discuss this matter, considered that these respective mathematical laws stood as a tool in the hands of God, as He collaborated with them and assisted them in fulfilling their mission. Theology virtually brings together scientific information and religious belief. It would be absurd and ignorant to consider that religion cannot be studied through using science or vice-versa.

Islamic scholars, Greek orthodoxy, and Protestants are responsible for generating a series of theological thoughts and can be considered to have played a major role in shaping the modern-day world of science (Lindberg & Numbers 2).

Although science and religion put across completely diverging opinions until the recent centuries, matters gradually changed and religious people came to appreciate new scientific concepts that were in accordance with particular Christian principles whereas scientists embraced a theological approach of religion and acknowledged the fact that many Christian convictions were essential in assisting society as it struggled to abandon its dedication towards materialism (Lindberg & Numbers 238).

In spite of the fact that it was impossible for them to ever accept certain concepts promoted by Christianity, numerous individual stressing the importance of science came to the conclusion that humanity needed religion as a means of strengthening its connection with morality, given that religion was one of the main factors for which the masses could understand the difference between right and wrong. Scientists reached a phase where they associated God with morality, considering that…… [read more]


Eucharist in Catholicism and Calvinism Term Paper

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Aquinas answers the objection "whether bread can be converted into the body of Christ" by stating that:

this is done by Divine power in this sacrament; for the whole substance of the bread is changed into the whole substance of Christ's body, and the whole substance of the wine into the whole substance of Christ's blood. Hence this is not… [read more]


Interpretation of the Bible in Roman Catholic Theology Research Paper

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¶ … Bible in Roman Catholic Theology

Interpretations of the Bible in Roman Catholic Theology

There is much controversy regarding the Roman Catholic Church and its relationship with the Bible. Roman Catholic scholars expressed their support toward liberal interpretations of the text, but most of them influenced the masses in accepting interpretations that did not go against Roman Catholic principles.… [read more]


God's Holiness Doctrinal Term Paper

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God's Holiness Doctrinal Essential

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, . . . And they were calling to one another:

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am… [read more]


Religious Diversity Essay

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Religion

Workshop: Missiology for a New Era

Remaining true to the Gospel in the midst of religious diversity and pluralism can be challenging for young ministers. Crises of faith are far too common in the midst of the schisms that emerge even between Christians. Intolerance can be one of the greatest poisons not just to faith, but to spiritual healing,… [read more]


African-American Women and Womanist Theology Research Paper

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African-American Women and Womanist Theology

Religion has been a strong part of the black culture since the beginning of time. Upon migration to the United States, religion and the church was a source of survival, especially for black women. Black women theologians practiced throughout the Civil Rights Movement, the responsibility to exercise racial uplift and social responsibility as the core… [read more]


Spiritual Cultural Competency Essay

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¶ … Buddhist Theology

As a Buddhist, I believe that I should be compassionate towards people of other faiths and recognize them as suffering beings first, before seeing them as people of other faiths. Second, I believe I should learn as much as possible from the doctrine and practice of other faiths as a cultivation of my own faith. Third,… [read more]


Christian Theology Essay

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Christian Theology

We cannot adequately represent the fullness of God within the confines of human language and discourse. The author is correct to assert that it is a difficult activity to address the concept of God. God is beyond the realm of human contemplation, yet, at the same time, our experiences allow us to frame God in terms of our own understanding and beliefs about the nature of things. This leads to inadvertent misrepresentations of the divine. Changes in human experience modify the misrepresentations of God; modifications improve the picture of God but can never complete capture the reality.

The languages employed by religions to speak of God are severely limited in their ability to hold and transfer the content that is necessary to represent God. This is a necessary weakness of religious discourse, since religious discourse draws its symbolic content for expression from the experiences of the humans creating that discourse. When we speak about God, we are immediately aware that any statements made are woefully inadequate as representations of deity. Language is both the vehicle that opens us up to the things of God, and simultaneously hides the complete truth about God from inspection due to its limitations.

We may even go further, Taylor asserts that for much of theology, God is the logos, and when we speak, we are relating to an aspect of God (596). The logos or word is an expression of God and contains aspects of God. The immediate conundrum may be the process by which humans are able to excise the truth of the "Logos" from the ordinary and common language that is employed to capture and express infinite concepts.

Theology, which is the study of God, is therefore delving into a mystery using tools forged by individuals who have never seen the mystery. Accurate knowledge of this mystery is unattainable via the mechanisms that are available at present. The mystery that is God must therefore provide the understanding of the mystery and this understanding requires that eternal truths and immortal concepts be transferred to mortal and frail creatures. To accomplish this transfer requires that the content of the message be altered or downgraded so that those who lack the capacity to apprehend it in its original form can comprehend it. While we may apply thought to understand what is revealed, care must be taken not to digress into the path of natural theology giving supremacy to reason at the expense of revelation (Matthews 101)

This downgrading of the content of the mystery does not influence the mystery itself. We may term the downgrading process revelation. The designed and initiation of the revelatory process is accomplished by God. In the revelatory process, some of the depth and indescribable elements of the divine are lost. They cannot be translated into human language, thought or experiences. The gulf between the human thought and the immortal God is a gaping chasm. This chasm is never quite bridged by language.

The process of making the mystery accessible… [read more]


Scholars of Religion Tend to Avoid the Term Cult Essay

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Cult vs. Religion

Contemporary religious scholars tend not to use the term cult in their works unless referring to a dangerous and sociological unhealthy organization. This is primarily due to the pejorative definition with which the term is now used. In a very strict sense of the word, though, the difference between a cult and a religion is often in the eye of the beholder, of the manner in which that particular society views the organization, and what the societal mores are for that particularly time. In fact, in most modern academic studies, cult is a sociological term, while new religious movement becomes a theological phrase (Lewis, 2004).

One could reasonably argue that many world religions exhibit clear cultish behaviors, although most do acknowledge temporal authority (e.g. The code of law, etc.), and most hold their own leadership accountable for the psychological impact of their teachings on younger people. Most also at least acknowledge that there have been dissenting view points, and, at least in the modern world, are more open to allowing this dissention to be discussed. Cult behavior is easier to understand by identifying certain characteristics that tend to be typical of modern cults:

Zealous and unquestioning commitment to a messianic leader (alive or dead)

Unquestioning devotion to a belief system and ideology

Seeing this ideology as the only truth, and law

Punishing doubt and dissent and frowning upon any questioning

Use of mind altering practices to suppress doubt

Allowance of the leadership to dictate how members should think, act, work, worship, and live.

Relatively elitist philosophy, placing itself above the rest of humanity as the only true way

Mentality that engenders a complete polarization of society (us. Versus them)

Leadership believes it is not accountable to any earthly authority

Utilitarianism to the extreme (ends justify the means)

Preoccupied with recruitment and earning funds

Refuses to allow members to leave group or abide by societal rules (Lalich and Langone, 2009).

Clearly, religious scholars want to distance themselves for observations that might place their religion away from spirituality and more into the public perception of the Jim Jones Guyana incident. Another way of thinking about the subject might be to establish degrees of fervor -- at least in the modern world. This, of course, could be argued with historical using the Inquisition and other organized purges. However, the popularization of the word "cult" now has meanings so complex and secular that it would be impossible to use in scholarly writing without inviting criticism.

Definitions

Cult -- in contemporary terminology, a cult is a group that forms together to form practices which are considered to be relatively pejorative by reasonable members of society. This is a post-1980s definition, somewhat subjective, but indicative of the way modern society uses the word in most styles of communication. Cultish does not mean a group of likeminded individuals, then, it minds like-minded individuals that share certain proclivities and beliefs that may be anti-social or harmful (Lewis, 2005, 3-6).

Rather than being a total antithesis… [read more]


Psychology and Theology Article Critique

Article Critique  |  4 pages (1,373 words)
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Psychology and Theology

The overall role that religion will play on human psychology has been hotly debated over the decades. Where, both proponents and critics will claim that religion can have a positive or negative effect upon the individual when they become older. To determine the underlying effect that this will have someone requires: examining how religion can have an effect on the self-esteem of an individual. This will be accomplished by looking at a study from the article Meaning, Purpose and Religiosity in at Risk Youth. At which point, it will be clear as to the role religion is playing on the self-worth of individuals when they become older.

Over the last several decades, the role of religion and its influence upon young adults has been constantly debated, among psychologists as well as theologists. Where, the underlying influence of religion on the psychology of an adolescent; will play a role in determining the levels of self-esteem that an individual will have. This is significant, because this is the heart of the debate between the two sides. Where, those who are supporters of the religious viewpoint will claim that teaching children the values of right and wrong will reflect upon them in adolescence. At which point, the lessons that they learned and their belief in God will help them to have a more balanced view on life. While, many critics will often claim that those who are saying religion will have a positive influence on the adolescents are: missing the fact that religion has done little if any good for the world. A good example of this view point can be seen with comments from Karl Marx where he said, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness." (Cline, 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the critics believe that religion will have little if any effect upon adolescence. To determine the underlying effect that religion will have upon the psychology of adolescents requires that you examine relevant research on the subject from: the Journal of Psychology and Theology. This will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall role that religion will play in the development of self-esteem.

Summary

To determine the role that religion will play in the development of adolescents; means that we must examine the underlying effect of religion on the different individuals. This is accomplished by conducting a random survey and then comparing the different research results, from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. In the article, Meaning, Purpose and Religiosity in at Risk Youth, researchers were searching for the impact that religion will have on at risks youth. Where, they would analyze the responses of 45 male and female at risk high school students, through a series of interviews. During the process of… [read more]


Comparison of Anglicanism to Purely Reformation Theology Research Paper

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Anglican and Reformation Theology

Comparison of Anglican and Reformation Theology

Among the bewildering number of Christian theologies, the Reformation and Anglican varieties have had an immense influence through the centuries. Begun around the same time in the sixteenth century's response to the dominant Roman Catholicism, both of these schools of thought and faith deviated in significant ways from the mother… [read more]


Substance Abuse and Theology Essay

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Substance abuse and theology: The controversy over the role of religion in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous)

To recover from an addiction, must you believe in God? For many people, this is not simply a theoretical question, but also a legal one. Many addicts are required to attend regular treatment programs, but some of the major therapeutic approaches, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) require the addict to surrender his or her will to a higher power. Atheists and even some believers reject this idea. The U.S. courts have agreed: in 2007 a federal appeals court ruled that NA "has enough religious overtones that a parolee can't be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison" (Egelko 2007).

Although the organization is not explicitly Christian, both AA and NA state in their 12 steps that participants must acknowledge that only "a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity" and make a promise to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" while offering prayers and meditations upon sobriety (Egelko 2007). Also, AA and NA demand strict adherence to their credos -- individuals cannot pick and choose which of the 12 steps they would like to perform, and in what order. Although the organization is accepting of people who 'fall off the wagon,' it demands a commitment to trying to achieve all 12 steps -- a commitment many atheists and agnostics refuse to give and allege is a violation of their constitutional rights. In the case of the 2007 decision, a Buddhist "objected to religiously oriented drug treatment in prison, sued state officials over the issue and told Hawaii parole authorities just before his release that he would object to any condition that included a treatment program with religious content" (Egelko 2007). Merely because a citizen is convicted of a crime does not mean that they forgo their rights to freedom of religion:…… [read more]


Postliberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican Research Paper

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Postliberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican II

The objective of this work is to explore some vital aspects of the proposed topic within contemporary theology. Post-liberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican II.

Liberal Theologians

The work of McMahon (2009) entitled: "Liberal Theologians"

states that theologians have been impacted by not only society and churches but as well by… [read more]


Evolution of Religion in America Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (2,499 words)
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Evolution of Religion in America

There have been numerous historical works on the Great Explorers, Columbus, DeSoto, Cortes, Pizzaro, etc. But one thing that emerges from their accounts of the New World was that North America was populated sparsely and by groups of unorganized "tribal" cultures with no written language, no large architectural monuments, and no advanced civilization. However, new… [read more]


Religions of the World Essay

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Pluralism in the World's Religions

The idea that there is but one path that leads to God is absurd given the wide array of different religions and billions of followers who believe that their own religion or set of beliefs is the correct way to God. The definition of God and the path that takes a human being toward it/him/her depends on the person and the religious movement. God and religion is defined differently by different people, and this subjectivity lends a sort of multi-faceted approach to finding the path that leads a person to a higher power. Since many religions believe they exclusively are the only true and correct path to God, logically they cannot all be correct. But they all define God or the path to enlightenment quite differently, so it is possible that since they have defined God and the correct path, that the only way to follow that particular path is through their own exclusive methodology and set of beliefs.

Swami Vivekananda remarks about different paths taking men to God is very romantic. For some, there is no set way to God. For others, the only way is their way, and this feeling of romanticism and idealism is not compatible with that particular world view. Vivekananda's own world view comes to modern students through the lens of a 19th century Indian Hindu revivalist (Hopfe and Woodward). He helped to create the foundation for other great Indian religious and philosophical leaders like Gandhi and Bose. The Hindu belief structure has had a profound impact on Indian culture. While Hindu prophets have spoken of the idea that there are many ways to God, and that there is no one clearly defined path to him/her, Hindus do believe that their religious path is the most direct way to a higher power. They believe in a particular set of habits and behaviors, just like other religions, that followers must strictly adhere to in order to achieve a higher understanding of their world and their role as a human being. This religion is arguably the world's oldest, but it also does not profess any form of "hell" or negative punishment for non-believers. For Hindus, their religion is the best way to God for them, but the fact that other humans may chose better paths for themselves is a certainty.

Buddhists believe that by following a specific path, a follower can achieve enlightenment and ultimately commune with a higher power. The Buddhists tradition is built around the teachings of Siddhartha Guatama, who in the 5th century BCE became enlightened himself through the understanding of suffering and its effects on the human condition (Hopfe and Woodward). The Buddhist tradition argues that the only way to enlightenment, or the highest commune with a higher power, is through their own well-defined structure of giving up all belongings and understanding that life is suffering, and that all material…… [read more]


Religion Comparison Religions in Ancient History: Similarities Essay

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Religion Comparison

Religions in Ancient History: Similarities and Differences

According to Smitha, biologists have dated the earth, as well as the sun, as 4.55 billion years old, a planet that was formed by the gravitational pull of different elements. Scientists claim that life began with two important acids -- DNA and RNA. After millions of years, what started as microorganisms… [read more]


Philosophy of Organized Religion Essay

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¶ … Philosophy [...] philosophy of organized religion and its appeal to people. Organized religion and philosophy seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality, many philosophers were also men of faith. Some opposed the idea of organized religion and its effect on society, while others embraced it. Their views are still relevant today, and they indicate just what an emotional subject organized religion can be for many people.

Many philosophers, who can be scientists and logicians at heart, decry organized religion and belief in God, feeling they are not logical or based in fact. However, many other prominent philosophers embrace the idea of faith, and acknowledge their own faith in God. Immanuel Kant, a foremost philosopher had his own ideas about God and religion. He says, "I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith." He thus proposes what has come to be known as his 'moral argument' for God and the immortality of the soul. In connection with this argument, he also develops the concept of 'moral faith'" (Rossi). He also believed people were safe in assuming they would have immortality after death, where they can continue to seek moral perfection (Rossi).

Kant also believed that humans must have moral faith to keep living a morally consistent and motivated life, and that God and the notion of immortality go hand in hand with moral faith. Humans need the motivation and the idea of living a moral life in order to gain a reward, and faith helps them attain immortality while pointing them down a moral path. However, many other philosophers argued against Kant's theories. Author Rossi continues, "The moral argument has also been criticized as an effort on Kant's part to transgress, in the name of the moral use of reason, the very limits he had set to the theoretical use of reason in the first Critique" (Rossi). However, Kant is not the only well-known philosopher to argue for organized religion and faith in God.

John Wesley, a theologian and philosopher had different ideas about organized religion. Another writer notes, "Wesley understood very well the direct causal relationship between religious beliefs and productivity. He also understood well that wealth accumulation could weaken religiosity in terms of both beliefs and participation. Wesley concluded that economic growth was detrimental to religion" (McCleary). Wealth accumulation can be detrimental to religion in a number of ways. First, those who are extremely successful financially tend to spend more time in productivity and work than in leisure activities; thus, they have less time for organized religion and services. They also may not perceive an economic value spent in participating in religious activities, because they can be time consuming and take up valuable leisure time, something that most successful businesspeople do not have a lot of to squander.

In addition, most entrepreneurs and financially successful individuals tend to have better educations, and studies indicate that those with higher levels of education tend to have fewer ties to organized… [read more]


Existence of God on Using Arguments Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,540 words)
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Existence of God

On Using Arguments to Establish the Case for God

McCloskey states in his article that the problem with most theists is that they come to believe in God based on other factors and reasons other than proofs alone.1 He may be referring to subjective factors like faith and personal evidence, which he possibly might abandon as true… [read more]


Relate Religion and Science Thesis

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¶ … Religion and Science

Science & Religion an Introduction

Science and religion, though seemingly in constant conflict and contradiction of one another still tend to coexist in the modern world with only limited conflicts. Most people, including the majority of scientists themselves report some belief in a higher power and many in the U.S. purport that this higher power… [read more]


Religion Is a Multifaceted Social and Psychological Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,268 words)
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Religion is a multifaceted social and psychological phenomenon. The world's religions function on the level of custom and tradition as well as on the level of art and literature. Belief in God is only one aspect of a religious system of belief. Religion informs politics, morality, and social norms too. Although I was born into a Catholic family and am familiar with many Catholic traditions, I do not consider myself a religious person. I do not base many of my decisions on religious doctrine. Nevertheless, Catholicism is a part of my ethnic and cultural heritage. One of the most valuable roles of religion is an emblem of culture and identity. Respecting the diversity of the world's religions is a crucial part of respecting other human beings.

The role that religion plays in my personal life is relatively minimal compared with some of my peers. Nearly nine out of ten Americans believe in God, and most Americans value religion's role in their personal and social lives (Stone 2009). My personal beliefs do not on their own form a religious system because many of my core beliefs are secular humanist in nature. Deity is not integral to my views on ethics, morality, family, friendship, or even science. If I were to start my own religion, it would incorporate as much from my secular ideology as from a theological one.

Like most people, I initially acquired a religious belief system from my parents, who were in turn influenced by their family and culture. I have studied religion as a system of theological belief and I have studied religion also as a historical and sociological phenomenon. Religion has been inextricably embedded into most cultural traditions, so that beliefs in and about God are sometimes inseparable from political ideology. In fact, theology and political leadership can be dangerously entwined with one another. Religion not only plays a role in cultural traditions and customs but also in a means to maintain social control.

A belief system that is rooted in religion can too easily become dogmatic, rigid, and authoritarian. One that discounts the importance of religion in human culture runs a similar risk. The traditions that derive from religion bind us to our families and our ancestors. When we neglect religious traditions, we run the risk of not learning from the past. Religious traditions are filled with symbolism and other mental cues that help guide human thought and behavior. If nothing else, religious traditions create opportunities for familial and social interactions.

Beliefs about nature and the environment can be strongly influenced by religion. Religions that view nature as sacred create an environmental ethic, whereas religions that view nature as a tool for human advancement commodify the environment. Having been exposed to both points-of-view, I am able to understand why some people feel obligated to protect the environment and others do not. Thus, religion can inform a wide range of social and political issues.

Religion also informs social values and norms. Values related to sexuality, marriage, childrearing,… [read more]


Religion Is One of the Most Debated Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (960 words)
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Religion is one of the most debated issues in the present, with some people considering that it is crucial for our well-being. In contrast, others believe it to be just something that people invented in their search for divinity. Hinduism is among the oldest religions is the world, and, unlike other religions, it does not follow the typical religious pattern as it doesn't have a founder, nor does it have a single holy book. The religion has most of its followers in India and the majority of Indians are devoted to it.

Hinduism dates back before our common era when the Indus Valley Civilization had received influences from Darvidians and Aryans. Instead of having just one book as most religions have, Hinduism has several books such as Bhagwad Gita, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Puranas. Besides from having several holy books, Hinduism differentiates itself from other religions through the fact that it promotes other values. The religion is largely based on the fact that it teaches its followers how to live and how to advance through life with their minds pure.

Hinduism followers had initially been separated into castes which determined the exact position that people had in the Indian society. As people evolved and education intervened, the differentiation gradually disappeared and everyone became equal.

Hinduism does not just have followers in India, as there are Hindu people spread around the world, with a large community being present in the U.S. The worldwide number of people that are devoted to Hinduism is estimated at about one billion while the number of Hindu people living in the U.S. is believed to be close to a million. The U.S. Hindu community is strong and there are several temples where they can gather in order to bring homage to their gods.

2.Hindu people living in the U.S. face a greater probability of contracting a severe disease than those in India do. There are several reasons for the occurrence, but some of the most crucial are the stress of living in a foreign country and the fact that they prefer traditional medicine in favor of modern one.

In spite of being aware of the reasons for which they catch a disease, Hindu people mostly believe that the disease is owed to Karma. Communication is difficult between elderly Indians and U.S. doctors because the former can barely speak English. Hindu people generally are not likely to cooperate with doctors in finding a cure for their problems because they don't trust modern medicine. When they are close to dying, Hindu people believe that they should not try to recuperate because they would intervene in the ways of Karma, which presumably makes death inevitable. The whole family needs to support the dying person as he or she gives their last breath.

3.Family members gather around the dying person in order for he…… [read more]


Hockey Seen as a Religion Thesis

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Hockey Seen as a Religion

If the question is, do Canadians treat hockey as a religion, the following might help solve that mystery.

Olivier Bauer, a Swiss theology professor was so struck by the team's followers that he teaches a course at the University of Montreal on the "Religion of the Montreal Canadiens."

For a lot of people, the Canadiens truly function like a religion," said Bauer, 45, co-editor of a book about the Canadiens as religion that shows a giant team jersey draped around the Mount Royal Cross on its cover. "Some fans build their lives around the team. They adopt its values. They recognize that in order to win, you need to suffer" (Tomesco).

Some take that literally. Bauer said fans tell him they climbed the 100 steps at the city's Saint Joseph's Oratory on their knees seeking divine intervention on behalf of the Canadiens, just like the pilgrims who do it with hopes of miracles (Tomesco). He's serious. They really do.

When Maurice Richard died in 2000, thousands of admirers jammed the cobblestone streets outside Notre Dame Basilica in the city's old section during his funeral Mass. He lay in state at the team's downtown arena for a day, and 115,000 people filed past his open casket.

An NHL player in the United States can work his way through a slump without being pilloried by the media, while a coach can survive a losing streak, work toward a better team and stick to it until the plan is achieved. No such luxuries are available in Canada. The reason being, quoting an observation from Brian Burke, the Anaheim Ducks General Manager, who, during his team's 2007 Stanley Cup victory over the Ottawa Senators, said: "I mean hockey is not a sport in Canada. Everyone knows that. it's a religion" (Sibley).

Now, granted there are a hundred different definitions of the word "religion." Webster's New World Dictionary (Third College Edition) defines "religion" as "any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy. And what is the meaning of worship? Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines it as "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).

So, do the Canadians have "a system of belief and extravagant admiration for an object of esteem that involves a code of ethics and a philosophy?"

Is that hockey...or what? No one can deny that Canadians love, admire, and believe in their hockey teams -- at almost any level. Does hockey involve an object of esteem? That would be the players and their incredibly athletic, artistic performance on the ice night after night. Is there a code of ethics involved? Well, sort of. I mean there is one; it may not always be followed to the "T," but you can't say either the players or the game itself is not ethical. and, finally, does hockey have a "philosophy," which, again according to Merriam-Webster, means "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of… [read more]


Worshipping With Community Is Necessary Part of a Faith Relationship With God Thesis

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Religion

The word religion is derived from a Latin term meaning "to bind," (Dictionary.com). Therefore, the essence of religion is binding individuals to God as well as to their communities. Without communal worship, religion is expressed in solitary prayer and meditation. Prayer and meditation can be integral parts of a religious practice but are only components of what is essentially a social endeavor. In fact, religion has long served a sociological function in human cultures and can never be divorced from that role.

Worshipping with a community is a necessary part of a faith relation with God for the following reasons. First, worshipping with a community expresses cultural solidarity. Second, worshipping with a community creates emotional and mental power that cannot be created alone. Third, worshipping with a community enables honesty, humility, and self-awareness. Finally, Christians especially need to worship with a community because of the nature of the faith as it is expressed in the Bible.

Worshipping with a community expresses cultural solidarity. By connecting with like-minded people, worshippers become proud of their heritage. Religion has always been an integral part of a culture, an aspect of cultural or ethnic identity. In some cases, religion transcends ethnic identity to serve as a unifying force between what would otherwise be disparate communities. For example, Christianity unites people from all regions of the world, from Asia to Africa to the Americas. Worshipping with community members affirms cultural pride and identity, but also solidifies the knowledge that individuals are part of a larger human race. Community worship offers the opportunity to accept and revel in diversity.

Worshipping with a community creates an emotional and mental power that…… [read more]


American Dream vs. God Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  9 pages (2,814 words)
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American & God's Dream

The American Dream and God's Dream: Are they Compatible?

Americans love to talk about the American dream. In fact, the belief that anyone in America can become a success is at the very heart of what it means to be American and feel patriotic, even if different Americans have different ways of defining that success. However,… [read more]


Augustine City of God Research Proposal

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City of God Augustine

Though the context of the "church father" Augustus is historically associated with his life and times, 354-430, his influence was not significant until later. This observation is true of all his works, as one by one they were adopted as secondary doctrine to scripture but mores specifically the City of God, where Augustine, among other things,… [read more]


Science and Religion the Challenges Term Paper

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Science and Religion

The challenges that are frequently thought of as inherent to religion and science are actually responsible for the development of greater understanding. Most people of faith presume that the understandings of the natural world will be offered to us by God as we need them. This being the case it is also fair to say that most people of faith presume that such understandings will be offered to them through legitimate and accepted means, i.e. from the church or at the very least a rogue representative of the church. This is why when scientific discoveries such as those furthered by Copernicus and Kepler during the middle ages and early renaissance were often greeted with fear and rejection. In addition, the Copernicus model for the universe challenged long held beliefs about the origin and he make up of the universe, and more importantly man and earth's place within it. In Copernicus' time the authority in which a new scientific idea must be voiced and to some degree agreed with was the voice of the church.

Scientific truth is largely determined by authority and this has always been so. Today, any new idea must be supported by the weight of existing authorities and expressed in their language. The more radical the idea the more necessary it is to blunt its impact by emphasising its similarities with shared traditions. While he was writing De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, Nicolaus Copernicus was aware of both the radical nature of what he was suggesting and the need to communicate it in a way that would be both comprehensible to and respected by his readers. (Hanman, 2007, NP)

Yet, the ris very little question that Copernicus was vividly aware of the need to bring his idea to the forefront through a systematic and sensitive manner, as to most effectively communicate without being illegitimated.

The faithful, and mainly those in the know, believing the Ptolemy earth centric plan of the universe were disturbed by the Copernican model which allowed that the planets traveled in a circular path around the sun and the Kepler model which conceded that there was an equation to figure the trajectory of a planet and the path was more elliptical. The average person is likely to care little which is the truth or if the long held assumption of faith that the earth is at the center of the universe is confronted and yet the church cared a great deal, as it made no logical sense that the "chosen" creation of God would be relegated to an object that was not central to the known universe. The new "science" of the universe then became a conflict between accepted belief and scientific discovery. (pp.7-8)

The validity of the science is clear, though it may not have been at the time to all who looked upon it because it was so contrary to accepted tenants about the value of the human race and God's creation of it and the earth. The calculations and… [read more]


Science and Religion There Is Great Distance Term Paper

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Science and Religion

There is great distance between the concepts imposed by science and those brought by religion. In many aspects they contradict each other or differ in the answers given to historical questions that man has tried to answer from the beginning of history.

The establishment of scientific debate started in the middle ages (McGrath, 1998) when the western… [read more]


Politics and Religion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (905 words)
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Politics and Religion in Medieval Europe

This work will research the Christian Church during medieval life which was the center of the individual and community life. The major political figure during this time in history was the pope. This work will provide a very detailed description of this circumstance of life. The culture was consumed by their religion and political life, and individual's salvation was a major worry. A precursor that gave the landscape of medieval politics was the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Medieval Period, commonly known as the 'middle ages' was a period of approximately 1,000 years in European history. This period is also referred to as the 'Dark Ages' because during this time western Europe was tormented by barbarians resulting in the loss of classical civilization. A new civilization formed during this time which fell under the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. The kingdoms that followed the Roman Empire were not stable ones. This period was one that witnessed the decline of trade and commerce.

I. THREE 'ESTATES' of MEN

There were three classes on individuals in society at this time or three "estates of men -" (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986) which included: (1) Nobles; (2) Clergy; and (3) Common People. Each of these estates had their appointed roles within society. The role of the nobles was of government while the clergy's role was the worship of God and focusing their attention upon the religious needs of man. The common people were working peasants, craftsmen and merchants whose labor supported the 'privileged' upper classes. During this time:."..even the wealthiest nobles and clergyman lacked the common comforts of modern life. The peasants usually lived on the verge of famine." (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986)

II. AUTHORITY of the CHURCH

During this period of time, practically everyone in western Europe were members of the Roman Catholic Church which owned large holdings of land and as well made the provision of formal education to the people. The people in the Medieval era generally "accepted the church's authority unquestioning, though often violating its rules." (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986) the authority of the Church was believed by many to be overbroad in that, as noted in the work of Peterson and Brunn, et al. entitled: "The Appearances of Medieval Rituals: The Play of Construction and Modification" notes the act that during the Carolingian period through the Catholic reform of the later 16th century the church adopted and adapted new forms of ritual practices including "dramatic liturgy, new devotional images, literary forms, types of artistic representation and music." (2004)

III. INQUISITION & HERESY

The work of Hamilton (2003) entitled: "Religion in the Medieval West" stats that while religion "was central to medieval life and…… [read more]


Religion of Consumerism Versus Lakota Using Phenomenological Approach Term Paper

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Religion of Consumerism

Consumerism is the term used to describe a person who equates their happiness with the act of purchasing and possessing material things. (Barber, 2007). Lakota is a Native American tribe from the Great Planes area. (Christafferson, 2001). The Lakota Indians lived, and still do live, simple lives that focus on the connection to nature. In modern day, consumerism has evolved into a form of a religion. The difference between Consumerism and Lakota is that consumerism takes the person further away from their natural roots.

What does it mean to be human?

Every individual and community answers the question of "what it means to be human" or "what is the meaning of life" differently. These differences in answers stem from each individual's personal beliefs and morals. These beliefs and morals in turn stem from that individual's history and culture. Thus, religion plays an important role in answering this question. At the most basic level, the religious person would answer that the purpose of being human is to "do onto others as you wish to have done onto you." However, as society becomes less and less religious and consumerism increases in importance, this foundational rule, the golden rule, is being replaced with an individual focused definition as to the meaning of life, one that holds the purpose of life as to consume as much as possible, at all costs.

What is the basic human problem?

The basic human problem is finding the answer to the first question, or what it means to be human. Because there is not one universal answer, there ends up being competing answers, mostly individualized answers. The basic human problem is coming to terms with how to deal with these many different meanings and learn how to live with them instead of living in conflict against them.

What is the cause of the problem?

The cause of the problem is that the religion of consumerism has taken human outside the traditional cycles of good and bad, birth and death, and harmony vs. disharmony. By contrast, consumerism simply creates the problem of "what don't I have that I should have." Unlike other religions, which create a connection to either nature (Lakota) or a divine being, consumerism makes a connection between the individual and the artificial. Instead of seeking…… [read more]


Religion Augustine: Divine Grace and Free Will Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (6,715 words)
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Religion

Augustine: Divine Grace and Free Will

One of the Doctors of the Church, St. Augustine's teachings have been profoundly influential since earliest times. In particular, St. Augustine expounded upon the relationship between Divine Grace and human Free Will and the roles that the two did, or did not play, in the achievement of individual human salvation.

The argument represented… [read more]


Religion Versus Science Term Paper

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Religion vs. Science: the issue of cloning and stem cell research

The debate about religion vs. science is one that has been ongoing since the start of the industrial revolution and the inception of modern science. In the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries as science began to advance, many of the accepted religious issues and beliefs about reality were put into question.

This meant that many the fundamental beliefs and worldviews of religion were also questioned and doubt began to creep into Western civilization about the validity of religious perceptions of reality and life. This questioning attitude and doubt was accelerated in the Twentieth Century. The two World Wars that occurred during this century also caused people to question traditional religious views.

However this decline in religion was balanced in second half of the last century by a questioning of the views and assumptions of science. Many artists and thinkers began to state that the scientific view of reality was flawed and limited. Therefore the contemporary situation generally in the world is characterized by a continuing debate and conflict between those who support the scientific world view and those who view life from a more religious context. On the one hand many scientists view religion as "unproven" and more of a myth than a reality. "...religious experiences are mere delusions and... God might be nothing more than a hallucination..." (McGillion) On the other hand many religious people and theologians view scientific thought as ignoring the higher ethical and religious values which they consider to be the essence of what it means to be human. "They believe that the naturalistic bias of science is in fact atheistic, and that if we don't change science, we can't believe in God." (Goldenberg S.)

This debate affects many issues and especially socially contentious scientific discoveries and theories. One issue that has caused a great amount of debate and contention in recent years is the issue of cloning and stem cell research. Cloning techniques represent one of the most innovative scientific developments of this century. At the same time this new technology clashes on many levels with the religious views and established perceptions that are still a strong part of modern society.

One the one hand and from a scientific viewpoint, cloning and stem cell research is viewed as a very positive development for humanity in general.

Scientists and those who support the scientific view, see stem cell research as a possible cure for many diseases that has to date been incurable. This includes diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's diseases. Parkinson's disease is a "...very common neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 2% of the population over 65 years of age. (Stem Cell basics) The lack of Dopamine in the brain is considered a central cause of Parkinson's disease. New methods are being used by scientists to produce dopamine neurons form human stem cells. This has led to the possibility that "...the successful generation of an unlimited supply of dopamine neurons could make… [read more]

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