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Elements Of Religious Traditions Essay

622 words - 3 pages

According to the text for most religions the divine is the core or origin of everything. (Molloy & Hilgers, 2010) However many religions perceive and interpret the divine differently. In religious traditions based on monotheism there is one divine being or entity, such God in Christianity, or Allah in Islam. The textbook refers to the monotheistic notion of the divine being as a cosmic person who is intelligent, compassionate and just, as well as processes unlimited virtue. In monotheism the divine is perceived to be both omnipotent and transcendent. Pantheism is the religious tradition based on the notion the divine is not a being with person attributes, but mysterious energy or force which surrounds the everything in the universe. Religions based on pantheism view the divine as being discoverable within the physical world, thus life and nature as holy. Within this religious tradition the divine is perceived more as immanent. There are ...view middle of the document...

Many religions believe the sacred manifest itself in the physical realm, thus creating sacred or holy space. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012) Theses spaces can represented in many forms like how the Buddhists have monuments, statues, or shrines dedicated to Buddha. Sacred spaces can also by meeting places like Kingdom halls where the Jehovah Witness's meet, or even areas the holy city of Mecca for Muslims.
Many religions perceive human beings part of a divine plan which is the struggle between good and evil. (Molloy & Hilgers, 2010) This notion dictates that human actions be guided by a moral code. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share this common view. Other religions such as Daoism, Shinto and Confucianism however, see the individual as part of much larger reality. This view focuses less on an individuals right and more how he or she interacts with nature.
When there are several critical issues that arise. One the most significant issues is, can a researcher be truly objective and free of bias? If one raised a Christian it may be difficult for him or her to view Islam or Hinduism objectively. Inversely, it may difficult for that same individual to objectively analyze his or her own religious beliefs, such Christians researching the violence of the crusades. Another issue is researching a religion without much written scripture. Many religions are passed on mainly through oral traditions and rituals, such as Buddhism, while there are some scriptures most of it passed talked those well versed in the religion and the practice of meditation. Another issue is that of respect. Is the researchers work invasive or offensive to a culture or religion. One may want research Indian burial grounds, however, it may disrespectful for he or she to even be there in the first place.

References
Molloy, M., & Hilgers, T. L. (2010). Experiencing the World’s Religions. Tradition, Challenge, and Change (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Company.
religious symbolism and iconography. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/497416/religious-symbolism
ritual. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/504688/ritual

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