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Religions: Meaning And Purpose For Individuals, Social Transformation And Cohesion

927 words - 4 pages

Meaning and purpose for the individual
Example One: Judaism
In considering the meaning and purpose of religion for an individual who practises Judaism this religion’s most important feature is the worshiping of a single, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, transcendent God, who created the universe and governs it. Because for the individual who believes in Judaism, God established a covenant with the Jewish people, at Mount Sinai, revealing his laws and commandments in the Torah. In Rabbinic Judaism, the Torah comprises the written Pentateuch (Torah) and the oral law tradition (later transcribed as sacred writing).
From this, the meaning and purpose of their life is to serve the one ...view middle of the document...

For the Jew or follower of Judaism as their religion, Kabbalah explains the significance of their religious observances, and that the meaning of life is to connect with the One God. The basic principle of Kaballah is that only God exists, though "Klipot" (shells) separate the holiness of God, therefore, the meaning of life is to remove those shells and connect to God.
Through practising the laws and commandments of the Torah, worship and on good deeds will provide meaning and purpose for the individual who follows Judaism as a religion.

Social Transformation

Example Two: Catholicism

Religion’s significance or "religious tradition" meaning the beliefs, ethics and values of a religious group such as Catholicism, can contribute to social transformations by pushing a society to conform more closely to the values that are a part of the religion's ethics and beliefs.  This can be seen clearly in the role that religious groups have played in such things as the Civil Rights Movement in America.

The Civil Rights Movement used the ideals of Christian religion to achieve social transformation.  It appealed to white Christians to live up to Christian beliefs and values by treating black Americans as their sisters and brothers.  By appealing to the values that were a core value of Christian teaching, the movement was able to achieve a major change in American society.

When a society's practices are (or may be heading towards becoming) in conflict with the belief system of a major religious tradition in that society, the religious tradition can help to push the society towards acting in a way that is more in line with those beliefs.  In this way, a religious tradition such as Catholicism through its values and beliefs can contribute to social transformation.

Social Cohesion

Example Three: African Traditional Religion

Over the centuries...

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