Characteristics of Religion

Topics: Religion, Christianity, Ritual Pages: 2 (380 words) Published: March 11, 2015
Characteristics of Religion

Beliefs:
In an unseen world of God(s), spirits or natural forces
About human nature or life
About the natural world
About the afterlife
Beliefs can unify people

Believers:
Who are believers? (Adherents)
How can beliefs give them identity?
Followers accept the worldview of the religious tradition to which they belong and the make sense of life in light of these beliefs. Beliefs are put into words through sacred texts and writings. These help people to make sense of and understand their beliefs. Sometimes they are doctrines (teachings) or creeds that make clear statements of belief or practice. Some traditions provide a clear theology, which is a formal study of beliefs. Beliefs are important because they are the first step of knowing how to live.

Sacred texts and writings:
These are often revered as the word of God or lived wisdom of those searching for truth. Some began as oral tradition; others are the result of lifetime reflection and study. It is important to interpret such writings in their correct context. They can be made up of different genres and text types.

Most traditions have commentaries or other writings to assist in interpreting sacred text.

Ethics:
The reasoning behind why some behaviours or attitudes are considered right or wrong. Religion has played a role in determining these reasonings.
Some religions have numerous specific laws and regulations while others have overarching guidelines. Most religious basic code of conduct is determined by their ethics. Tend to be found in sacred texts and developed from beliefs.

Rituals and Ceremonies:
There are rights of passage and initiation rights as well as rights of worship and devotion. Rituals have a prescribed form and process.
Each ritual has a structure and symbols.
They allow the believer to bring the spiritual world into the physical one. Involves special, deliberate and repeated patterns of behaviour. They allow believers to put their...
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