Elements of Religious Traditions Paper

Topics: Judaism, Religion, Christianity Pages: 1 (411 words) Published: October 17, 2011
Concerning the study religious traditions, many critical issues will need a close attention to identify the distinctions between them. One critical issue is how the religious traditions are passed along from generation to generation. Many developed world religions have an established sacred text as well as an oral tradition. In some cases, these oral traditions have been written down. For instance, in Judaism, the tradition of the Oral Torah and the written Torah. The written Torah became the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible as known today. The Oral Torah has also been written down in established commentaries in the Talmud. However, many non-developed religions have not written down their oral traditions. In fact, there are still some traditions that do not have a written sacred text, and so their entire religious tradition is passed down orally from generation to generation. These unwritten traditions become more difficult to study and to follow over time. Another critical issue is to determine what the teaching, text, story or myth is doing for the religion and how it is functioning. Religion gives an individual a sense of purpose and security. The belief in a divine power provides comfort to believers whether the religion is an established doctrine or a mythical story that has been passed down orally through generations. What a religion says usually functions in a couple of common ways; they define the group as a community and bring a sense of unity to the group. Religions has two majors believes or theory. The first is that they explain how the world and the universe were created. For example, in the Shinto religion of Japan, the origins of the Japanese islands are explained by the divine couple Izanagi and Izanami stirring up the ocean floor with a trident from the heavens, and the drippings became the Japanese islands. The Japanese people are also the descendants of these semi-divine beings. So the second theory explains the polemical topic of human origin. In...
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