Religion and Culture in Christianity and Islam
Religion and culture can easily be misinterpreted as the same thing because they appear so alike. All religions existent today differ from one another, but they are all existent for similar reasons. People are apart of a religion due to their beliefs, which may concern the purpose of the universe, a belief in a higher power, morals, traditions and much more. Each religion has a different idea of what the definite concept of religion means, which is why it is such a controversial topic. Religion influences the culture of society, but the culture encompasses much more than just religion. Some relate culture to the shared language, traditions and beliefs that set different groups of people apart. It can refer to literature, music, art, food, and holidays. Many people have diverse notions of what culture is and what it entails, but a suitable overall explanation is that culture is the way a society is shaped by all aspects of life. Islam and Christianity are two very distinctive religions that show how religion and culture coincide. Christianity is one of the world’s most practiced religions. In ancient times it challenged everything about culture and society, changing the status of women, slaves, and kings. Much later, it became the foundation for the modern democracy in America; one can undoubtedly see how Christianity has influenced the culture of the country as a whole. America’s national motto, “In God We Trust”, is found on different forms of US currency. Every president thus far has been Christian, which is no coincidence. Whether it is through laws or action, America has established what is morally right and wrong in society in alignment to The Bible. The Gospel of Matthew quotes the Ten Commandments saying, “You shall not murder” and explains further that “anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment”. If one does commit such an act there is punishment and they “will be in danger of the fire of hell”. Murder is illegal and taken very seriously in America just like it is taken in Christianity. It is a severe offense and results in extreme consequences, being prison or sometimes death. It is also commonly accepted that fighting and hostility between siblings or other people is morally wrong and should be avoided. Realistically, fighting with loved ones is difficult to avoid and inevitable, but typically leaves people regretful knowing they’ve done wrong. The Bible also reads, “Thou shall not commit adultery”, adultery may happen more frequently today, but it is understood as an act of wrongdoing and is critically frowned upon by society. If a divorce is the result, the court will not be in favor of the unfaithful spouse when it comes to matters such as the division of assets. Aside from the many laws and actions, there are many other evident ways Christianity influences culture in America and all around the world. Christmas and Easter are two of the biggest holidays celebrated with various traditions of Christianity. People that aren’t Christian or even religious find themselves celebrating the birth and death of Jesus, whether they know it or not, during the holidays because it’s a vibrant part of their culture. Growing up in conservative areas of America, one may automatically be exposed to Christianity finding that most people around them are practitioners. It is recognizably part of the culture in the area. Church and Sunday school is a weekly event, praying before a meal happens daily. Belief in God and Christianity is a way of life. America is a remarkably diverse country; although Christianity may be one of the most prominent religions, there are several additional ones that influence culture as well and even more throughout the remainder of the world. Instead of growing up in a conservative area in America, what if the same person was born and raised in China? They would experience a considerably different culture and way of life,...
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