Elements of Religious Traditions
There are over 4200 religions that exist in the world; however, the exact number is not known. The definition of what a religion is varies and it is impossible to define religion as all religions do not have the same characteristics. One definition that attempts to sum up the meaning of religion is from Dictionary.com. It defines religion as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. There are 8 elements found in religion. These characteristics include a belief system, community, central myths, rituals, ethics, emotional experiences, material expression, and sacredness. This paper will explain the basic components that make up a religious tradition, as well as the critical issues that are important when studying religion. Symbols and traditions are a huge part of religion. I am a Christian and growing up we used was a witness bracelet to tell the story of Christ and to show others that we were saved. A witness bracelet is a leather strap with 7 different color beads on it placed in a specific order. Every piece of this bracelet has a meaning relating to Christ. The leather strap symbolizes the beatings Jesus took in his life. There are two knots in the bracelet and each of these knots has a meaning. The first knot reminds people that God created us and the last knot is to remind us that God choose us. The first bead is black and it represents the sin of the world as well as the sin each person commits in their lives. The second bead is red and represents the blood the Jesus shed on the cross and the third bead is clear and represents forgiveness. Blue is the next bead and it represents the gift of the Holy Spirit that was given to us when Jesus was put on that cross and resurrected into...
References: Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change
(5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Religion. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 25, 2010, from
Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion
Vlach, M. J. (n.d.). Theological Studies. Retrieved from
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