Topics: Religion, God, Human Pages: 5 (1944 words) Published: April 21, 2013
What Religion is
Religion comes in many forms, many ideas, thoughts, and many different beliefs. According to Julian Huxley “Religion is a way of life founded upon the apprehension of sacredness in existence (Molly 2010).” The definition of religion has multiple meanings to all types of different people. There is also more than one belief in just one god itself. “Religion is 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 (Dictonary.Com 2013).” In Michael Molly’s book he uses an example by Van Gogh and he was a religious man.Van Gogh wanted to be an ordained minister but had a fall-out with the church and was not able to preach in words. Van Gogh was an artist and decided he would preach in his paintings because he couldn’t preach out loud, therefore, The Starry Night is an example of one of Van Gogh’s paintings he preached through. Many people have problems speaking aloud about religion so they either do it through prayer alone or in other ways such as the painting by Van Gogh. There are many ways to express your beliefs. Key Characteristics of Religion

Before going further into human experience in religion, it should be better understood what religion really is. There characteristics of religion and these characteristics are the belief system, community, central myths, ritual, ethics, characteristic emotional experiences, and material expression. “When people begin their study of religions, they bring ideas from the religion in which they were raised or from the predominant religion of their society (Molly 2010).” “They may assume, for example, that every religion has a sacred book or that it worships a divine being or that it has a set of commandments (Molly 2010).” Some religions do share these characteristics but all religions do not. The common roots of the term religion are re- meaning “again” and lig- meaning “join” or “connect.” All together it means “to join again” or to “reconnect.” “If this derivation is correct, then the word religion suggests the joining of our natural, human world to the sacred world (Molly 2010).” Characteristics for religion are used not to say that it has certain characteristics to oblige by but a list of characteristics that are commonly accepted. The belief system is many beliefs about the universe and the human’s role in life also called worldview. Communities are beliefs practiced by groups. Central Myths are stories expressing the belief and reenacting them. Rituals are made real through ceremonies. Ethics are rules about the behavior of human beings. Characteristic emotional experiences are emotions associated with guilt, awe, mystery, etc. Material expression use physical elements such as: paintings, music, flowers, clothing. Different Kinds of Religion

The list of different religions and beliefs can be very long. Some religions have been around for a very long time and some religions have just come above the surface. Religion adds meaning and purpose to the lives of followers, granting them an appreciation of the past, an understanding of the present, and hope for the future. Some major religions are Paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Bahai, Mormon, Catholic, Jehovah, Atheism, and Santeria, Candomble, Hinduism, Rastafari, Taoism, Unitarism, and Zoroastrianism. These are just few of the many there are. “All religions are concerned with the deepest level of reality, and for most religions the core or origin of everything is sacred and mysterious (Molly 2010).” Everyone’s experience and explanation is different things. Why Does Religion Exist?

According to Molly religion exists because it serves many humans needs. One of these needs is dealing with human mortality and what happens to humans after they pass away. To get...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Religion Essay
  • Religion and Myth Essay
  • Intro Religion Research Paper
  • Religion Traditions Research Paper
  • Religion and Science Essay
  • Religion as a Weapon Research Paper
  • Inuit Religion Essay
  • Summary of Myth, Truth, and Justification in Religion Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free