Religious Traditions and Religious Studies
Historically, religion has influenced the decision making of humankind throughout the world. The decision of believers has significant impacts on how society is governed. The study of religion in most cases begins at an early age. An individual’s childhood beliefs and values influence their religious practices, as an adult. The predominant religion of a region, also influence an individual to practice a religion. Religion and religious beliefs has received notable attention in an effort to resolve social, ecological and economic issues that plague our nation. Governments around the world understand the need to develop sustainable relationships with religious organizations. Developing sustainable relationships requires defining the term religion in a matter that respects all cultures, and developing an understanding of the common elements of religion. The question of why does religion exist is the premise of understanding human life and life after death. There have been many wars because of religious differences. The beliefs of religious followers argue one religion is right and another is wrong is a critical issue. Some believers think they have been given special gifts and talent that only one religion possesses. Interpretations of religion are studied through the common approaches to religion. The common approaches includes, psychology, mythology, philosophy, theology, anthropology, archeology, linguistics and literary. Solidifying the who, what, when, and where about religion from a holistic approach is achieved in each study. Each approach varies according to one’s culture and beliefs. The intent of this paper is to explain how religious traditions describe and encourage various relationships: with the divine, sacred time, sacred space and each other. Identifying key critical issues in the study of religion is addressed to unveil the impacts of religion on society.
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