What Makes a Religion?

Topics: Religion, Morality, Human Pages: 3 (963 words) Published: May 5, 2013
What makes a Religion?
By: Ronnie L. Nida jr.
Submitted to: Professor McGoran
Religions 212
February 3, 2013
Strayer University

To study religion one must first determine what the term religion actually involves. When asked, most people would probably suggest that religion is the belief in a higher power. However, in reality it is much more than that. Mary Pat Fisher said “religion is such a complex and elusive topic that some contemporary scholars of religion are seriously questioning whether “religion” or “religions” can be studied at all” (Fisher 2011 page 2). Religion involves many ideas, the vast majority of which are man made, that attempt to give men a sense of purpose in our universe. Religion is mans way of answering the age-old question; why am I here?

For the purpose of this assignment I will discuss if the inhabitants of the planet earth are religious or not. The criteria that I will use to define what religion looks like will include; does earth’s population seek to find their cause, nature and purpose in the universe? Do the people of the earth live by some moral code? Finally, do the inhabitants of earth participate in realistic practices designed to demonstrate their devotion to a particular being or belief. Lets take a little closer look whether or not the people of earth meet these criteria. And can be called a religious people. I believe if you were to ask anyone living on earth if they have ever asked themselves; why was I born? Why are we here? The large majority of responses would be yes. The desire to fit human life “into a pattern of meaning is precisely the function religion”. (Gillman 1997 p.249). Christianity, for example fosters the belief that mans purpose is to conform to the image of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Through emulating the life the life of Christ, man can form a bond with God ultimately leading to an eternity of paradise with God. The goal of a life without suffering seems to be a...

References: Fisher, M., 2011 Living Religions, Pearson Learning Solutions, Upper Saddle River New Jersey
Gillman N., 1997 The Death of Death: Resurrection and immorality of Jewish thought, Jewish Light Vermont
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