Nature of Religion 2U SOR
Define the supernatural dimension:
The most significant element of a religious worldview is the belief in a divine being or power, which is greater than humankind and the natural world.
Different responses to the supernatural dimension
The Semitic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe that the supernatural dimension is a single divine being or power. This is known as monotheism. The 2 Eastern Religions, Hinduism and Buddhism derive from an understanding of a number of divine beings or powers, a belief known as polytheism . Despite the differences, both believe in divine beings or powers, beyond the realm of the natural world.
Discuss a transcendent religious worldview, which has a belief in a divine power and/or powers beyond the human
A transcendent worldview is one which has a belief in a divine power or powers beyond the human. The three Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam emphases the idea of God being revealed to humankind from beyond the human spirit. For example, Muslim’s believe that the will of Allah has been revealed to the Prophet Mohammad and is contained in the writings of the Koran. This is a transcendant worldview because the divine being is seen to be separate to the human, and revealed to humankind through an intermediary. Christians believe that God sent his only son Jesus to bring hope and salvation to the world.
Discuss an immanent religious worldview which has a belief in a divine being or powers dwelling within the individual
An immanent worldview holds the belief that supernatural powers or divine beings dwell within the human and natural world. This is linked to the 2 eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. For example Buddhists follow the Eightfold Path prescribed by the Buddha in order to reach Enlightenment. This is an immanent religious worldview because the divine power is believed to be found within the human and awaits discovery through following the prescribed path.
The Characteristics of Religion
• BELIEFS AND BELIEVERS: Sustain all religions. Beliefs are the key tenets, doctrines or values which underpin the religious practice of a particular religion for the believers.
• SACRED TEXTS: contain sacred stories, which explain through historical or non historical terms how people are connected to the supernatural dimension.
• ETHICS are the reasoning behind moral decision making. They clarify what is right and wrong and what the followers of a religion should do or refrain from doing. They allow for practical application of religion.
• RITUAL S AND CEREMONIES: are practical expressions of aspects of a religion. Rituals and ceremonies involve prescribed words and actions along with the use of symbols. Together these reflect an understanding of the sacred dimension.
Explore the ways in which these characteristics interact to create a dynamic, living religion
A dynamic religion is one with energy, ambition, new ideas and practical achievements. It develops into a powerful force that refereshes itself constantly. A living religion is one that if full of life, practical and immersed in everyday human existence.
Any religion is likely to end if its doesn’t constantly strengthen its beliefs and believers, sacred texts/writings, ethics as well as rituals and ceremonies. When these characteristics interact creatively, they help to nurture a religion that is alive, dynamic and active.
All of the characteristics combine. Every religion needs believers to believe in something. The beliefs are highlighted in sacred texts and writings such as doctrines and sacred stories such as the Quran and the Holy Bible. The believers than apply their knowledge of the doctrines of their religions through ethics. Ethics provide reasoning behind decision making and clarify what is right and wrong. The believers than express their understanding and beliefs through worship, prayer, and participation in events such as coming of age ceremonies such as Circumcisionand sacraments such as Baptism.
Contribution of Religion to individuals
Religion offers an individual answers to life’s profound questions. It explains the creation of the universe, human nature and life’s purpose. It also gives the individual an identity as a believer within a religious tradition. This identity gives the individual a keen sense of belonging. This helps the person understand what it is to be human and what are the rightful relationships expected of him or her with others and with nature. Religion also offers an individual a system of ethics that will guide the person