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Elements of Religious Tradition

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Elements of religious traditions

Elements of religious traditions


There are as many belief systems as there are people in the world. Every person in the world believes in something, even if that something is nothing. Many different beliefs fall under the category of a religion. Each of these religions has certain traditions. Things that make one religion different in belief and, or practice. This paper will examine what a religious tradition says, what it does, and how it organizes. The goal is to bring light to the similarities, as well as the differences in certain religious traditions to enable the reader to be more informed and therefore be able to have additional insight into other religious traditions. The reader should be able to clearly identify and understand the religious traditions outlined in this paper by the conclusion.

Religious traditions have some basic components. These are a belief system, community, central myths, ritual, ethics, characteristic emotional experiences, material expression, and sacredness. Let's take a look at each of these individually and see what their relationship to the sacred is. We can begin by learning the ancient roots of the word religion in an effort to understand better it's origin. Religion can be described as (Molloy 2010) Latin roots are re-, meaning "again", and lig-, meaning "join" or "connect" ( as in the word ligament). Thus the common translation is to "join again", or to "reconnect".

First we will examine the portion of a religions tradition as it relates to worship. There are eastern religions that have many gods, or are polytheistic in nature. The way they would worship will be starkly different than the way a monotheistic religion would worship. In a monotheistic religion such as Christianity, one might pray to God, and speak to a priest or acknowledge shortcomings, or sins, in the form of a confession. A polytheistic religion follower, such as a Buddhist, might spend their days performing acts of kindness, and meditating.

A belief system is a fundamental part of a religious tradition, as they are needed to put the world into perspective for the worshiper. A belief system is a way of understanding the human beings place in the universe.

A community is a group of individuals that share a common belief system and practice the same religious worship. An example of a community could be the Muslim community. The followers of Islam belong to the same religious community and practice the belief in Islam the same way.

Further expanding on the Muslim faith, central myths are another important part of religious traditions. The myths associated with this faith are the life and ascension of the prophet Mohamed. These myths can be used by the religions followers to tell the story of the religions origins and the outlines of its worship. Muslims can further use these myths to diagram expectations in behavior and identify the central or core beliefs of the religion.




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