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Elements of Religious Traditions

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Elements of Religious Traditions

Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs, feelings, dogmas, and practices that define the relations between human beings and sacred or divinity. A religion contains three primary characteristics: Beliefs and Practices, Feeling and Faith, and a Unity of Community. Religions are concerned with the deepest level of reality, and for most religions the core or origin of everything is sacred and mysterious (Molloy, 2010). The sacred is characterized by some as a mysterious something in which there is experienced an awesome presence that may happen in church, holy ground, or in nature. Although it manifests itself in many ways, the sacred is a single, distinct dimension of being (Throne and Altar, 2010).

When studying major religious orientations across the globe certain aspects can be identified individually such as sacramental, prophetic, and mystical or a combination of some or all of the three orientations. Sacramental orientation emphasizes carrying out rituals and ceremonies, prophetic stresses adherence to moral rules and proper belief, whereas mystical seeks union with a reality greater than oneself (Throne and Altar, 2010). In many cases faith is the essential and mysterious component in which man uses to apply principles and reasons in who and why they either believe or follow a certain religion.

There are many religions throughout the world with the most followed such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. A common theme within each religion is a relationship with a higher power that can be translated through communication or a strong personal connection.



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