RELS 191 Final - RELS 191 Religion in America Final Exam How Society Shapes Religion in America It is like the question of whether the chicken or

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
RELS 191 – Religion in America Final Exam December 12, 2009 How Society Shapes Religion in America It is like the question of whether the chicken or the egg came first when we discuss whether society shapes religion or religion shapes society. The only difference is that there can be more than one answer to this question. The fact is that both society and religion shape each other, but when looking at the case of the United States, it is important to see how this relationship has developed over time. This is important to understand because the average American doesn't delve deep into the how's and why's of the way our society has turned out the way it is. We are so far removed as a capitalistic consumer nation that we forget how crucial a role religion has played in shaping modern day America. For good or bad, religion in America has played a huge role in how we got started as a country and how we have ended up where we are now. We live in a nation that is so diverse in not only race and class, but also along the lines of world views and religion as well. The United States is really unique in this sense, partly due to it's young age, but also because it was founded with the institutions of church and government being separated. While other countries have implemented this type of separation, no other country was founded upon it or in other words, grew up with that type of separation. This leads to the main point of how society shapes religion in America. Up until the reformation in Europe, it could be said that Catholicism shaped society in the Western world. Looking at other Western countries would not suffice when trying to make this argument because they share a history with Catholicism that dates back centuries. What is great is that we have the perfect example in America to look at how things have changed, and even more importantly, how society is now shaping religion. For every action there is a reaction, and although this is obvious, it simplifies things when it comes to understanding why everything is the way it is. The puritans came over from Europe with the mindset of “getting it right”, and starting over new. So at first, American colonies were shaped by religion, and the customs and values were very much so rooted in religious traditions. But then
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course HUM 191 at San Jose State University .

Page1 / 5

RELS 191 Final - RELS 191 Religion in America Final Exam How Society Shapes Religion in America It is like the question of whether the chicken or

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online