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comm469y defining religion

comm469y defining religion - Jennifer Gutman Comm 469Y...

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Jennifer Gutman September 15, 2009 Comm 469Y Communication and Religion It can be a difficult task for a person to define religion in its broad sense, for people generally ascribe to only one religion for the entirety of their lives. Therefore, their experiences and beliefs are only representative of their one religion, not of all others. They can learn about other religions vicariously through the explanations of peers, and brief experiences such as a religious ceremony or holidays, but without actively participating in a study of the nature of religion, one may never be able to discover the key characteristics present in all religions, what defines religious phenomena, and what all religious people share in common. Through my experience as a Jewish person and through my brief experiences with the Christian religious practices, I have developed a broad, but not all-encompassing, definition of religion. I would characterize religion as both an outlet to express appreciation and awe of all things in the world, abstract and concrete, and a belief in the presence of a god or being who is responsible for it all. I understand religion as believing in something that you cannot see or feel, something that is not palpable, but that we can reach through prayer and pay respect to through religious ritual, and obedience of our religion’s set principles dictated through written word such as the Bible or the Torah. Through a more extensive study of religion, I have developed a broader definition of religion and religious culture. First, religion doesn’t simply explain the abnormal, obscure things that occur in the universe. This is rather a primitive way of thinking about religion that
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can be compared to the notion of Greek mythology. Religion is rather ubiquitous and omnipresent in that it governs the natural order of things. Durkheim explains that “as a
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