Introduction to Religion

Introduction to Religion - or the belief in multiple...

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Introduction to Religion The variety and number of religious organizations and beliefs around the world is so large that  sociologists have a difficult time arriving at a single definition of religion. In Western societies, people  usually identify religion with Christianity: the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who promises  salvation through faith and life after death. Yet religion as a global phenomenon presents a much  more complex picture, because most of the world's religions lack the core concepts of Christianity. To avoid thinking about religion from a culturally biased point of view, sociologists first define what  religion is  not First, religion is not necessarily  monotheistic , which is the belief in monotheism, or a  single deity. Instead, many religions embrace  polytheism
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Unformatted text preview: , or the belief in multiple deities. Still other religions, such as Confucianism, recognize no gods at all. • Religion is not necessarily a body of moral rules and demands concerning the behavior of believers. The notion that deities somehow keep track of how believers behave is foreign to many religions. • Religion is not necessarily a belief in the supernatural, heaven, hell, or even life after death. Confucianism, again as an example, emphasizes acceptance of the natural harmony of the world, not finding truths that lie beyond it. • Finally, religion is not necessarily an explanation of the origins of creation. The Christian story of Adam and Eve explains the origins of humanity. Many religions, but not all, have similar myths of origin....
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