What is Religion and How Should We Study It

Religion in such a case would be defined under those

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States (Sasaki, and Kim 402). Religion in such a case would be defined under those same American values and then the Eastern meaning of religion would likely be lost. To most Western religious devotees, religion is a means to a personal and sacred relationship between God and man (King 7692). As a nation, the United States upholds its policy on secularization, but at the same time strives to protect religion and religious followers. As counter-productive as that may sound, it has been essential in providing Americans with a broader sense of the word religion and open to the various religious differences between Western and Eastern theologies. Through modern proliferation and incorporation of religious ideas from across the Western and Eastern boundaries, the definition of religion has been somewhat globalized into a basic idea that there is an accepted “…rough notion of ‘religious’ phenomena” and that practitioners simply have “… different interests in such phenomena and value different aspects of them…” (Riesbrodt 17). Riesbrodt successfully illustrates the idea that despite variances in the minute discrepancies in which different people will define religion in different ways, there is a universally accepted perception about the nature of religiosity that any religious member can relate with. In closing, religion is an intricate matter consisting of several dimensions by which it is able to be recognized and defined. By studying the various aspects of religion, which include
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beliefs, rituals, culture, and popular insight among other things, a general definition can begin to be formulated. Even combining the different scientific and philosophical approaches to the definition of religion is still inadequate without considering the spiritual and human side of religion. The human perspective is the most important part in beginning to define religion, as religion is a human commodity. Regardless of one’s religious convictions, religion is a mechanism that provides individuals with a community where human concerns become obsolete and the otherworldly reigns supreme. Overall, the combination of all the foundations of religiosity, the pursuit of transcendence, and the way a religious faction is identified encompasses the rudimentary definition of religion. Works Cited King , Winston L. "Religion [First Edition]." The Encyclopedia of Religion 2nd edition . Detroit: 2005. Padovano, Anthony T. "Defining Religion, Spirituality, and Human Experience." Forum on Public Policy . (2006): 1-12. Web.
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Riesbrodt, Martin. ""Religion": Just Another Modern Western Construction?" Divinity School at the University of Chicago . University of Chicago Divinity School, Dec. 2003. Web. Sasaki, Joni Y., and Heejung S. Kim. "At the intersection of culture and religion: A cultural analysis of religion's implications for secondary control and social affiliation.." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology . 101.2 (2011): 401-414. Web. Tillich, Paul. Dynamics of Faith . 1st ed. New York: HarberCollins Publishers Inc., 2001. 1-2. Print. Turner, B. S. "Religion." Theory, Culture & Society . 23.2-3 (2006): 437-444. Web.
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  • Spring '12
  • Lorish
  • word religion, Encyclopedia of Religion, agency causes religion

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