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    What is a belief system?

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    Write a 1050-1400 word paper that defines the elements of a catholic religious belief system. Include a brief discussion of each of the following topics:
    How these beliefs make up a religious belief system
    How these beliefs were acquired
    The benefits and disadvantages of having this particular belief system
    The role of tradition in this religious belief system
    The role of tradition in religion in general and
    Why it is important to be knowledgeable about other peoples beliefs and attitudes towards religion.

    I need ideas and guidance to help me get started. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Solution Preview


    One approach to help you with an essay assignment like this one is to address each question from various sources, which you can then draw on for your final copy. This is the response this response takes. Like other academic papers, you will include an Introduction (introduce topic, purpose statement), Body (address the questions) and Conclusion (restate the purpose or thesis and tie up main points). I also attached one resource to consider.

    Let's take a closer look.


    1. How these beliefs make up a religious belief system AND how these beliefs were acquired.

    The basic religious beliefs of Roman Catholics are those shared by other Christians as derived from the New Testament and formulated in the ancient Creeds of the early ecumenical councils, such as Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381). (1)
    The central belief is that God entered the world through the Incarnation of his Son, the Christ or Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. (1) The other beliefs are affirmed in the Apostle's Creed, which also affirms most of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. The Apostle's Creed:

    "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was Buried. He descended into Hell ("hades" meaning "the grave"). On the third day, He rose again from the Dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right Hand of God, the Father Almighty from whence He shall come to Judge the Quick (the living) and the Dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, life everlasting. (It arose about 390 A.D. and was probably used at baptismal). (2)

    In other words, the central elements of Roman Catholicism are:

    ? Trinitarian view of the godhead,
    ? the deity of Christ,
    ? His virgin birth,
    ? the resurrection,
    ? the ascension,
    ? our Lord's second coming,
    ? the possibility of redemption, and
    ? Life after death. (2)

    These beliefs play out through the Church, Pope and priests. Four properties possessed by the Roman Catholic Church: unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity, making it distinct from other churches. The Church's role in mediating salvation through the sacraments has been emphasized more than in other Christian traditions. (1) At the Council of Trent, the role of the Church is divided in four parts:

    I. The Apostles' Creed;
    II. The Sacraments;
    III. The Decalogue;
    IV. Prayer, especially The Lord's Prayer. (1) ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution defines the elements of a catholic religious belief system on several dimensions i.e. how these beliefs make up a religious belief system; how these beliefs were acquired; benefits and disadvantages of having this particular belief system, etc. Supplemented with a chart that defines the elements of Catholicism as compared to Protestant religions.