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Comparative Religion Reflection Essay

Reflection Essay

Scholars conclude that what we ordinarily call religion manifests to some degree the following eight elements: 1) a belief system; 2) community; 3) central myths; 4) rituals; 5) an ethical system; 6) emotional experiences; 7) material expressions of religion; and 8) sacredness.

1. Examine to what extent your religious beliefs fall into this pattern. Do some elements have more weight than others? If you do not have a belief system, interview someone who does and examine their belief system. Provide enough details to support your answer.

2. Then examine one of the "new religions" or alternative paths that are seen in today's world and apply the same analysis to their beliefs. Do some elements have more weight than others? Are some totally absent? Provide enough details to support your answer.

3. New Religious Movements: Scientology, Falun Gong, Cao Dai, Wicca and Druidism, the Yoruba Tradition, Rastafarianism, etc.

Solution Preview

Comparative Religion:

Religion is a common set of belief held by different individuals available within a society. Religion concerns itself with purpose, cause, and nature considered for the creation of a superhuman agency fitted with several moral codes. The codes provide guidance on how humans should conduct themselves throughout their life time. Religious beliefs are known to fall into a pattern of 8 different elements such as the belief system, community, central myths, rituals, an ethical system, experiences of the emotions, expressing religion in a material manner, and the ability of being sacred (Jacobs, 2005).

Religious Beliefs Patterns:

As a Christian, my religious beliefs fall into the already identified pattern to a certain extent despite the fact that certain elements hold more weight compared to other elements. The 'belief system' element is taken into consideration and provided with a lot of weight within the Christian religion. Christians hold a belief that people should always take into consideration the manner in which they dress when attending a church service. Christian followers should wear decent clothes and not provocative clothing. Women should wear long skirts and men long trousers while attending a church service as a form of respect for the supernatural being.

In addition to this, as a Christian, a lot of emphasis is put on the community element ...

Solution Summary

This solution is a reflection into religion and the varying aspects that define the belief extents of a people.

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