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Characteristics of Religion

SOR 11 - 1 unit

Maria b

on 8 February 2012

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Transcript of Characteristics of Religion

Characteristics of Religion
Ethics is the practical application of belief.
Ethics and morality are about the way we behave as human persons. It is about our relationship with all of humanity.
Ethics are concerned with behaviour that is considered appropriate.
A moral person is based on people’s sense of what is right or just not, not on legal rights or obligations.
BUDDHISM- The Tripitaka or Pali Cannon
CHRISTIANITY- The Bible both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures i.e. Old and New Testaments.
HINDUISM- The Vedas, the Upanishads and the Mahabharata.
ISLAM- The Qur’an is central and of less importance the Hadith and Sunna.
JUDAISM- The Tenach or Hebrew Bible which contains the Torah or Law (first five books) as well as commentaries knows as the Mishnah and Talmud.
Rituals are composed of words, music, gestures and actions.
They have a formula or pattern that allows them to be repeated.
They can be public or private.
Most religions have rites of passage that mark initiation, change of status within the community or departure.
Myth and story often used by teachers to convey central beliefs and to help explain the transcendent.
Creeds developed as formal statements of belief.
Doctrine developed as formal teachings or shared beliefs.
Theology as explanation of belief and teachings.
Faith searching for meaning.
Our human emotions or personal experiences often put us in touch with the transcendent.
We often feel this connection with the birth of a baby or at somebody’s death.
Religions mark these two points with ritual.
Revelation is another part of the human/religious experience.
Symbols have an important function in religious experience. They point to a higher reality beyond their own physical reality.
They give life to a religious experience.
They have a theological connection with sacred texts or scripture.
BUDDHISM-Siddhartha Gautama and the Dalai Lama
CHRISTIANITY-Jesus of Nazareth, Paul of Tarsus, Augustine & Thomas Aquinas
HINDUISM-Sankara and Mahatma Gandhi
ISLAM-The Prophet Muhammad
JUDAISM-Abraham,Issac &Jacob (Patriarchs).Moses, King David, The Prophets & Moses Maimonides
Religious traditions have developed social structures that have enabled the tradition to be handed on from one generation to the next.
Some people take on leadership roles within the religious tradition.
Often the leadership structure exists as a hierarchy within the broader society or culture as well.
BUDDHISM-The Four Noble Truths, the last of which is the Noble Eightfold Path
CHRISTIANITY- The Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes & the Golden Rule
HINDUISM-By performing dharma one achieves good karma and is reborn into a better caste or the ultimate goal of moksha.
ISLAM –The seven cardinal beliefs are reflected in the Five Pillars of Faith
JUDAISM-The Ten Commandments, To deeds of kindness (Gemilut chasidum) and the commandments of the Torah.
If religion is a human response to the sense that there is something beyond the ordinary and that this sense gives meaning and purpose to life, it follows that we have to have some organised way of responding to and explaining the sense of mystery, the holy, the sacred, the transcendent or the ultimate reality.
These responses are what are called the characteristics of religion.
Sacred texts may be in written form or may be made into images that aid the less educated to understand the significant beliefs of their religion.
Some sacred texts are regarded as particularly important, for they have been given to humans in the form of a revelation from God.
These key characteristics create in turn, a dynamic, living religion.
A DYNAMIC religion (Greek dunamikos, meaning ‘powerful’) is one characterised by energy, ambition, new ideas and practical achievements.
A LIVING religion is one that is full of life, not dead, decaying or bereft of ideas.
It is practical, real and immersed in – not removed from or afraid of – everyday human existence
When these characteristics of religion interact creatively, they help nurture a religion that is alive, dynamic and active in the loves of its adherents and in the society and culture on which they exists.
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