Religious Dialogue. What is religion?

Essay by jcbondz1University, Master'sA, March 1996

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What is religion? According to an Oxford dictionary, religion is the belief in the

existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and controller of the universe, who

has given to man a spirtual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body.

Religion appears to be a simple idea on the surface, but in reality it is a very complex

system of ideas that many base their lives upon.

There are many religions in the world. Christianity seems to be the one religion

believed widely in the modern world. However, this is not the case in a group of five

people in a World Religion class. These five people share common knowledge on

several aspects of religion, yet they have some major conflicts. The focus of this paper is

to explore the ideas and beliefs of the group, analyze the importance of religions

dialogue, and to discuss the challenge of religious pluralism in the contemporary world.

The first group member states her firm Christian views. Melissa recognizes all

the religions of the world, but she holds Christanity to be the only true religion. To her,

Christianity is the only way one person can attain salvation. All other religions are false

and those who do not follow Christanity are misguided and will not attain salvation. It is

only through Jesus Christ's death on the cross that one can repent, be forgiven, and attain


Melissa feels that others who are non-Christians believe that their religion is true.

Afterall everyone is brought up to believe in the faith or religion they are taught. If this

was not the case, no one would have any beliefs. Although their religions are not true

religions Melissa respects their views of being true.

Quite similar to Melissa's opinion, Jason feels that there is...