Why Study Religion?

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, November 1994

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This was my first essay in the University.

Why Study Religion?

It seems as if there has never been a time known to man when there

has never been a religion in some guise or another. Nor has there

been a race of people who have never tried to practice it in some

shape or form. The study of religion should not be regarded as a new

venture for mankind or a new idea that man is trying to grasp and

understand. Also, it could be argued that by researching such a

phenomena as religion, it does not look like man will come to any

unified agreement in the near future. Especially, if it all comes

down to what religion means to you, and whether you believe in such a

thing or not.

So what is religion? Can it be a way of life?, Does there have to be

an element of the supernatural? and what are the consequences if we

ignore it? Cliffard Geertz sees religion as 'a system of symbols wich

acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long lasting moods and

motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of

existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of

factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.'

One has to keep the definition of religion fairly loose in order to

encompass the many diverse religions of the world. If we familiarise

ourselves with the essence of many of the worlds religions then we

would find they contain simple comparisons such as, rituals, morality

and heritage.

The study of religion should involve in-depth knowledge into a

collection of facts about the worlds religions and about how these

religions have evolved throughout history. It is quite possible

that there has never been any race of people...