Report on the religious life of planet Earth
Report on the religious life of planet Earth
Religion, according to Geertz (1973) is a “collection of cultural systems, belief systems and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.” On Earth, religion is characterized by various rituals, ceremonies, philosophies and deities as the primary features. In Earth, the major types of religion include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. However, other belief systems like atheism and the Mormon Church have developed. Religion has had a huge impact on Earth, shaping its history in so many ways.
In determining if the people on Earth are religious, one would have to look at their relations with one another. There are numerous activities going on in Earth and looking at the behavior of man and his neighbor will help one conclude just how religious they are. In addition, investigating into which entity is considered, as being supernatural in any society will assist in gauging their religion or belief system. Lastly, one will have to look at whether their behaviors are guided by a specific code of conduct, or they live according to their own beliefs.
The religious life on Earth is characterized by a belief in supernatural beings that can take the form of gods that possess immense powers, indescribable might and control of forces of nature. These revered deities have several titles. For example, in Christianity, we have Jesus Christ, among the Buddhists, we have Buddha and in Islam, Allah. The common factor in every religion is the acknowledgement of a supreme religious being to who respect, fear and allegiance is awarded. People worship, pray to and dedicate their lives to serving the interests of their various religions in very intense ways showing how influential and commanding religion is on Earth.
Most religions in Earth have a code of conduct, which is a set of moral teachings and values; documented or unwritten that tells believers how to conduct their lives. On earth, most religions have codes of conduct on their behavior towards deities, toward fellow men and in relations with worldly activities like employment, family and the church. Christians have the Bible and Muslims have the Quran, both documents having detailed rules on how to conduct oneself in life as well as towards God or Allah respectively.
On earth, people have religious rituals to commemorate, signify, mark and idealize their reverence for a certain deity or higher being as can be best displayed by the Amazon community who seek to communicate with higher spirits through magical methods (Dean, 2009). More subtle rituals among religious people include prayer and worship by Christians, journeys to the holy city of Mecca by Islam and; therefore, we can conclude that this society practices some form of religion.
Human being use religion to instill certain social values among the community. Across all religions, there is a stress on positive behavior and constructive change through adoption of values like love, discipline, honesty, diligence and peace, which mould the people into an upright and moral society. Religion also serves a purpose to socialize the people, as well as provide control. When religion and its practices are passed from generation to generation, certain vital norms are preserved and at the same time, religion controls the behavior of people by promoting positive values hence influencing huge masses. Lastly, religion also plays a role in transmitting cultures and traditions. It helps in imparting to each generation, a sense of identity through shared customs, rituals, stories and historical continuity. (Goldberg, 2010)
Religion can also be discussed in relation to its niche, in society. Religion has a somewhat central role in all of the dimensions of life in society. Whether it is in politically or economically, religion has been awarded a special place in influencing their activities as well as being considered in the higher and lower levels of everyday life as a considerable force that oversees the running of other elements of life.
Dean, B. (2009). Urarina society, cosmology, and history in Peruvian Amazonia. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
Geertz, C. (January 01, 1966). Religion as a cultural system. Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion, 1-46.
Goldberg, Philip, (2010). Towards a broader understanding of Religious functions. The Huffington Post