Even though religion means different things to different people, religious persons have a transcendent aspect to life i.e. The existence of supernatural power above human beings. The religious perspective of an individual is dependent on how the person is persuaded by people who raised him/her. The descriptions or definitions of religion tend to be inadequate since they contain two major problems i.e. they are either too narrow or too vague. These definitions are too narrow since they exclude most of the belief systems that make up religions whereas they are too vague and uncertain through suggesting that everything is a religion. However, the best explanation of the nature of religion is rooted in identifying the basic attributes that are common to the various religions. This is largely because there are several elements of religious traditions that are used to understand studies on religion.
Important Issues in the Study of Religion:
In order to understand religious traditions, it’s important to pay attention to several critical issues that provide the difference between various religions across the globe. The develop religions in the world have not only an established sacred text but they also have an oral tradition. In contrast, the non-developed religions don’t have a written sacred text for their oral traditions. Actually, the study of religion, particularly religious traditions involves a critical observation of these crucial issues. One of these crucial issues is how the religious traditions are passed from a particular generation to the next since religions are organized within a particular set of themes. Secondly, the determination of the teachings of a particular religion and how it functions is the other crucial issue in the study of religious traditions.
The study of religious traditions of other people usually involves asking questions about their beliefs and the unseen powers and forces that impact their daily lives (Dubois, 2009). The third crucial issue in the study of religion is belief in the supernatural, particularly gods, which is religion’s most evident characteristic. In most cases, this process basically entails faith in the divine and the belief that a spiritual or supernatural power listens and responds to their prayers. An important element of this belief is trusting that the supernatural or spiritual forces will reward and punish some kinds of actions after physical death. While the existence of supernatural beings is nearly not predetermined in , it’s a common and essential factor of many religions (Cline, n.d.). In addition to these religious concepts, people also believe that there is an existence of more abstract entity like nature and other invisible elements that make up the composition of things and people
Religious Traditions and Relationships:
One of the major reasons for the significance of religious traditions in the study of religions is because they describe and encourage relationships with various important elements of religion such as the divine, sacred time, sacred space, and the natural world. Religious traditions basically explain the religion’s belief and relationship with the sacred, sacred space, sacred time, and profane objects. This relationship with the sacred and profane is regarded as the defining characteristic of religion that differentiates it from other religions. The creation of the sacred and profane objects helps in directing the believers to focus on the magnificent values and supernatural and the hidden aspects in the natural world or environment. As important parts of religious traditions the sacred, sacred places, sacred time, and profane objects always act as the reminder of the presence of more than what is seen in the present life.
Notably, the mere belief in the existence of the divine or sacred is normally inadequate because it’s crucial for a religion to stress on ritual acts involving the divine as it emphasizes on the sacred. One of the most significant ways of explaining the religious beliefs and focus on the divine or sacred is usually through the ritual acts that are conducted involving the divine. Consequently, there are certain actions that must be carried out in the sacred places and at sacred times and through the use of profane objects in certain cases. The ritual acts normally unite the members of an existing religious community not only with each other but also with both their ancestors and offspring.
The in the religion i.e. The religious traditions emanate from the fact that most of the religions across the globe have continued to maintain a belief in powerful spiritual beings with individual attributes and identities (O’Neil, 2011). In most cases, the powerful supernatural or spiritual beings are usually known as gods or goddesses and even deities. When a religion has many gods, they are normally organized in ranks that are relative to each other based on their powers and interests.
Through religious traditions, religion is considered as a topic with two main believes or theories i.e. The explanation of human origin and description of the creation of the world and the universe. For instance, Christians believe and worship one God because of the belief that he first created the world and universe before creating the human race to have dominion over the earth. Consequently, the interaction of these people with the natural world is on the basis that they are stewards who should manage it properly. The belief in the existence of only one God instead of multiple gods is also shared by Judaism and Islam resulting in the fact that God is viewed as the source and origin of all existence.
Generally, there are many religious beliefs and traditions throughout the world as some people worship an actual god while others worship their culture. People worship a spiritual or supernatural power based on their beliefs, which are expressed through religious traditions.
Cline, A. (n.d.). What is Religion? Defining the Characteristics of Religion. Retrieved March 15,
2012, from http://www.atheism.about.com/od/religiondefinition/p/WhatReligion.htm
Dubois, J. (2009). The Essential Elements of Religious Life. Retrieved from Department of Humanities & Religious Studies — California State University website: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/d/duboisj/hob/HOB_3Ds.html
O’Neil, D. (2011, December 11). Common Elements of Religion. Retrieved from Palomar
College website: http://anthro.palomar..htm