Religious traditions include laws, beliefs, doctrines and regulations that are found within a specific religion. They are a collection of belief systems and cultural systems which establish symbols that show and establish a relationship between humans and their spirituality. Religious traditions are handed down from generations to generations with significant events being viewed as part of historical time focusing mainly on conduct and behavior. These traditions are either true or false depending on their alignment to scriptures. If they are in accordance to the scriptures then they are true but those which are contrary to the revealed and written word in scriptures is false. The everyday lives of people comprise of religious traditions and rituals (PreserveArticles.com, 2012). The paper will give an explanation on how religious traditions describe and encourage the following relationships; with the divine, sacred time, sacred space or natural world and with each other.it will also look at critical issues when studying religion
Relationship with the divine
Religious traditions that have divinity and are usually defined in different ways depending on the different beliefs and faiths. However, they all have the same concern when it comes to the deepest reality level and for most religions what is core or origin is usually mysterious and sacred. Relationship with divine involves the understanding of divine like what or who is sacred. Monotheism refers to one God relates to various religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Polytheism on the other hand refers to many gods relating to religions for instance Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions that existed during ancient civilization. Pantheism is a derivative of polytheism and it refers to all of nature, in simple terms God is everything and everything is God (PreserveArticles.com, 2012).
The main concept being existence or being is how these religions perceive their gods. Most polytheism beliefs are that the origin of their gods is actually beings such as people, statues, calves and physical things. Monotheism on the other hand holds the belief that God is a spirit which cannot be seen but is only felt. They also have the belief that this spirit is able to hear, see and watch what each and every believer is doing. The key to any religion is the establishment of relationship and which is for sharing with the divine. There are several methods which different religious traditions have for accomplishing this and include prayers, meditation, reading the Bible, Quran or even simply spending time with nature. Prayers are common among Christians and are perceived as a way of communicating with God on a .
Relationship with sacred time
In order to find out how religious traditions influence sacred time, one must have the definition of sacred time. to how religion is observed. This is time that is specifically affiliated with a reverence for heaven and earth, it is honored and usually held with a very great esteem. Some religions indulge in feasting or fasting which includes special worship services as well as regular worship times. For instance Christians usually worship on Sundays whereby the minister preaches to them how they should carry their lives according to what is required by the Bible. Jews on the other hand worship on Sabbath day which is also known as the seventh day. This falls either on Friday or Saturday evenings (Davies-Stofka, 2008).
Relationship with sacred space or the natural world
Sacred space refers to where religious ceremonies take place. For instance this can be a church for Christians, mosque for Muslims, temple for Jews and so on. Religious traditions describe the sacred places as places that are holy. This means that when people get to these places they should humble themselves and go there with utmost humility. Religious traditions expect that people visiting the sacred places should be dressed in an appropriate manner that is decently (Tangient LLC, 2013).
The natural world includes everything that exists naturally. These are animals, trees and the environment at large. Religious traditions describe the natural world as something that exists for the benefits of humans. They therefore encourage people to take care of the natural world. They also expect people to respect everything that are in the natural world and hence ensure that it is always in perfect condition. Destruction of the natural world is condoned by religious traditions. Whichever venue the religion has set aside as a holy and sacred place, there are rules, albeit some are unwritten, that are followed and traditions that are observed within such venues as the traditions dictate.
Relationship with each other
Different religious traditions stress on the relationships with each other. For instance in Christianity there is a lot of emphasis on the relationship among brothers and sisters. An individual is supposed to love God and other people. Through these efforts one is expected to seek reconciliation with others incase something was done wrong to them. Christians are expected to be like Christ in their everyday lives. They are also encouraged to love others as they love themselves. They are expected not to repeat sins which are potentially harmful to the relationships they encounter in their daily lives. In the end, Christians are at peace if they relate well with others. Christians are expected to refer to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Islam also encourages good relationships with others as expected by Allah. Muslims are expected to form good relations with others and look out for each other (Rossano, 2010).
Critical issues in the study of religion
Religion is quite a difficult area of study due to various key issues .One of them is the fact that there are so many religions in existence. All these religions have their own traditions that are applicable to the specific religion. While some of these traditions might be similar in the different religions others are completely unique for specific religions. For example in Christianity there is the belief that only one God exists but in a trinity which is God the father, son and Holy Spirit. The same applies to Islam only difference is that they refer to their God as Allah .on the other hand religions like Hinduism are different in that they have many gods which they worship. These are such as the god of land, the god of food, the god of prosperity and so on. All these are represented by sculptures or objects which they worship.
The other difficulty is the fact that everyone has a different perspective in the way they view religion and religious beliefs. This views are influenced by peoples own experiences and what is taught by their respective religions as well as the family they are in. For instance, as a Christian I believe that there exist only one God.it can be very difficult when I am studying religion and am supposed to take in that there is actually a possibility that there are other gods apart from the one God who I know exists.in the same way it is also difficult to convince a Hindu hat there is only one God and it is not the gods and goddesses they worship. This clearly shows that studying religion can be quite a conflict since everyone has their own perspective of their religion (PreserveArticles.com, 2012).
Another issue is the fact that religion can be inclusive and exclusive at the same time. This means that if someone does not believe in the exact same way as a particular religion then they is considered different. It hence becomes difficult to study religion since one does not know what is okay or not according to a particular religion.
Tangient LLC. (2013).Relationship between sacred spaces and the beliefs. Retrieved June 10, 2013 from http://cmsor2u2008.wikispaces.com/Discuss+the+relationship+between+sacred+spaces+and+the+beliefs+of+the+religio
Rossano, M.J.(2010).Understanding Religion through the lens of relationships. Retrieved June 10, 2013 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-j-rossano/understanding-religion-th_b_596856.html
PreserveArticles.com, (2012). Notes on the Eight Basic Elements of Religion. Retrieved June 10, 2013 from http://www.preservearticles..html
Davies-Stofka, B. (2008). . Retrieved June 10, 2013 from http://www.patheos.com/Library/Islam/Ritual-Worship-Devotion-Symbolism/Sacred-Time.html