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Elements of Religion Rel 134

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Elements of Religious Traditions

REL/134
May 13, 2013

Elements of Religious Traditions

Religious traditions share many common elements. First, religious traditions often describe and encourage a relationship with the divine. Further, religions frequently describe and encourage relationships with sacred times and events, for example, a holy birth. Additionally, religious traditions may possess common beliefs concerning sacred space and the natural world. For example, many religions teach earth is sacred, whereas others teach earth is imperfect. Moreover, religious traditions frequently define relationships with other religions, for example, as good or bad. People who study religion often encounter key critical issues, including limited data, unwritten information, and preconceived ideas. Though many religious traditions share common elements, beliefs, and relationships, religion can be difficult to study. Religious traditions often define their relationship with a divine. Religions usually portray their relationship with a scared as a superior-inferior relationship, where people are inferior to the sacred (Molloy, 2010). Some religions describe their relationship with the divine as special, where other religions do not define their relationship at all. For example, Christians teach the Earth’s inhabitants are a main concern of the sacred, whereas Confucians teach people have no relationship with the divine (Molloy, 2010). Still, Buddhists contend sacred’s are not a concern; rather, self-enlightenment and nirvana should be a person’s focus (Molloy, 2010). Religious traditions often encourage a relationship with the divine by doing right things, following rules, and leading others toward the sacred. First, religions frequently possess a set of moral guidelines to follow, for example, the Ten Commandments, the Jewish Torah, or the Five...

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