Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ways of Being Religious

1. Describe each of the 6 ways of being religious:
The Way of Sacred Right: The process of trying to experience a Higher Power through rituals. This is usually done to achieve a feeling of support for all the things that are going on in someone's life and to get a feeling of renewal. It is usually done in groups, but can also be done alone.

The Way of Right Action: The process of trying to have everyone follow some type of moral code and so that everything is how it was intended to be. It is also trying to bring a part of a Higher Power into a person's daily life.

The Way of Devotion: Developing a personal relationship with a Higher Power. A person completely accepts it into their life and in return hopes to receive a sense of hope and a feeling of it's presence.

The Way of Shamanic Mediation: When a person goes into a different state of consciousness, hoping that they will be able to be at one with a Higher Power for a short period of time. The process is intended to bring change and solve problems in a person's life.

The Way of Mystical Quest: A journey to break free of the boundaries from life. The goal is usually to achieve unity with a higher power through some kind of process or path.

The Way of Reasoned Inquiry:The process of trying to answer questions that can't logically be explained, and trying to have a true understanding of how and why things are the way they are. This is usually done by studying holy texts and the history of the specific religion

2. What are the advantages of studying religion using this method?
One of the advantages is that it helps students get rid of generalizations that they have about different religions and any bias that someone has from being exposed to a specific religion. Also, by understanding one of the ways of being religious, it might help someone understand another way of being religious from that specific religion. Another advantage is that they provide a basis for examining the differences and similarities between religions. Also, using the framework, you can distinguish between what are really differences between religions and what are just contrasts based on whether or not you are comparing the same way of being religious. Also, you can use the framework to compare different patterns that are found in every religion but are still different to each religion. Also, it can open discussion of common problems that people who practice certain religions face and help people who belong to different faiths to have a mutual understanding of each other.

3. Explain what you think are the two greatest differences between eastern and western religions.
I think that one of the biggest differences between eastern and western religions is that western religions include the belief that there is only one higher power that is holy and should not be associated with the rest of human life generally because it is superior to the things that it created. Another important difference between western and eastern religions is that western religions have a historical element. The history of the religion usually begins with some sort of divine intervention or revelation to a historical figure in history who then finds followers and spreads the religion through converts. Most eastern religions do not focus on the history of the religion, except for small examples, and most eastern religions have not grown through conversion.

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