Elements of Religious Traditions

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Elements of Religious Traditions

Elements of Religious Traditions
In striving to understand religious traditions it is important to understand what religion is. The common translation of religion is “to join again,” “to reconnect” (Molloy, 2010, p. 5). Religion cannot be accurately defined with a single definition because there are many differences. Most definitions found in dictionaries are not completely accurate or complete. Dictionary definitions according to Molloy, 2010, p. 5, indicates religion is a belief system that consists of the worship of a single God or multiple gods, ceremony, ethical and moral code, and prayer. To define better religion one should identify the characteristics commonly found and accepted as religions (Molloy, 2010, p. 5). To identify the elements of religious traditions one must explain religious traditions relationship with the divine, sacred time, sacred space, and their relationship with each other. Scholars believe the following eight elements are commonly found in most religions (Molloy, 2010, pgs. 6-7): * Belief System * Community * Central Myths * Rituals * Ethics * Characteristic Emotional Experiences * Material Expression * Sacredness
Understanding the key critical issues in the study of religion will help one understand that there is a vast number of religions with a vast number of beliefs (Johnson, 2013).

Religions Relationship with the Divine
To identify religious traditions relationship with the divine, one must be acquainted with the meaning of divine. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines divine as “of or like God or a god; given or inspired by God; sacred; devoted to God; religious; having to do with theology devoted to God; supremely great, good, etc.” (Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company, 1997, p. 401). Religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and…...

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