Can Religion Be Studied Academically Essay

September 12, 2017 Religion

The academic survey of faith isn’t a agency of merely larning Bibles or transitions from a sacred text like the Bible. It is a more complex procedure and can be considered multidisciplinary – it can include art. literature. linguistics. history. doctrine. psychological science. sociology and much more.

Religion can’t be studied without cognizing what we are seeking to analyze. and while some would reason it merely doesn’t exist. the similarity among the diverse spiritual belief systems around the universe are strong plenty to warrant a comprehensive field survey embracing the factors listed above. some of which autumn into Livingstone’s ‘seven ways of analyzing religion’ . However. to efficaciously analyze faith in an academic manner. it is of import to include critical analysis. which means it is of import non to be biased towards your ain beliefs.

By making this you can go more culturally cognizant of other religions and beliefs. and therefore obtain a greater apprehension of faiths. Literary unfavorable judgment plays an of import function in the academic survey of faith. Religion in the theological manner is all about the instructions of a peculiar sacred text. The Bible for Christianity. the Quran for Islam and Sutras for Buddhism. for illustration. all contain the instructions and Torahs of the several faiths. which is basically how people can understand faith in the first topographic point.

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Livingstone. in his theories on faith. says inquiries are the key to analyzing and understanding the significance of sacred texts. Is it dependable ; who was the writer ; when was it written and where ; how has the work been received. interpreted and passed on? These are the inquiries that need to be answered before a true apprehension of faith can be obtained. and who better to reply them than a literary critic. harmonizing to Livingstone. The relationship between faith and linguistic communication besides relates to this thought of literary unfavorable judgment.

Language in faith doesn’t frequently function like it does in mundane life – it is non found at the surface degree of words or marks. harmonizing to Livingstone. Understanding linguistic communication and how it is used in faith provides insight. but it besides stretches to include the nature and map of linguistic communication itself. Because of religion’s function in human civilizations. it is impossible to grok the flow of history without some basic foundation in a assortment of spiritual beliefs.

Livingstone says it would look obvious that the historical survey of faith has to make with set uping what function spiritual experience and thoughts play in the lives of persons and communities. You merely have to look at the Bible and see the Old Testament is dated in old ages ‘before Christ’ . Livingstone gives an illustration of the Protestant Reformation. The causes of the Protestant Reformation have been a subject of contention among historiographers. and the argument illustrates both the importance of history in deriving a Fuller apprehension of that event in western history. and the troubles in suggesting a individual insouciant account in history.

But the impression of history and faith can be put a little more merely – spiritual traditions provide construction to the universe and provides people with a sense of where they fit in. which in bend affects picks today. for illustration determinations about political relations. The philosophical examination of faith is one of the oldest and most informative ways of analyzing spiritual experience and belief. harmonizing to Livingstone. In this century philosophy’s relation to faith is to analyze the utilizations of spiritual linguistic communication and to prove its logical position and significance.

It asks whether a spiritual look is merely executing an action or arousing the emotions. Livingstone says philosophers believe much of the jobs with faith root from these confounding utilizations of linguistic communication. Over the centuries and crossing different continents. the impression of doctrine has remained important in several spiritual traditions. which emphasises the importance of it in an educational manner – In India. doctrine has remained associated with historical developments in Hinduism and the same goes for Buddhism in Asia.

The manner in which faith interacts within a societal dimension is besides a important component to analyzing faith. Sociologist. Max Weber. demonstrated that certain signifiers of societal life and behavior could deeply reflect the spiritual belief and pattern of society. For illustration: Weber analysed how the new Protestant moral principle. which came with the Reformation of the sixteenth century. proved to be decisive in determining the spirit of modern capitalist society. All faiths have a construct of what it means to be a member of a spiritual society. how it should work. how it should be organised. and how the society relates to the outside universe.

Therefore it is of import to hold an apprehension of the sociology behind faith. particularly in the case that civilization and faith become difficult to separate between. It is understood that faiths offer reviews of modern-day society based on constructs of an ideal society and must understand the connexion between sacred and secular power and the political and spiritual establishments stand foring each. This is where a survey of sociology and anthropology become of import for faith. The relationship between spiritual and violent struggle is good known.

It can be argued that faiths are inclined to be absolutist. intending they don’t let for the cogency of other faiths. This discourages the treatments and dialogues and via medias needed to decide differences of sentiment peacefully. which can so hold an consequence on society itself. Without via medias. it can sometimes break out into force – so in footings of the importance of analyzing faith. it is ideal to cognize the interconnectedness between sociology and faith to understand why and how struggles. for illustration. can sometimes happen.

And so there’s the psychological science behind the importance of analyzing faith. One of the early workers in this peculiar field was William James. He explored the psychological dimensions of phenomena as transition. mysticism and saintliness. Livingstone says the connexion between psychological science and faith is possibly the most closely associated with great figures in depth psychology. He besides uses an illustration of Gordon Allport’s work. who studied the relationship between faith and bias.

He says surveies such as Allport’s show the value of psychological surveies in uncovering the possible consequence of signifiers of faith on societal dealingss and behaviors. Allport peculiarly discovered that there were different correlativities between bias and types of being spiritual. what he referred to as extrinsic and intrinsic faiths. This peculiar survey into psychological science and faith is important because it can warn us against doing too-simple correlativity between bias and faith. harmonizing to Livingstone.

In add-on to Livingstone’s thoughts behind analyzing faith. there are other factors that intertwine. like art. for illustration. No 1 can see art without detecting the influence of faith. Every faith provides thoughts. narratives. cultural symbols. and constructs critical to making art. It can be argued that without the cultural resources available today that have been created by faiths. some art would be impossible to make or even understand. It isn’t peculiarly indispensable for doing art. but religion’s function culturally makes the connexion stronger.

In decision. it is hard to earnestly or substantively critique faith if it’s non understood. It is for this ground that an understanding linguistic communication review. sociology. history. psychological science and doctrine. for illustration. is so of import. Livingstone says the academic survey of faith can assist people to see faith as a whole. These scholarly positions and subjects can assist people to see facets of their ain faiths that they may be blind to. which in bend can assist thrive more grasp for assorted spiritual traditions.


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