Professor Jim Metzger
Religion 1000, Section 001
New “Definition” of Religion You may ask, why did I put quotations around the word “definition?” Well, the reason is that there isn’t really a way to define religion. When searching for the meaning of the term religion one most go a long way in making an extensive search to actually form a definition that can fit such a broad word. There is no one definition that can satisfy all religions and remain true to all religions throughout its answer. There are many different views and definitions of the word and it is very hard to come up with a reasonable definition that sums such a massive expression up. Religion when used as a single word is almost impossible to define. Different people especially in different religions will all have a difference in opinion when trying to use very few words to define religion. This is why my new found knowledge, gained while studying Religion 1000, will help me redefine almost everything I thought religion was. Religion is and always will be a way of explaining what is sometimes unexplainable. In days before the technology of meteorology and sciences like it, people relied on religion to explain natural phenomena the likes of which we consider normal. They had no way of explaining why it rained when it rained, why floods happen, volcanic eruptions, etc. This, along with other things, creates an opportunity for a religion to arise. People began to figure out ways to explain why certain things happened to them, whether good or bad, but only by means of the supernatural force which they worshipped/praised. In some cases societies would create religions consisting of many gods, assigning each god to an object, animal, or even emotion. For example, Apollo was the Greek/Roman god of the sun, and Ares was the Greek god of war. When we symbolically replace something with a being we believe is of higher power, it essentially replaces the curiosity with which our thirst for knowledge is fueled because now there is no need to know why things are the way they are; there is only a supernatural being to fear/thank for what has come to be. In modern days we associate things like miracles, lottery winnings, and sometimes even death as acts of God, or whoever the higher power may be. We consider ourselves “blessed” by whomever we worship because of the good fortune or a miracle we have received. However, sometimes our “blessings” may turn out to be curses. Again, for example, the lottery: you win millions of dollars and everyone you know is going to be at your front door wanting a piece of the pie. Our religious figures have interesting ways of teaching us lessons. Religion isn’t just a way to explain the unexplainable, it’s affects our way of life as well as others’ daily lives. No matter what, we are affected everyday by our respected religions as well as others’. Everywhere you go there’s a church, displaying the cross for all to see. To Christians it’s not of significance because it’s “normal” for us to see the cross as a sign of greatness as well as suffering. But to people of other religions, this may be overwhelming and I feel that so-called “Devout Christians” fail to see that sometimes. I know that it is a choice and a freedom to display the cross, and I’m fine with that, but we sometimes overdo it when it comes to expressing our religion to others. Other peoples’ religions affect our daily lives in the form of war also.