“Religion is a collective name which cannot stand for any single principle” (James, 39. Religion is diverse and can be conceptualized in many contexts for instance the American context. In the modern American context, modernity has a strong influence on how people perceive religion. Human beings have privatized religion, separated it from daily life, and focused it on personal belief. Throughout history, people have claimed extraordinary experiences, which have been recognized as holy and religious. Different approaches have been used to understand the religious experiences. They are the, dialectical and analogical approach.
Human experiences have raised questions that are difficult to answerer unless we acknowledge our individual involvement in them. The author starts by distinguishing between ordinary human experience like our daily activities for instance going to work and extra ordinary human experiences. Extra ordinary human experiences include death, birth, and evil and love (Portier, 12). Depth experiences like friendship, conscience, truth, human solidarity and compassionate protest are used to formulate questions about human condition that open up its depth dimension. From the extraordinary experiences, we can conclude that the human condition can be described as mysterious. Tradition also plays a crucial role in finding the answers to the questions like why we are here, our final purpose at the end, how we ought to behave toward one another.
The great questions have brought what is referred to as the depth-dimension of human experience. The questions are what is it there about human beings that open them to religion and their claims about things unseen? Where do religious experience and religious language fit into human experience?
Diverse religions exist but believe in a supernatural being is the basis of any religion. The religious traditions of the world share many ethical precepts but they differ in some. They diverge in aspects like law, mythology and experience (Prothero, 6). Religion traditions do not stay static but they are changing. The world’s two religion rivals are related in some aspects and different in other aspects for instance they do not perform the same rituals and do not share the same goals. They all believe in supernatural beings that are different thus raising the issue of several gods in existence.
Nostra Aetate declares the connection and relationship between the churches to non-Christian religion. People turn and look to their different religions for answers to the unresolved riddles. Throughout history, people have believed that there exists a certain power, which lies behind the course of nature. The church believes that Christ underwent suffering to attain salvation of everyone regardless of his/her religious orientation (Collins, 93). Therefore, the church reproves of any discrimination of people based on their race, color, religion and any feature that orients them to a certain group regardless of if they are Christians or non-Christians.
The authors think learning about religion is important because it helps us to understand the extraordinary experiences that happen in our daily life. It is only through a deep understanding of religion and its dynamics that we can be able to explain the experiences that we undergo every day. An understanding of religion makes human beings to be able to answer philosophical questions that arise in the course of belief and belonging to a certain religious group thus convinced by the arguments.
The study of religion is necessary because it equips people with skills to understand the dynamics of religion. Diverse religions exist, knowledge in religion is crucial in understanding and respecting other religions even if you do not profess their faith.
James, Joseph Marshall, Jennifer Richards, and Neil Rhodes. King James VI and I: Selected Writings. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003. Print.
O’Collins, Gerald. The Second Vatican Council on Other Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
Portier, William. Tradition and Incarnation: Foundations of Christian Theology. New York: Paulist Press, 1994. Print.
Prothero, Stephen. God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World-And Why Their Differences Matter. New York: Harper one, 2010.print