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Breanna Zumbrunnen
Professor Wijitha
World Religions 2300-002
2 May 2016

What is Religion
All of religion shares the same beliefs of being tied back to something like a greater
reality, behind the surface of life. Religion has become the main foundation of life for several
people all over the world. Material perspectives have been created by humans. This is because of
the theory of the fact that religion can be found in some way or form in every culture all over the
world. The materialistic point is how we humans can feel connected to the supernatural
imaginations by humans through the physical world.1
Religions are known for doing things for us, such as helping us to define ourselves,
life, and the world. Functional explanations come from many disciplines. Humans need an
organized structure, and religion acts like a glue that holds society together. We learn virtues like
love, compassion, justice, and discipline over our emotions through religion. Political scientists
Robert Putnam and David Campbell concluded from a survey of religiosity in the United States
that people who are involved in organized religions are generally more generous toward their
neighbors and more conscientious as citizens than those who do not participate in religions (4).
Having faith in a religion begins with having many questions and storms of doubt.
Encounters with reality that is unseen are given names like realization, awakening, selfknowledge, coming home etc. These encounters happen to you through near death experiences,
1 Fisher, Mary. Living Religious. New Jersey: Pearson Education,2013. Print.

hard times, fasting, prayer, meditation, loses, etc. Many religions believe that these experiences
are callings or given to you to have stronger faith. People believe that religion can help you
through difficulties in your life such as heartbreaks, depression, and feeling lost. Studying
religion has helped many people to feel more knowledgeable, happy, and free.
After asking several of my classmates I received similar answers from all of them such as
religion giving hope for the future, giving life purpose, receiving heavenly rewards, and religion
being a definition of how to live. I personally agree with some of these answers. When I think of
religion I do think of the materialist, functional, and faith perspectives. I become curious to why
religions do things so similar and also so different. Religions have materialistic rituals in the
physical life to feel something, whether it be in their heart, soul, or mind. Religions function
the way they do to keep their follows alert and attending church activities. Faith is defined as
religious followers believing in the unseen. Believing in the unseen takes deep strength and
struggles. I personally believe this to be true because of what I have experienced with religion. It
takes persistence. 2
Dharma meaning in Hinduism moral order, and righteousness. In Buddhism it means the
doctrine or law. Hinduism is not separated from other dharmic traditions that have come from
India like Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The many spiritual expressions range in Hinduism
from extreme to extreme and heights to heights including extreme asceticism, extreme sensuality,
heights of personal devotion to deity, heights of abstract philosophy. There are actually 330
million deities in India according to tradition. Hinduisms great age is reflected from its extreme
variations. The Vedas, which are the ancient scriptures revered by Hindus, seem to have been
2 Fisher, Mary. Living Religious. New Jersey: Pearson Education,2013. Print.

written in the first millennium BCE, but they are much older than their earliest forms. The Vedas
are considered shruti text, meaning they have been revealed rather than been written by morals.
The Vedas are thought to not be work of any humans.
With my experiences with the site visits, I was able to feel more connected with what I
was learning in class. I was able to understand exactly what we were talking about and how it
worked. Religion defined to me is the worship and belief of supernatural or superhuman
controlling power or powers. In class I learned the similarities of all religions and how they all
connect. For example, all religions believe in some higher power or afterlife. All scripture
teachings connect some way in life to the people. Scriptures have a lot of prayer and faith, which
is what religious practices do. A site of worship consist of gathering, peace, comfort, and faith.
These buildings consist of pictures, sculptures, statues, etc. that help to set the mood.
This course has been absolutely fantastic. I have been able to step outside my comfort
zone and really learn about other people and their beliefs. This assignment along with all other
assignments that have taken place in this class have opened my mind to think deeper and outside
the box. Before this class I didnt know anything about religion and now I know the importance
of almost every big religion. The teachings of religion itself and Dharma have really opened my
mind. I am extremely glad I took this course.


Work Cited
Fisher, Mary. Living Religious. New Jersey: Pearson Education,
2013. Print.