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Essay: Three Characteristics of Religion

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  • Subject area(s): Religious studies and Theology essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: January 21, 2020*
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  • Three Characteristics of Religion
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“A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices” (Mariam Webster). Religion is having faith in a God of your choice, meaning believing in this god and having loyalty to them. It is trusting God to guide you through life and believing God is responsible for everything that happens to you. Religion is a system of beliefs. People turn to religion to change their lives or they turn towards religion for guidance or in time of crisis. Religion is the “belief and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. (Google Dictionary).
Three characteristics of religion would be loyalty because you are loyal to a certain God or gods and follow their “rules” or beliefs that one should follow, moral because a person who is religious has a moral code of right and wrong doings, and believer because those who do not fully believe in the God or gods are not fully faithful with the religion and the rules they must follow. On top of these three is faith, cause and system of beliefs. The Puritans and Iroquois both practiced their religion in many different ways.
The Puritans left England for America due to religious persecution. They were forced out due to them trying to reform human civilization through religion. The Puritans tried to force everyone, including women, be taught how to read the Bible, and the people were influenced by them to seek out God for themselves. The Puritans did not encourage religious diversity, in fact, they feared if they did not create a “heaven on earth” they were in danger of punishment from God. They believed the Anglican Church needed to be purified of influences of Catholicism. The Puritans believed that faith, not works, was the key to salvation (ducksters.com).
Belief or believing something is when you accept that a fact is true or something exists. The Puritans believed in many different things. They believed God and worshiping God was so important that they dedicated one day out of the week to do so. Sundays were dedicated to the Lord, Sermons were performed which usually lasted no shorter than an hour in length and prayers were also as long. The Puritans believed heavily on teaching and training children and in doing this they established schools for the children in of Massachusetts. It was important for all children to learn how to read so they could read the Bible. In the same sense that Puritans believed everything should be molded by the principles of Christianity, they believed that honorable work was a way of glorifying God. The Iroquois beliefs, unlike the Puritans, included the supernatural world. This included numerous deities, the most important of which was Great Spirit, who was responsible for the creation of human beings, the plants and animals, and the forces of good in nature (everyculture.com). They believed the Great Spirit guided the lives of the ordinary people, in like God did for the Puritans. Other than the Great Spirit, other gods they believed in were Thunderer and the Three Sisters, the spirits of Maize, Beans, and Squash. The Iroquois believed they could not directly communicate with the Great Spirit but could indirectly do so by burning tobacco to carry their prayers to the Great Spirit. Dreams were an important sign of the supernatural to them, they believed that dreams were expressing the desire of the soul. Unlike ministers of the Puritan faith, the Iroquois did not have full time specialists. In fact, they had part time specialists, both male and female, who were responsible for religious ceremonies and were called the keepers of faith. These ceremonies involved public confessions

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