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Comparative Religion

Introducing World Religions by Victoria Kennick Urubshurow

By Victoria Kennick Urubshurow

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The broad cross-over category also could include such material as: jokes, recipes, spells, folksongs and other works that convey religious insights or pertain to simple “everyday” levels of religious practice. , dancing, making music) and so forth. In some religious traditions the performative aspects of religious life predominate. These can be called expressive traditions as opposed to literate traditions. People practicing expressive traditions tend to express religious ideas through their bodies rather than through written scriptures.

By contrast, thinkers who take up the truth question tend to engage in praxis and involve personal beliefs in their life work. For this reason, such practical thinkers can be called believers regardless of whether they think religious claims are true or false. Practical thinkers (who are “believers”) fall into two camps that reflect the basic views of reductionist and religionist academic scholars. Some contend that religion is a purely human creation, and others contend that the origins of religion are connected to a deity or transcendent principle.

11 1 | Approaching Religious Traditions scholastic theologians asked questions about the nature of the divine, and the relationship between revelation and reason. • The European Enlightenment. Thinkers of the European Enlightenment in the late 1700s began to separate out reason from faith in their approach to religion. Reason as the key value of Enlightenment thinkers produced individualism and empiricism. The value of the individual was upheld, because people were considered able to reason on their own without dependence on religious authorities.

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