Blog #1

-Anthony Demme

            What is Religion? As Anatomy of The Sacred states, there really isn’t a definitive answer for this question. Religion is a tricky matter because of the many different aspects of it and that there are far too few characteristics that are similar between religions. Most of the definitions given to us are too narrow and vague. Geertz offers the best definition which states: Religion is (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in [people] by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. I believe what Geertz is saying here is that religion is a big system in which (1) displays power, (2) gives our general rules of existence, and (3) give a sense of reliability and realism in the world.

            Why are humans religious? Basically I feel like religion gives people hope. It gives people a sense of reliability and something sacred to adhere to.  Without it there would be no sense of order so we humans will do anything to stop challenges that threaten our values. As Livingston states we are religious to understand, overcome our ignorance, comprehend our culture, achieve global perspective, and to help us formulate our own religious belief or philosophy of life. What I feel like Livingston is saying here is that we are religious to understand what happened in the past, what is happening now and what happens in the future; that we study religion to apply it to our own lives, to fill our spiritual promiscuity. We want to know everything and feel a sense of security and that is why I believe we are religious beings.


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