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An Example of religion being a connection: Voodoo - Essay Example

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As a religion, it is a belief system with its own organized framework for accounting for a certain type of experience that can best be described simply as religious, as opposed to being superstitious. In this paper, the author…
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An Example of religion being a connection: Voodoo
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Download file to see previous pages Defining and clarifying the term religion is important if the applications of the latter are to be understood. How should the term be understood? In his article, entitled Defining Religion: The Problem of Definition, Austin Cline (2006) states:
Many say the etymology of religion lies with the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind.” This seems to be favored on the assumption that it helps explain the power religion has. The Oxford English Dictionary points out, though, that the etymology of the word is doubtful. Earlier writers like Cicero connected the term with relegere, which means “to read over again” (perhaps to emphasize the ritualistic nature of religions?).
The etymological examination of religion appears to point to two, quite disparate directions. However, closer scrutiny reveals that both senses of the term, as a tie or connection on the one hand, and as a ritualistic practice on the other are surprisingly, aspects that are included in the concept of religion. The main problem with defining religion seems to lie with the difficulty in providing a sufficient set of distinguishing traits or characteristics that would differentiate the concept of religion from all other similar concepts. At its base, religion seems to be also culturally defined, in the sense that it is only within a specific culture that a religion becomes possible. Nevertheless, if the etymological basis for the meaning of religion is used, one can find the term usable and indeed meaningful. Thus, a religion carries with it the notions of connectedness with something, presumably with the sacred or divine, and it is the repeated invocation of such a connection that makes the practice of religion a ritualistic practice. In short, both the religare and relegere senses of the word are significant and equally relevant in this study.
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