### **Objective/Goal:** To define religion as a topic of study. Some cultural beliefs and behaviors are religious in nature, but how do we identify them? This is a very important question and determines what is studied in a religion class! ### **Instructions:** In this discussion, you’ll be asked to: * Think about how you currently define religion by looking at various scenarios. * Write about a specific scenario sent to you and how you define religion in general. * Reply to at least two of your peers. #### **Initial Reply** post your answers to the questions below as your initial reply to this discussion. For the discussion, the scenario for you to post about is: “The story of Snow White includes a magic mirror and a main character that rises from the dead.” You need to: 1. Post the scenario from above at the top of it 2. Say whether you think it is religious in nature or not and 3. Why. 4. How are you defining what is religious? #### **Replies to Peers** reply to two of your peers once you finish and I send to you . In your replies, address whether you agree with them or not and why. ## reply: ## Sophie The scenario I was sent is: “A person keeps a photograph of their deceased spouse on the shelf in their living room. On occasion, they talk to the picture.” First, I think this would not be considered a universal experience because the presence of photography differs across the world due to cultural relativism. My definition of religious acts is those that are carried out with intent to show adherence to a certain belief system that attempts to explain the supernatural or the unknown. This is a primarily Marxist and evolutionary viewpoint. By that standard, I think this is not as much of an inherently religious act as it is more of a human coping mechanism. Simply talking to a photograph of a deceased person does not imply a belief in their supernatural presence, a characteristic of religion given in the textbook. It is also not ritualistic, because there is no set routine, and because the picture is not of a religious image and the person is not specified as being reverent of the spouse, it is not indicative of the person’s worldview or moral codes. Therefore, I would conclude that occasionally speaking to a deceased spouse’s photo is not religious in nature. second:: ## Cole Scenario: “A person is not sure they believe much in God, or at least not one who intervenes in daily life, but they still go to church because they have friends there and enjoy the service”. I would consider a person who holds beliefs similar to this to be more of a passive religious person. They may be more interested in the social aspects of the religion rather than the religion itself. I think that a major key to being truly religious is belief in a higher power and or an afterlife. I would consider a person who holds beliefs similar to these to be agnostic more than religious.
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