10 Basic Facts about Religion: A Comparative Approach

10 Basic Facts about Religion: A Comparative Approach

  1. Submission is a universal characteristic of all religious faiths. The essence of religion is devotion and submission to a transcendent Being (Beings), the ultimate Reality, or a metaphysical Force (Forces) beyond the natural world.
  2. Organization is basic to all religious traditions. Religion helps us organize our personal and collective lives in the world.
  3. Meaning is fundamental to all religious systems. Religion helps us to make sense of the world and about who we are as human beings and residents of this planet.
  4. All religions promote a pedagogy of human relations and mutuality. Religion offers basic and transcendent principles and instructions to men and women on how to act toward one another.
  5. The essence of all faith traditions leads to a particular way of being in the world as human beings. Religion provides various ways to help people connect to each other and relate to their environment.
  6. Power is a common core of all religion. All religious traditions sustain the idea that power is a regulating force in the world and social relations, and that divine or supernatural power is greater and more authoritative than any political authority or earthly power.
  7. Conformity is the way of integration and membership in all religious traditions. Religious conformity is associated with the tendencies and sensibilities of a particular tradition as they pertain to an agreeable and coherent religious belief, codes of conduct, behaviors, and manners for group membership and association.
  8. The phenomenon of control belongs to all faith systems. The basic goal of religious codes of conduct and belief is to provide a guiding way to influence our rational and irrational behaviors and actions. Control, as a religious propriety, regulates our deficiencies and human/social relations, and is important for achieving human flourishing and the common good in the world.
  9. Devotion is a fundamental characteristic of all faiths. Religion is profoundly about the way of devotion: devotion to a Supreme Being or Transcendent Force, and human beings mutually devoting themselves to one another.
  10. Human flourishing is a universal virtue of all religious traditions. While human flourishing is defined differently in all the major religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Yoruba Religion/Afro-derived religions in the African Diaspora, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) of the world, it is still the basic ethical philosophy of being pious, kind, compassionate, interpersonal, and relational in the world.

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