7 Facts and Myths about World Religions

Published by admin on Sat April 3, 2010

A religion is considered as a set of beliefs diverted to a cause and nature and purpose of the universe. Religion involves devotional and ritual observance having a moral code to regulate the conduct of human affairs. Different aspects of religion include narrative, symbolism, beliefs and practice which are supposed to give practitioner’s experience of life.

•    There are considered five different pillars of practice in Islam. As being a true Muslim, one must follow five basic pillars of Islam:
1.    Shahadah – Declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God.
2.     Formal prayer five times a day.
3.    Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan.
4.     Poor-due “tax” – 2.5% of one’s savings given to the needy at the end of each year.
5.    Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.

•    According to the Islamic definition of God, he is someone, who is merciful and compassionate. He is just and prompt in punishment. However, his mercy is far above than his wrath. Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair.

•    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as depicted and showed away in the New Testament. Christians revere Jesus to be the Messiah and thus refer to him as Jesus Christ. With about 2.1 followers, Christianity is the world’s largest religion in America, Europe, Philippine Islands, Oceania and large parts of Africa.

•    Christianity started as a religious sect in 1st century as a Jewish Sect and has similarities with religious texts of Judaism, precisely with Hebrew Bible that is known to Christians being as Old Testament. Like Judaism and Islam, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion because of the centrality of Abraham in their shared traditions.

•    Buddhism that was founded by Lord Buddha in India 2,500 years ago is still dominant religion of the Far East. Buddhism rejects both religious rituals and worships of deities in favor of pure meditation. The religion is purely focused on the concept of enlightenment and learning away from worldly pleasures.

•    Confucianism as a form of religion is an ethical and philosophical system and has reputation of one of the world religions. Confucianism after its origin in China soon spread to Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Most of the people following Confucianism follow Chinese traditional religion that is a mixture of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and traditional local practices and beliefs.

•    Hinduism is considered as the world’s oldest organized religion. It is consisted of different religious groups that have evolved during and since 1500 BC.  It is world’s third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. Hinduism is followed by about 837 million followers that are about 13% of the world population. It is a prominent religion in India, Nepal and among Tamils in Sri Lanka.

7 Myths and Facts about a Career in Religious Studies

Published by admin on Tue January 12, 2010

The development of recent years have shown religion developing into a very vital, dynamic and irrepressible element of the cultural life, both being in nationally as well as internationally. Therefore, need to better understand religions of the world have risen considerably in recent times. This urge to better understand religion have given focus towards career in religious studies, here a brief analysis to study of religion is given in step wise process.

  1. Religious studies looks at globalized human cultures from many perspectives like history of religion, philosophy of religion, feminism and gender studies, semiotics, morality studies, postmodernism, cultural studies, phenomenology and psychology of religion. This way a student of religious studies tries to understand scope of the self, society, the world, and transcendent reality.
  2. Student of religious studies can enter into any field as required for liberal art preparations like teaching, law, diplomatic service, human services, journalism and business. Some other can follow studies into religion or other can make direct entry into seminary. Religious studies provide necessary skill for research, critical thinking, cultural sensitivity and a globalized knowledge base.
  3. There is a varied opinion about what religious studies graduate do after completing their studies. According to a survey 52.9% go into employment, 39.1% do further studies, 4.2 % still tries to search job and for 3.8% there hardly remains any data available for them.  The 37% go into professional occupation like teaching and public service. Other 20% go into as Associate Professors, 17% go into administration, and 9.4% go into sales and customer service, 8.7% into personal services and last 7% into management and senior officials.
  4. As for employer outlook for students of religious studies they go into the variety of field and areas and these employers also happens to be varying and different. Among all the available employers and areas of work 10.3% go into retail, 19% into health and social work, 9.6% into business and research, 7.4% into public administration, 5.9% in finance, 27.2% in education and 16.2% in other community and social activities.
  5. As for the specific designated jobs, a student of religious studies can go into a number of specific jobs and area to work for. They can go to work into the areas and designation like as an Administrator, Advice worker, counselor, housing adviser, journalist, librarian, minister of religion, social worker, teacher and youth and community worker.
  6. Apart from job there are many skills that get developed into the student of religious studies after reading a lot from theological studies. Religious studies develop into a student following traits like Clear & Logical thinking, Critical evaluation,  Literacy & Expression,  Negotiating, Organizing, Planning,  Problem solving, Research and working to deadlines.
  7. Finally, a degree to student of religious studies shows an exposer to and familiarity with a wide variety of religious books and pamphlets.   There are a good number of magazines and books on the religious studies of what a student can take better advantage