Social Science - Other

How is Religion Related to Social Life



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During my senior year of high school, I had taken English IV Honors. From what I had learned, the teacher was a former Catholic nun from Ireland. We never asked why she had left the nunnery. But, that is best saved for another story. For the first part of the term, we explored classic English literature and how most of it was inspired from Christianity. We had a talk about religion as well.

I had explained to the teacher that I am a Buddhist. She did not criticize me for having a different religion. In fact, she had found Buddhism to be interesting. She explained that religion needed to evolve in general. One of the things she had said was that Christianity has a lot to learn from Buddhism. I found that interesting coming from a former Catholic nun.

Several years before, I had a talk with the Christian priest that did the wedding ceremony for my youngest uncle and his wife. He explained that there is the existence of Christ in Buddhism. I found that surprising as it came from a Christian priest. I think the priest was a Methodist as well.

But my teacher said this: religion is the basis of all civilization. The key word is "religion." She meant religion in general and not Christianity. In short, religion in general is the basis of all civilization. There are many different civilizations. Each civilization has a set of different cultures. There are many different religions in today's world.

Example One:

Roman civilization was strongly founded on the Roman religion. The Roman religion was in turn adopted from the Greek religion. They were known as the Roman and Hellenistic religions. But they were outlawed after the adoption of Christianity. Before the adoption of Christianity, the social life was built upon those religions.

One example would be having wine parties in honor of Bacchus/Dionysus. Many forms of debauchery were encouraged under the Roman and Greek religions at the time. That is one example on how religion is linked to social life.

Example Two:

For those familiar with United States History, there is the pilgrimage from England to the original colonies in the 1600s. They boarded the ship known as the Mayflower and settled on Plymouth Rock. Most of those people were called Puritans. It would lead to the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

It led to one of the earliest American civilizations. The Puritans had their own social life as well. That too stems from the Puritans interpretation of Christianity.

Example Three:

Much of the social life today in the Middle East stems from Islam. However, there are many interpretations of Islam. For example, Saudi Arabia's social life tends to be extremely conservative. So far, Saudi Arabia is religiously conservative for the most part.

Example Four:

The United States is pretty much the melting pot of the world. This is a place in which cultures, civilizations, customs, and religions melt together. This is another example on how religion is related to social life. You have different societies and social circles pertaining to the type of religion and how the religion is practiced.

Overall:

Religion and society tend to go hand and hand with each other for the most part. But, it does depend on the religion and how much you practice it. I can use my grandmother as an example as she tends to take Buddha's teachings to the extreme. As a result, she tends to be very controlling towards her own family yet passive to other people. Socially, she is a passive-aggressive person.

As a practicing Buddhist, I tend to have a very diverse social life. I tend to practice Buddhism in moderation unlike my grandmother. I tend to take many things in moderation. For example, I can go out to party and drink. My grandmother frowns on the consumption of alcohol. I see nothing wrong with having premarital sex as part of my social life. But, that is pertaining to our individual views on Buddhism.

These concepts can be applied to other religious faiths as well. Keep in mind that religious customs come first and then cultural customs come afterwards. In this respect, there is the controversy over the religion of Scientology as it promotes an unhealthy social lifestyle. While Scientology is protected in the United States under the First Amendment, it is deemed as a cult in parts of Europe.

One should also take note of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) controversy of 2008. This is another prime example on how religion can be linked with a social life. In regards to the FLDS compounds, their social lives were isolated.

Again, this brings to attention if whether a person barely, moderately, or extremely practices religion. Either way, religion in general can be linked to the social life.

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