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Religion And Culture Essay, Research Paper

Religion affects many dynamics of a society. Although, at first glance most people do not realize the drastic effects religion has on a culture. It can have a major impact on the stability and growth of the economy, the people’s family, and social lives. In the following essay, I will illustrate how Confucianism, Buddhism, Islamic, Judaism, and Christianity influenced different societies. Confucianism is a moral and religious system in China. It was a system of ethical principles for the management of society, combining etiquette, ritual, sympathy, and treating inferiors with propriety. Since it is based on social issues, the supernatural religions, such as Buddism, challenged it. When Confucianism was at its prime, it promoted peace, stability, and a just government. The culture progresses because each individual is working to make the whole society better. An example of one of their principles is, “a superior man never competes.” This is why the western world never accepted Confucianism. They are too competitive. In China, this unity made life peaceful because there was not any back stabbing and a desire to be the best. The government promoted civilized and proper behavior. This environment created an ideal situation to invent things that would change the world. Wallpaper, compass, paper, printing press, and toilet paper all came from China. Confucianism is the main reason China stayed together for so long. Unlike Confucianism, Buddhism is a religion centered on developing a person to reach a spiritual fulfillment. Under this philosophy, a person strives to reach Nirvana. Until a person has reached it, he or she will keep reliving his or her life. It teaches the practice of meditation and the observance of moral principles. According to Buddhist, desire is bad and it has to be eliminated because it is the root of all evil. Following the eight steps of Buddhism will allow a person to be free of these desires and reach inner peace. The eight steps are:1) right views -all desires are bad2) right intention -think unselfishly3) right speech -speak unselfishly do not talk about what you want4) right action 5) right livelihood – job should reflect your lack of desires6) right effort – every minute of everyday make a physical and mental effort7) right concentration -be mindful at all times8) right ecstasy -meditate or concentration If each individual in the society is striving for this, the culture would be peaceful and it would have a low crime rate. There would not be any stealing because people would be happy with what they have already. Families would do their own thing. It is not like Confucianism because nothing was private for them. Also, Buddhist took a job because they liked it and not because of the pay or higher social ranking. People were not striving to invent something to become famous or to get rich. The economy was stable but poor because they were not innovative. Yet, they were satisfied with what they had already. There was not an inner drive to be successful like the Easterners. This society was content. The Islamic religion follows the Koran. It was founded in Arabia and it spread throughout the Middle East. The prophet Mohammed founded it. A Muslim has to pray five times a day, give to the poor, fast during the month of Ramadan, and go to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

This religion takes a lot of dedication. It is not like Christianity, where a person goes once a week to church and does not have to worry about it till next Sunday. Islam is the center of a Muslim’s life. The family revolves around this religion. Women in this society are in a second class and have no power. Men dominate like in most strict religious cultures. The husband can divorce his wife only if he supports her after the divorce. The economy is poor. There are not that many rich people because they have to give a lot of money to the poor. The society is united because of their religion. “Warrior Marks” illustrates the Islamic culture in Africa. Women are treated like animals. They take away there When the Jewish religion is centralized in an area, people tends to have a close bond to their neighbors and their religions is stringer. In the movie, “Black and Jew”, one of the Jewish members are killed by a black person. The Jewish community came together to try and stop the violence. It was an entire neighborhood that became united. Like the community, each individual family are united be a rich history full of traditions. A Jewish parent proudly passes down the rituals. It gives them a sense of connection to their ancestors. The family is close because of such traditions as praying and having a nice dinner on Fridays. This is very valuable in a busy world. Christianity is a religion that is not as strict as the previous religions I mentioned. Unlike Muslims, they do not have to make a trip anywhere, they pray when it is convenient, and they go to church every Sunday. It has some characteristics of Confucianism because it teaches similar social principles. For example, a person should respect their neighbors. Christianity does not believe in reincarnation like Buddhism. Ultimately, it is working out a relationship with God by being the best person you can be. This religion promotes a community among those who practice it. Families go to church on Sundays and respect the Sabbath. They follow the ten commandments that are basic moral principles. Although it promotes conformity, freewill allows for this to be broken. Which explains why the economy is (and was) a capital society. Greed and individualism come through as part of human nature. Confessing the sin of being greedy is easy and that clears the guilt but just to return to that behavior is just as simple. The different beliefs, ideas, and principle make up Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. In turn, these religions affect the kind of culture and economic stature of each civilization. It plays a large part in its history and future. For example, if Europe were not almost entirely Christian would they have had the Crusades? Definitely not. Writing about the different religions opened my eyes to other religions, I did not know that much about. I think if a person is deeply involved in a religion, seeing another religion objectively is hard. I think most of the religions I have written about have good aspects and some bad but that is with any religion. Overall, a religion is what a society makes of it and that changes over time as the culture changes.

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