The Study of World Religions

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Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Religion & Theology ・MLA ・1 Sources

Religion is very important in people's lives. Although the population of different parts of the world grows on an annual basis, the majority of people adhere to various religions. The aim of this paper is to explore and discuss the ideas of world religions, as well as their importance and utility in today's diverse world. Religious diversity is a basic idea that all must practice in light of recent global social, technological, and political developments. The research of world religions is the most important way to develop religious diversity.
The importance of studying world religions cannot be overstated. For starters, religious studies will help you stay updated with social movements. Globalization results in the movement of persons from different regions of the globe for various reasons such as education and business. Currently, many neighborhoods comprise of people with diverse cultural and spiritual background. The only means of ensuring that one is adaptable to all the religious and cultural trends of the persons living in their neighborhood is to dedicate their time and other resources in understanding their religions and cultures.
Secondly, every religion has its cultures and norms that dictate how people should live and interact. Studying world religions is crucial as it introduces scholars to multiple customs, norms, and values that might differ from the ones that they ascribe to. World religion literature guide students on how to deal with diversity while presenting connections among religions. Therefore, the study of world religion presents a universal point of viewing and addressing religious differences leading to tolerance.
Religious tolerance is a key virtue that everyone must practice owing to the current global social, economic and political trends. Religious differences spark numerous conflicts that exist in different regions of the world. For instance, some religions have spirituals wars that define their enemies as those from other spiritual backgrounds. Tolerance is one of the primary objectives of religious studies. Therefore, the key means of acquiring religious endurance is through the study of world religions.
The study of world religions is also crucial in overcoming stereotypes. Despite the positive attributes of globalization in enhancing religious studies, stereotypes have emerged and been spread through globalization. Different religions are linked to diverse negative attributes. For instance, the Islamic community has on several occasions been linked to terrorism due to their religious teachings. Studying world religions is beneficial in glimpsing the wisdom that the faiths entail and overcoming stereotypes. Esposito et al. (7) state that “to judge one’s religion without understanding it and what it means to its members is to “prejudice” them.” Therefore, the study of the religions across the globe is instrumental is encouraging tolerance that helps in reducing prejudice caused by stereotyping.
The final relevance of studying the spiritual guidelines of the all the people across the globe is that it aids in understanding the ways of dealing with different life occurrences such as mortality. According to Esposito et al. (23) “Each of the great religious traditions addressed the problem of mortality.” The study of world religions is crucial as it enlightens people on how every community handle diverse social issues. Death is an issue that faces all the individuals from diverse religious backgrounds. However, the means that people deal with mortality varies with their cultures. Therefore, liturgical studies broaden the scholars’ understanding of the connection the exists between the religions and cultures of people across the globe. Religions also have myths, sacredness, and rituals. Studying world religions provides an avenue for comparing and contrasting the religious views and opinions of the myths and rituals.
The notion presented by Esposito et al. (6) that “To understand other religions is no longer an ‘elective’ activity that one might do just because it is interesting,” is true and justified. Initially, scholars took classes on world religions since they thought that other spiritual backgrounds were better off than others or that some religious norms were interesting. However, globalization and other social forces have made the world religious studies almost mandatory. The success of the 21st-century interactions is highly dependent on the understanding of the diverse cultural backgrounds of other people. Esposito states that the current neighborhoods comprise of people that are not only culturally diverse but also religious and linguistically different (7). Therefore, the study of world religion is slowly changing from being an elective to be a requirement. 
The dynamicity of the globe has tremendously changed world religious studies from being an elective to a requirement. Businesspeople strive to venture into new markets that they see the potential for growth and expansions while philanthropists conduct charity activities in places that they see there is a need. People also tend to move to regions with best social amenities, political stability, and potential professional growth. Therefore, the dynamic nature of the world forces interactions among people of diverse cultures and have changed the regions that were perceived to be aligned to a particular religion to multicultural places. Therefore, the study of world religions has become mandatory for people who migrate due to global economic, political and social pressures.
The religious tradition of the Middle East that elaborates on the level of importance of studying world religions is their teaching on mortality. In the Middle East, death is perceived as the “Union with God at the end of time, which leads to the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.” The study of world religion provides an avenue for comparing and contrasting spiritual backgrounds thereby enhancing the virtue of tolerance and accommodativeness. The handling or mortality and the beliefs associated with it are common among many religions. However, the means in which the dead manifest is the key distinguishing feature of the different spiritual backgrounds. 
In summary, with the current global social, economic and political trends, religious tolerance is a fundamental virtue that everyone must practice. The key means of acquiring religious tolerance is through the study of world religions. Religious studies are central to the understanding of the various spiritual backgrounds of the persons that we interact with on daily occasions.

Work Cited

Esposito, John L, Darrell J Fasching, and Todd Lewis. World Religions Today. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

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