What would you include in your own definition of religion?
Essay – What is Religion?
Due: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
For this paper, use the material that we have discussed in class to reflect on your own
understanding of religion. What would you include in your own definition of religion? What makes an
experience “religious”? Are there certain characteristics or dimensions that all religions have? How are
religions different? Does a religion have to include a belief in God to be considered a religion? These
are some of the questions you can consider when formulating your definition. You should utilize class
material in your answer in order to demonstrate your understanding of the characteristics of the
academic study of religions as historical and embodied realities (SLO 1).
Something to keep in mind: theology is different from religion. Theology is “a reflection upon
the faith experience within a particular tradition.” In other words, theology does not just explain what
religious people believe, but it is the actual religious people, having religious experiences, and trying to
explain how they relate to the world. Keep in mind how religion differs from theology as you think
about your answer.
Follow the formatting guidelines in the syllabus (1 inch margins, 12pt Times New Roman font); however,
since this paper does not require outside research, you may just cite the author’s last name and page
numbers (inline and without any footnotes or works cited page) for any class readings you use.
However, if you do cite any outside sources, be sure to include a works cited page according to the
formatting guidelines (none are required). Papers should be 1-2 pages. Grading will reflect
organization, grammar/syntax, use of class material, and content. This paper is 7.5% of your grade (75
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