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Theology, Religion and Spirituality, Essay Example

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“Theology” is a term that is used to describe an effort to comprehend God as he is defined and presented in the Bible. In actuality, because God is considered to be on a higher plain than humans, He can never really be understood or explained fully by man so that efforts to understand or explain His actions are never actually adequate, as explained by the expression “God works in mysterious ways.” Human beings can never truly understand the rationale for God’s actions, so they need to be content with having faith that He knows what he is doing. Nevertheless, theology is meant to try to understand and “know” Him in a methodical and organized way. It is essentially the passing on to others the word of God. The process by which people try to understand God examines the Bible in an effort to determine what it reveals about God. The purpose of this is to come to glorify and love God, as well as to obey Him. In doing so, people’s lives can be enhanced by having a strong belief in the goodness of God, who is considered to be the beginning and end of all things. It is how many people are able to survive the terrible, incomprehensible things that happen to them or others in life, and people who have a strong belief in God feel that without this faith, life is destined to be an unhappy and miserable experience without rhyme or reason to explain why unfortunate things happen in the world.

The term “religion” is an extremely complex term to define because so many people describe it differently. It can simply be defined as  “religion is anything that gives one’s life meaning.” That an extremely broad definition, and can range from worship of a variety of figures, or God, to cultural expressions such as art, literature, and music. Many people would have trouble with the idea that, for instance, finding meaning in the work of certain artists, like Vincent van Gogh means that admiring van Gogh’s artwork could possibly qualify as a religion. One definition of religion is that it represents a strong belief in a divine authority that controls the fates of people. Religion can also be seen as an institution that is established to express or honor this divine power. In any case, however one defines religion, it seems that religion always involves a belief about sacred or divine powers that tends to explain the relationship between people and the universe in which they live. It proscribes a collection of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that, if followed, lead one to achieve a divine reward, which typically means entrance into Heaven; conversely, failing to follow those behaviors and beliefs will either prevent someone from entering Heaven and/or will sentence them to an eternal punishment, such as being banished to Hell.

“Spirituality” is a term that is used to describe a person’s inner life, or soul, in contrast to the material world. It is meant to describe the human spirit that is completely unrelated to physical comfort, but rather, refers to a connection to religious values. It is the essential nature of a human being, it can be the process of discovering our own sense of self through a process of introspection. Unlike religion, spirituality tends not to be organized and formal, but rather the adoption of a personal philosophy by which to live, and may include a creative direction or outlet such as art, music, or literature.

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