RELI 448N Week 1 Assignment: Understanding Religion Essay

RELI 448N Week 1 Assignment: Understanding Religion Essay

RELI 448N Week 1 Assignment: Understanding Religion Essay

Characteristics of Religion

The characteristics of religion explain the principles and practices to help someone understand the concepts of that religion. Discussing the 8 key characteristics regarding a religion, these are as follows:

Belief system: A set of hypothetical arguments and opinions to form a strong faith in that particular religion.

Culture or traditions: Cultural and traditional values that became part of that belief system.

Sacramental rituals: These are interconnected with the culture as rituals define the festivals and customs.

Moral and Ethics: Basic ethics and manners to make religion more applicable in a society

Law obedience: The religion states a law system which is applied in the region for its followers to accept at all cost.

Sacredness: A sense of purity that makes the religion pious and devout

Myths or Theology: A collective way of expressing the religion, including spiritual texts in form of literature and guidelines.

Emotional connection: Like faith, the emotional connection involves spirituality and mysticism that influence others.

Two of the most important characteristics, in that case, are moral/ethics and belief system. These two characteristics explain the core crux of any religion as it provides the moral principles and pragmatic approach of religion. Furthermore, these two characteristics are applicable in any part of the religion and it is most needed behind the influence circle of religion. The belief system defines the will to believe in terms of forming faith based on theology or myth. It is a psychological characteristic that makes a human belief to follow the theological religion blindly (Yonker, 2016). For example, in Abrahamic religions, the basic fundamental principle is to have blind faith in one true god. Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all have to follow the one true God and that is inspired by the same theological scripture. Other polytheistic religions put their strong faith in believing that the idols or other lesser god will bless them in their daily lives. Hence, in any religion, there is a need to form a belief system that is inspired by myth or theology to have blind faith.

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The second one is as important because the hypothetical argument that forms the following belief system requires ethics. This is why I have selected this because it is applicable in a personal and professional setting. The moral characteristics including saving the life of fellow human being or basic human manner of caring for someone is most needed in personal as well as professional life (Gensler, 2016). Following the clinical practice profession, these moral values in form of spiritual guidance give me a reason to accept the religion. Almost every religion has basic human morality and ethics that correlate with the medical field and it is needed in my clinical practice. Caring for others in a medical profession is the fundamental characteristics and for that, both strong morals and belief system is needed. Personally, it would help any medical professionals and a common person to live by moral ethics in their religion, giving the reason to believe in that particular belief system. 


Callahan, S. (2016, October 10). William James’ defense of faith was liberating. National Catholic Reporter.

Gensler, H. J. (2016). Ethics and religion. Cambridge University Press.

Yonker, J. E., Edman, L. R., Cresswell, J., & Barrett, J. L. (2016). Primed analytic thought and religiosity: The importance of individual characteristics. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality8(4), 298.