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Challenges Of Religious Pluralism Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

For centuries, religion in America has been more of a family affair. What this means is that despite the different groupings, almost all major religions have been united under the same American experience. Almost all the main religious denominations have been required to conform to the dictates of Protestantism. Maybe this has been derived from the belief that almost all of these groupings have been responsible for shaping America as we know it today. However, many things have happened in the past few decades to change the way religions have been conducting themselves. One theme that has overly changed over the years is that of pluralism. For many years, America has been a haven of different groupings of people. The British immigration brought with it a different ideology since they lacked unification in their own religious beliefs. This essay seeks to show how the Roman Catholic Church adapted to the challenge of religious pluralism in the American republic by modifying European notions of religious tradition. The adaptations of traditions within the Roman Catholic Church enabled them to be relevant within the communities.
If there is a single, religious grouping that has held on to its beliefs in the fast changing world, it is the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is perhaps the single biggest denomination in the world. To date, the church stands by the teachings it practiced from the beginning of its inception. With the British colonization of America, most churches left behind their morals or had to change them a bit to conform to the England church belief on morals. The Catholic Church in what is referred to as “moral theology” has continuously upheld morality in the society. This theory is closely linked to natural law that many people believe in. In fact, this law can be traced back to a thirteenth century philosopher by the name of Aquinas. This philosopher incorporated the grouping of Aristotle in to Christianity. According to this law, all-important human principles have a proper reason that is dictated by nature. An example of this is sexual intercourse whose main goal is procreation. The church has repeatedly fought the use of contraceptives as a means of family planning arguing that it contravenes Gods purpose of procreation. To devout Catholics, this is a sign of immorality and should therefore be fought by all people of good will. Influence from outside has caused scholars in the church to question such things as sexuality in its different forms. This has called the church to realize, that society has changed and that there is need for the church to change too.
Another area where the Catholic Church has modified its activities to suit European notions is on the issue of penance. Traditionally, the practice was administered on a very personal basis. In the process of penitents, those seeking forgiveness, would kneel in a specially made box known as the confessional. Usually, this box consisted of screens that divided...

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