Individual Integration Into Society: Religion Vs. Religious Practices

726 words - 3 pages

Throughout time, the definition of what is considered to be “religion” has been proven to be quite a challenge. This is primarily due to the fact that religions continuously evolve over time as well as an individual’s perception and understanding about what religion seems to be. Despite this ongoing process of modifications when attempting to characterize and define religion, what is certainly constant is the fact that religion plays a great role in influencing societies and individuals historically (McGuire 5). In order for an individual to well integrate oneself into society and build a daily life, religious practices is essential to this process. By analyzing the effects of religion and religious practices on communities and individuals, it will become apparent that religious practices are quite more important than religion itself and its institutions when it comes to helping one adjust into society and life.

Looking at religion and religious practices on a communal scale, this system and its communities and traditions facilitate and help create a sense of belonging and attachment to society for an individual. For immigrants, adapting to a new environment is not always an easy process and may feel alone and isolated when unable to smoothly integrate themselves. Paul W. Bowlby argues in Diasporic Religions in Canada: Opportunities and Challenges that despite being belittled by the critics of immigration and multiculturalism, religious communities represent the many important aspects of life of the community (45). It’s important to take note that in Canadian history, family and social life values has been defined and derived from religion and its way of life (Bowlby 46). In Canada, religious communities have been the main assistance and support for these new comers as they become accustomed to their new life and get settled in (Bowlby 45). In addition, these numerous and various religious communities have cooperated and worked together as a whole in order to build social life for its members and environments for worship (Bowlby 45). With religion and its communities giving citizens and especially immigrants a sense of attachment and belonging, there integration and relation with society becomes less challenging and stressful.

On the other hand, looking at the individual view of the influence of religion and...

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