The Seven Dimensions of Christianity
According to Ninian Smart, the seven dimensions of religion include practical and ritual, emotional and experiential, narrative and mythical, ethical and legal, doctrinal and philosophical, social and institutional, and material. The practical and ritual dimension involves rituals and practices that provide spiritual awareness of adherents. The emotional and experiential dimension includes the life changing experiences that either the leaders or followers of a religion go through. Narrative and mythical dimension are the stories and past records that preserve tradition and culture in the religion. Ethical and legal dimension of the religion are basically the codes of behavior that are followed and expected within the religion. The doctrinal and philosophical dimension is the belief system created by leaders for believers. Social and Institutional dimension is the organizational structure of the religion. Last but not least the material dimension includes works of people and preservation of sacred places creating symbolic representation of traditional beliefs. Using these seven dimensions, we will explore how they can be interpreted in the religion of Christianity.
The material dimension of this religion like a majority of the other Christian faiths is the bible, sure there are different forms including the King James Version or the New International Version, but they only vary in minor aspects when in reality they all pretty much have the same content. They believe that the scriptures are inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind. Christianity is different from Judaism and Islam when it comes to sacred places because it doesn’t really have a main place that is universal to all Christians like the other two. The bible is the sacred object, which contains the traditional beliefs and teachings passed down from the start of the religion itself. It is the guidelines that are there for us to use to keep in check, and also sometimes the answers to any unanswered questions. The narrative/mythical dimension also applies to the bible in Christianity, because as stated above it is a collection of stories and teachings that have been written and preserved by ancient generations. These stories have all come together to form the bible which consists of hundreds of stories found in the 66 books in either the old or New Testament. These stories were written by different prophets and individuals who lived through the events and wrote them down. Also there are parts of the bible that contain teachings from Jesus when he was on earth and also God. Theologians have studied the bible for years, and continue to study it to find a better understanding of the religion of Christianity [and even Judaism, with regards to the Old Testament].
The doctrinal and philosophical dimension, also known as the ultimate beliefs of this religion is based on a couple main values. As you know Christianity is a...