World Religions Chapter 2 3 Essay

1314 words - 6 pages

1.) A.) Name and discuss several the major theories of the origin of religion. There are several theories of the origin of religion. The first theory of the origin of religion is the animistic theory, Theorized by Herbert Spencer. The Animistic theory theorizes that the gods of the primitive people were founded on dreams of the recently deceased. The theory basically means that the primitive people believed that there dreams where visions of another world; and they believed that their leaders and hero’s went their after death. While this Theory has a ring of truth to it, the jump to believing there another world because of a dream seems drastic. This theory was later expanded. Another theory of the origin of religion is the nature worship theory. The theory of nature worship is that the primitive people saw the beautiful world around them and decided to make it their own. To make their world personalized they named things that they saw, and through the process of time their actions became myths, which eventually founded religions. This theory seems to give the primitive people too much credit, and therefore I do not believe it. The Third origin theory of religion is the theory of Original Monotheism. Original Monotheism states that the oldest cultures had a base knowledge and understanding of one true high God. The theory further states that this high God held many values and strengths of other cultures version of a high God. This theory is obviously based from a Christian mindset. The Magic theory states that the primitive culture tried to control the world with magic, but when this failed they developed religion as a replacement. This theory just seems to go to far, and is borderline mystical in its presentation. The theory of religion as a projection of human needs is the most valid of all the theories for me. It states that the needs of man created a god and religion. The theory further explains that because of mans weaknesses and insecurity’s pushed him into creating a powerful being who could help and protect. Whether or not this is true, it is true that man needs a God, whether the god is real or not.
. b) Discuss the type of religion known as “animism.” Edward Taylor theorized the religion of Animism; and it states that people originally saw the world as being full of spirits and souls. And through this understanding of nature they developed religion. In basic terms, they believe nature has is alive and has feelings. The Animistic way of life is one that worships nature. Although other religions may not base their soul on worshiping nature, it seems like many religions have a touch of animism within them. The most surprising religion to hold animism was Christianity; I was shocked to see that Christians do in fact bring evergreen trees into their house on Christmas. I believe that Animism is a valid and powerful religion. The basis of the religion is worship of the earth, so even if you are not worshiping a God you are...

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