We’ve heard presentations from an assortment of religious traditions and sociological perspectives and approaches to studying those religions in class this week. It has made me really question if religions can ever be truly generalized. I never realized how much variety there can be within any given religion. Also, the people themselves are within so many stages of life as well as stages of their religiosity
I myself have had very stagnant religiosity. I was born into the religion that I currently consider myself a part of. I went to a school that practiced that same religion and my entire family is a part of that faith. I guess for me the idea of converting and having a fluid religious experience seems extremely foreign. For that reason, the in-class presentations have been so enlightening and have taught me so much about variation and change within the religious spectrum. It leads me to a greater appreciation for religions as a whole. A metaphor for religion that has come to mind is higher education. Saying you have a college degree could mean a hundred different things, like saying you’re religious. If you have a college degree it could be in art, biology, English, etc. It could mean you studied online or it could mean you went to a large state school or a small liberal arts institution. It could also imply that you took three years to obtain that degree or ten. The same seems true with religion. Saying you’re religious or even saying you’re Jewish or Christian doesn’t really provide a clear idea of who you are. Religion is so broad and there is so much variation even within a particular group that it seems near impossible to make generalizations.