I was recently engaged in a fascinating conversation on religion and truth. In this discussion, we pondered about how truth can viewed in the context of religion, and if it even can. It was brought up that churches cannot boast to contain a fullness of truth, as no religion can answer every question it is asked. If you asked a catholic a question pertaining to physics or biochemistry or electrical engineering, they would most likely be unable to open the Holy Bible to a verse that would solve your problem. But what if religion is not meant to contain physical truths? I believe that religion shapes worldviews more than anything else. Rather than providing evidential truth for difficult questions, religion shapes personal truths.
Think of religion as a pair of glasses. Some glasses have pink lenses. Some have clear lenses. Some may be large frames, whereas some might be contact lenses! In every case, the glasses one chooses to wear or not to wear affect how they see the world. Not everyone perceives truth the same way, but whether the shirt looks pink to one person but white to another does not matter! What matters is that they are both correct. According to each of their world views, the way they see the world is different. No one is more right than the other. I liken the study of sociology of religion to this analogy. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to study religion through a sociological perspective rather than a theological one, as I tend to veer theological myself. However, I now understand that theologians study the glasses themselves, whereas sociologists study how the world is perceived through those glasses. Though they may seem similar, they are in actuality far more different than they may seem. Both have their merits and downfalls and both reveal new truths in the study of religion.