Minor Essay: Religion and Spirituality Example

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Theories of religion and spirituality


Many theories have come out to define the origin of religion and spirituality, in regards to theologies the origin of both spirituality and religion has evolved just for the nature of children. There are a good number of theories that have been formed in regard to the explanation of the origin of most of the organized religious practices and the idea of spirituality (Kurtz 51-101). According to a great anthropologist named Bouma Gary it was clear that many of the religions in the world that were deemed great appear to have come through revitalization movements that were of some way, just as a vision of some charismatic prophet it gives fire the imagination of some people who were greatly seeking answers to their problems than as they feel as it is provided by the everyday living (Kurtz 51-101).Many people who are highly charismatic have always appeared in the world from different places and over different times. It is very clear that the key to long term triumph just as many religious and spiritual movements come and go they have impact with minimal effects, the impact is suggested to have very little to do with the prophets of the religion who appear regularly and in a surprising way, but is has been known to have something to do with the expansion a strong cluster of supporters who have been known to be able to institutionalize the association (Geertz 87-125).

The expansion of both religion and spirituality has always developed in diverse forms according to different cultures. Religions have different things that they put emphasis, (Ninian 25-67)for example some put emphasis in belief while others put emphasis in spirituality and others mainly emphasize in practicing the religion. One other thing that differ with religions is what they put focus on for example the religious individuals and other religions put a lot of focus in the activities of the entire religious community on the fore front (Kurtz 51-101). One of the other beliefs that some religions and spiritualities belief is the universality of their laws, some religions have strong convictions that there are entirely universal and that their laws apply to every other individual while some other religions their guiding law are defined to be put into practice and followed by only a group of closely defined or a confined to a small area group who deeply belief in the religion,(Ninian 25-67)in many places throughout the world both spirituality and religion are known to be associated with the public institutions which can include families, the government of a nation, hospitals and even educational programs(Geertz 87-125).

According to the anthropologist it is very clear that the main purpose of both the religion and spirituality is to help us in finding the solution to most of the problems that greatly affect the peaceful existence of the human race and those that are known to be persistent and can’t be dealt with naturally by human power (Kurtz 51-101). The most important way in which the religion and spirituality succeed in solving the problems that persist and are intolerable is by giving the human race a set of ideas that concerns exactly how and the reasons why the world has been put together this ideas allow many people with problems to accommodate their anxieties and deal well with their problems (Geertz 87-125).

Another modern theory of religion that is entirely academic is the social constructionism which clearly states that religion and spirituality is a contemporary day notion that which suggest all the spiritual practice and the worship has a regular representation that is likely the same as the Abrahamic religions as an course organization that helps to greatly in interpreting the authenticity and give a meaning to human beings (Kurtz 51-101). The mainly significant proponents of this particular religious and spiritual theory include Bouma Gary, Kurtz, Lester and Van Gennep. Most of the known social constructionist has an argument that religion is a cotemporary idea and that it developed from Christianity which was initially practiced in and applied in the non-western culture of the world (Kurtz 51-101).

Kurtz who is an anthropologist prefer to use the word cosmographic formation, this particular vocabulary has the meaning that most religions have evolved over so many years and nobody can clearly understand it growth by relying only on the unswerving use of the terminology, this term is known to cancel of give a minimal relevance of history in the development of religion and spirituality. Kurtz refer the term cosmographic formation to as religion; he states that with the materialization of religion just as a category that is totally different from both the culture and the society, religious studies have come up (Kurtz 51-101).

The main purpose of the religious studies was mainly to show the superiority of the living or just the universal Europeans to the dead or the wide spread ethnic regions throughout the world, it was also purpose to spread the teleological scheme of Schleiermacher and Tele all over the entire world as the ideal religiousness and spirituality(Kurtz 51-101). Due to the continuous shifting of the theological currents in the world, this ideology was finally supplanted by a very liberal and ecumenical attention in the search the western approach which is the worldwide truths in every other traditional culture (Geertz 87-125).

According to driver, religion and spirituality is not universal feature noticed in every other culture, but it is was just but an idea that first came into being in Europe, this was under the great influence of Christianity. He greatly argues that from just about fourth century, the western parts of Europe and the rest of the world had greatly diverged in the ideology of religion and spirituality (Geertz 87-125). With time Christianity continued to become a common thing among the people in the Western Europe and a charismatic authority which was identified by an individual by the name Augustine, the charismatic authority can be identified in the contemporary society as religiousness, this authority exerted a lot of influencing pressure among the local people at that time (Victor. 327-339). During the protestestant reformation time Christianity had become closely associated with the political agendas and the church had virtually lost its dominance which it had gained initially and religion was recast at the time as the main basis for sovereignty of the nation (Victor. 327-339).

Comparative study of religion and spirituality is one of the most known theories of religion and spirituality that was developed by Geertz Clifford; it is the comparative study of both the religion and spirituality as an academic discipline which has greatly been developed within the faculty of Christian theological centers (Geertz 87-125). The study has the tendency of forcing the widely varied phenomena into a Christian owned pattern. The problem is not only that many other religions are likely to have nothing entirely to say about the burning questions that are important to Christianity, but it may make other regions see themselves as less of a religion (Clifford 124-256).


There are many dimensions that have been developed relating to spirituality and religion, the above critical points analyzing the dimensions and theoretical concepts brings out clearly that the origin of religion and spirituality can not be clearly identified and that the theories only give suggestion of the origin of the ideology.

Individual participating in different religions have a different belief in the origin of their religion, hence, it is not good to criticize the dimension of either the origin or the state in which a religion of an individual is, respect within the religions should prevail and therefore people should understand that ones religion is sanctified to his/her beliefs.


Clifford, Geertz. Excerpts from Religion as a Cultural System. New York: Basic Books , 1973.

D, Bouma Gary. «Social Organisation of Transcendence. Via RELN1000.» Religion: meaning, transcendence (1992): 67-84.

Geertz, C. «Religion as a cultural system.» The interpretation of cultures: (1993): 87-125.

Kurtz, Lester R. «Beliefs, rituals, and institutions. Gods in the.» Thousand Oaks, CA.Pine Forge Press,ch. 3 (1995): 51-101.

Ninian, Smart. The religious experience of mankind. 2 nd ed. New: Scribner., (1976):25-67

Ninian, Smart. Worldviews: crosscultural explorations of human. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Van, Gennep Arnold. The rites of passage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960.

Victor., Turner. «Liminality and communitas.» Reader in the (2008): 327-339.