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Research paper topic: Differring Religions - 1226 words
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Differring Religions Each religious group possesses its own individual world- view. Two groups, which vary a great deal when reflecting upon their world-views are the Native Americans and the Puritans. While one group holds one set of standards and beliefs to be true, the other group abides by a completely opposite set of ideas. The Native American religion functions using its own world view. Unlike in Western religions, the Native American religion does not have certain places in which they need to be more religious than others do.
In the Native American religion there is no notion of essential monotheism. There is no one true god in their religion; therefore they are free to have open-ended worship. The Native American religion is also made up of a pluralist belief. This means that different tribes have different myths and rituals, although they are all part of the same religion. In the handout, Franciscans and Indian Revolt, the idea that the world-view of Native American religion differs from many others is evident.
The main conflict in this reading is that men dominate most positions in religious power. The Shaman, the Native American religious leader, manipulated the people through rituals and trances. He was said to possess supernatural powers. The Shaman was both feared and admired by the Native Americans. He was known to have the ability to either heal a sick man, or kill him.
It was these types of powers, which set him apart from the Jesuit priest in the reading. Originally the Native Americans despised the entire Jesuit religion. The hated their clothing, their ideas, the way they went about their lives, etc. However, the Jesuits immunity to disease made the Native Americans take notice of them. It was through this that they began to admire their powers.
The Native Americans saw the Jesuits as sorcerers, just as the Jesuits saw them. The Jesuits ritual of baptism made the Indians believe that Jesuits had the power to kill people with water. The Jesuits were also able to read and write, which greatly impressed the Native Americans. In the reading French Views of Native Americans, the Native-Americans are described as they are I say, savage, haunting the woods, ignorant, lawless and rude. They reading continues to go on referring to them as wanderers and basically a senseless use of human life.
The French formed these opinions of the Native Americans when they went to them to try and convert them to Catholicism. The Native Americans had difficulty acquiring the new language, which left the French men angry and frustrated. This entire reading explains why the French men have such a great hatred of the Native Americans, however they will continue to try to convert the Native American people to Christian and Catholic belief. Many of the world-views of the Native American religion are quite different from those of the Puritans. The Puritan religion was once the central part of American identity.
Unlike the Native Americans, the Puritans were a highly intellectual group. They had systems of meticulously written doctrines concerning the Renaissance. The Puritans also had a sense of adventure, which serves a higher intent. By having this characteristic they seek to create a better society. This is the opposite of what the French believed the Native Americans to be doing. According to the French reading they are wanderers, with nothing to attach them to a place, neither homes nor relationships, neither possessions nor love of country.
This description is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Puritan life. The Puritans attribute their want for a better society to their pioneering spirit. They had the courage to come from England and settle their families in a new place and begin an entire new life with no guarantee of success. Puritans focus their religious beliefs around the notion of the covenant. This is yet another example of the difference between Puritan and Native American world-views. The Native Americans do not have one central ideal to follow, nor one God to praise. The covenant is the basic doctrine of Puritan experience.
It is the notion that God makes people his own good people. There are three parts to the Puritan covenant. The first part is grace. This is the idea that few are chosen for salvation by God. The elected few live a life of faithful obedience to demonstrate that they are a member of the covenant of grace.
The second part the covenant deals with the social aspect. This is when the Puritans agree to live according to principles of the bible in order to have God bless the community as a whole. The church is the third aspect of the covenant. This is when people agree that each of them is a Christian and they become a church community. They are not longer subject to any outside authority, and therefore only agree to follow the rules of God.
These three parts make up the covenant, which is a staple on the Puritans beliefs. There is nothing even remotely similar in the Native American religion; therefore proving once again how different each groups world-views are from one another. There are two institutions of Puritan life. They are family and church. Families are the center of the community in Puritan life. They are known to create stability and loyalty in the town.
A family in the view of the Puritans also helps to create cultural stability, which enables each generation of a family to pass down Puritan ideas, beliefs and ways of living to the following generation. The church is a predominant pillar in Puritan towns. It was known as a meeting house. It brought religion and politics together. It tried to bring religion and society together in and for the glory of God. This is the direct opposite of Native American ideas.
In the Native American religion there is no specific place where it is important to worship, unlike the Puritans who base a large part of the worshipping at church. A major difference between Puritan and Native American religion, as previously discussed, is the idea of one God. The Native Americans do not hold the idea of monotheism true, while the Puritans strictly believe in it. This is discussed throughout the reading A Model of Christian Charity, along with the Puritan system of a covenant. It restates the idea of obeying one God, and following the ideas of the covenant along with the commandments.
It also discusses the vital need for a close knit community, yet another Puritan belief. As written in the text, every man might have need of other, and hence they might be all knit more nearly together in the bond of brotherly affection. This is simply the idea of having a community, which is a main factor in Puritan life. There are many differences, which separate the Native American religion from the Puritan religion. Their God, their way of life and their belief system take two different paths.
One group has a set of ideas which they feel are correct and appropriate to live by, while the other group has world-views which they expect are the right ways to follow the religion in which they believe. The Puritan religion and the Native American religion may have very little, if nothing, in common, however they both served their people well. Religion Essays.
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