For the final essay I would like you interview someone (18 and over) about the role of religion in his or her life. For the interview prepare a few open-ended questions that will allow your interviewee to discuss their beliefs and how their beliefs shape their worldview and their daily lives. Be sure to ask questions that aren’t judgmental and are open ended. The interview should last roughly 30-45 minutes (at least), and should be more of a conversation. Interviews, if not someone who is in quarantine with you, may be conducted via FaceTime, Skype, phone, etc. They MAY NOT be conducted via email. In the case it can be made up but make it realistic please.

QUESTION

For many, religion is a powerful force in their life and in society. Though there is a misconception that we live in a secular society, we can, in fact, see religion all around us. This may be the practice of religion or many aspects of culture that have been shaped by religion.

Over the course of the semester, we are going to survey religion in the context of power, gender, society, the environment and politics (to name a few topics). I would like you to take this opportunity to see that this is not something far removed, and rather a force that we can see in the world—that this is not something abstract that can only be studies on the pages of books.

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For the final essay I would like you interview someone (18 and over) about the role of religion in his or her life. For the interview prepare a few open-ended questions that will allow your interviewee to discuss their beliefs and how their beliefs shape their worldview and their daily lives. Be sure to ask questions that aren’t judgmental and are open ended. The interview should last roughly 30-45 minutes (at least), and should be more of a conversation. Interviews, if not someone who is in quarantine with you, may be conducted via FaceTime, Skype, phone, etc. They MAY NOT be conducted via email. In the case it can be made up but make it realistic please.
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For the final essay I would like you interview someone (18 and over) about the role of religion in his or her life. For the interview prepare a few open-ended questions that will allow your interviewee to discuss their beliefs and how their beliefs shape their worldview and their daily lives. Be sure to ask questions that aren’t judgmental and are open ended. The interview should last roughly 30-45 minutes (at least), and should be more of a conversation. Interviews, if not someone who is in quarantine with you, may be conducted via FaceTime, Skype, phone, etc. They MAY NOT be conducted via email. In the case it can be made up but make it realistic please.

Areas for consideration: what meaning or feeling does religion and religious community hold for the person? What role does it play in their lives as individuals, a group, and members of society?
How does the religious ideology of the group shape their worldview, moral beliefs, and their identity? How are these beliefs communicated symbolically and literally? How are these beliefs enacted and how does this give them emotional power? Are they part of a community? How is their community organized? What role does the community play in their life? How do their religious community and beliefs relate to society more broadly? ***How do their religion and beliefs support or challenge course material? Explain.
These are just a few questions for consideration.

****Once you have conducted the interview please write a coherent and cohesive essay that explores the role of religion and how religion functions based on the interview. You must have a thesis. And, you must engage course material. You will not be able to include everything that you discussed, but focus on the few points that really stuck out, or shaped the conversation. Be sure that you share what religion the person practices, and some information about the interviewee and their community.

Your essay should be 4-5 double-spaced pages, in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with 1” margins.

Essays will be graded for (1) whether or not the issue/question is addressed; (2) sophistication of response (degree of comparison/contrast; original thinking and drawing of conclusions rather than mere summary and regurgitation); (3) the organization, presentation of your essay, clarity of writing (proof read!), and carefulness of presentation (proof read!). Again, you must have a thesis.

ANSWER

The Role of Religion: A Personal Journey

Introduction

Religion, as a powerful force, permeates the lives of individuals and society, shaping worldviews, moral beliefs, and identities. In this essay, I explore the role of religion based on an interview with John, a practicing Christian. Through our conversation, I aim to understand the meaning and significance of religion in his life, the influence of religious ideology on his worldview and moral beliefs, and the role of his religious community in shaping his identity and relationship with society. By delving into John’s experiences, we gain insights into how religion functions in a personal context and its broader impact on individuals and communities.

Thesis

Through my interview with John, it becomes evident that religion serves as a source of meaning, community, and moral guidance in his life, shaping his worldview and providing emotional power. The Christian ideology forms the foundation for his beliefs, which are communicated through symbolic and literal means. John’s religious community plays a pivotal role in his life, organizing his religious practices and connecting him with a broader societal context. These findings highlight the dynamic interplay between religion and individual experiences, shedding light on its profound impact on personal and social realms.

Religion as a Source of Meaning and Community

For John, religion holds deep personal meaning and provides a sense of purpose in life. As a Christian, his faith offers a spiritual connection with a higher power, giving him solace, hope, and guidance (Koenig, 2012). Through religious practices such as prayer, worship, and reading sacred texts, John feels a profound connection to God and experiences a sense of transcendence.

Furthermore, religion provides a sense of community and belonging for John. Being part of a religious congregation allows him to form meaningful relationships, find support, and engage in collective rituals and traditions. His Christian community fosters a sense of unity, reinforcing shared values and providing a support network during challenging times. John emphasizes the importance of communal worship and fellowship, highlighting how his religious community plays a vital role in his life.

The Influence of Religious Ideology on Worldview and Moral Beliefs

John’s religious beliefs, grounded in Christian ideology, shape his worldview and moral compass. His faith provides a framework through which he interprets the world and understands his purpose within it. The teachings of Christianity guide his decision-making process and ethical considerations.

Christianity instills in John a set of moral beliefs centered around compassion, forgiveness, and love for others. He strives to embody these principles in his interactions with others and views them as fundamental to leading a virtuous life (Meet The Need, n.d.). By adhering to his religious convictions, John finds guidance and a sense of moral clarity, enabling him to navigate ethical dilemmas and make choices aligned with his faith.

Symbolic and Literal Communication of Beliefs

Religious beliefs are communicated to John both symbolically and literally. Symbolic representations, such as religious symbols, rituals, and sacred spaces, hold deep meaning and convey the core tenets of his faith. The cross, for instance, serves as a powerful symbol of Christ’s sacrifice and redemption. Religious rituals, such as baptism and communion, act as tangible expressions of faith, reinforcing the significance of religious beliefs.

Moreover, John emphasizes the importance of the Bible, the central religious text, as a literal communication of his faith. Through scripture, he finds guidance, moral teachings, and narratives that shape his understanding of God’s will and the Christian way of life. The Bible’s authority and relevance in John’s daily life underscore the literal communication of his religious beliefs.

The Role of the Religious Community

John’s religious community plays a pivotal role in his life, providing a support system and opportunities for spiritual growth (The Role of Community in Discipleship | Cru, n.d.). The community organizes various religious activities, including worship services, Bible study groups, and outreach programs, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

The religious community also serves as a bridge between individual beliefs and broader societal contexts. John’s congregation engages in charitable initiatives, advocating for social justice, and addressing community needs. Through these collective efforts, John’s religious community actively contributes to society, aligning their beliefs with social issues and challenges.

Conclusion

Through the interview with John, we gain insights into the role of religion in an individual’s life. For John, his Christian faith provides meaning, a sense of community, and moral guidance. The Christian ideology shapes his worldview and moral beliefs, communicated through symbolic and literal means. His religious community plays a significant role, organizing religious practices and connecting him with broader societal concerns. Understanding the multifaceted nature of religion enriches our understanding of its impact on individuals and society, highlighting the ways in which religious beliefs can support or challenge existing course material.

References

Koenig, H. G. (2012). Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications. Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications, 2012, 1–33. https://doi.org/10.5402/2012/278730

Meet The Need. (n.d.). Church. Meet the Need Blog. https://meettheneed.org/blog/tag/church/ 

The Role of Community in Discipleship | Cru. (n.d.). Cru.org. https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/help-others-grow/discipleship/the-role-of-community-in-discipleship.html 

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