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Religion & Theology
English (U.S.)
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Religious practices (Essay Sample)


The instructions of this paper required one to provide detailed information on the similarity and differences that coexist in different religions. The sample paper begins by providing some information on the role played by Stephen Prothero in informing the U.S citizens about different religions. It further relates the opinions provided by Prothero to that of Pope Paul VI. Towards the end, it expounds on the differences that exist between different religions.

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Religious Practices
Stephen Prothero, a specialist in American religion, is currently a professor at Boston University. He is known of writing good religious books. He is also remembered of receiving an award for his remarkable book The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott. In addition to writing many books, Prothero also took part in writing religious magazines and newspapers. He majored in writing diverse spiritual books, magazines and articles with the intention of informing the Americans about the existence of many religious practices in the world.
Despite of the diversity in religious practices, most religions share some common aspects. For instance, Prothero argues that all religions that exist in the world have faith on something; all religions believe in existence of either supernatural powers or supernatural being. Prothero also expounds on how almost all religions prefer peace, love and understanding to information pertaining to the love of God (Prothero, 9). It is also true that there is no religious practice that supports murder or sexual practices between parents and offspring’s. According to Prothero, it is also evident that all religious practices in the world have commandments and sacred books that govern their spiritual practices. In his writing, Prothero also claims that evil and good deeds in diverse societies have great relation with existing religions in the world. For instance, he argues that the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India was influenced by religious practice in India. However, he also used the case of Jim Crow in supporting the importance of religious practices in diverse societies (Prothero, 11). According to Prothero, religious practice played a crucial role towards ending Crow’s discrimination law. All religions provide not only broad explanation on the origin of life and death, but also expound on how diverse religions are organized into institutions that meet in sacred places.
Despite of the existence of numerous factors that unify religious practices in the world, it is also evident that some factors contribute to existence of diversity among them. It is also evident that not all religious practices teach same doctrines. In addition to performing different rituals, religious practices have also different goals. For instance, Prothero argues that Christians do not visit pilgrims as Muslims. On the other hand, Muslims differ from Christians by not practicing baptism. Unlike Buddhists who believe in inexistency of God, many religions in the world believe in existence of diverse supernatural beings. For instance, the Jews believe in existence of only one God, whereas the Hindu believes in many gods. Religions also differ in opinions concerning the formation of God. According to Prothero, Mormons believe in God having a tangible body, whereas the Muslims believe that God does not have a physical body.
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI was born in late September 1897 at Concesio as Giovanni Battista. He studied canon law at Gregorian University. He was ordained in 1920 and worked for over thirty years as a Papal Secretariat. He once worked as a chaplain while teaching at Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici. He was appointed as an Archbishop of Milan in late 1954. He was elected Pope in late 1963 after the death of Pope John XXIII. As a pope, Paul advanced the religious practices worldwide. He is remembered of his reformation in religious practices. He took part in advocating for the use of artificial birth controls (Sherbok, 235).
Just as Prothero, Pope Paul VI believed in unifying spiritual practices. He was a conservative leader; he enforced most of the past traditions in carrying out his leadership roles. Pope Paul VI also inclined towards political practices. He led the papacy into religious and political affairs. As outlined by Prothero, Pope Paul also preferred earthly issues to God’s love. He advocated for observance of outside beauty in choosing marriage partners. In his support for human unification, Pope Paul VI advocated for the introduction of local languages in local churches. Additionally, he took part in reuniting Christians. He believed that the word of God was for all people; he visited diverse groups of people without con...
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