Sunday, 26 May 2013

Religious, Non-Religious, and Spiritual Perspectives on the Individual

Hi All,

Since our class discussion last week got us into the topic of religion, I thought I should give you the opportunity to share your reflections, observations, insights and ideas about this topic with the rest of us. After all, religion is a very personal topic and therefore deeply connected with the innermost core of the individual. However, since religion and spirituality are therefore also a very emotional topics for many people, I would like you to be open-minded and to treat people with different views with utmost politeness and respect :)

I think it is very important for all of us to learn about religious and spiritual belief systems that are different from our own in order to understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of this world. And better understanding what we commonly think of as "the other" is often a first step to realizing that "the other" is not as different from us as we originally assumed - and will therefore bring us closer to what we all want: World Peace.

Please feel free to share here aspects of any form of religion or spirituality that you find interesting. This is not restricted to the traditional religions but may include non-institutionalized religions (such as shamanism) as well as spirituality in a more general sense as well. Of course, the very opposite of religion, atheism, is part of the spectrum of possibilities as well - and should therefore NOT be excluded.

Please feel also free to include other meta-physical topics here - i.e. topics about anything that transcends the physical and that can therefore not be perceived by our 5 physical senses, such as near-death experiences, ESP, etc.

Religion, philosophy, and mythology (in its traditional sense of 'the science of sacred stories') - as well as, of course, anthropology, archeology, history, biology, chemistry, physics, literature, all forms of art, as well as language itself - are all very closely linked and contribute equally to helping us figure out who we are. I think it makes sense for us to learn as much as we can in all these areas (and in other areas as well) if we truly want to understand our innermost nature.

So if you have figured out something that makes sense to you, please tell us about it. It might also make sense to the rest of us. Feel also free, of course, to share links to texts and/or videos that you find interesting in this context.

I would like to start with a few clips that I found quite interesting:

1) Following our in-class discussions about the close connections of Judaism and Islam (and also Christianity, which developed out of Judaism), I would like to draw your attention to the following youtube clips about this topic:

2) Introduction to Religion in General:

Nature of Religion:

Chronological sequence & geographical location:

Function(s) of Religion:

Living in a World without God -> Existentialist Ethics:

The Future of Religions & Spirituality in Our Global World:

Thank you!


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