RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay

Sample Answer for RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay Included After Question


Choose only one (1) of the following two options:

Option 1: Eight Characteristics of Religion

In an essay, address the following:

  • Identify and briefly describe the eight key characteristics of religion developed in your reading.
  • Choose 2 for further explanation and include an example for each of your chosen characteristics as demonstrated in a given religion. (You may use different religions for each characteristic or stay with one throughout.)
  • Why did you choose these 2 reasons? How do they relate to your own religious worldview or your clinical practice?

Option 2: Etic and Emic Views

In an essay, address the following:

  • Explain how the etic and emic perspectives describe your own religion or a religion with which you are familiar.
  • In etic, explain how an objective researcher would describe the religion including specific elements. In emic, explain how a practicing member would see the same reality.
  • Quote an “authoritative religious leader” from this religion as part of your emic paragraph, in addition to your scholarly source. (E.g., Buddhism-Dali Lama; Catholicism-Pope)
  • How does understanding this add to your understanding of your chosen religion?
  • What does it add to your approach to patient care?

Click on the following link to view an example for Option 2 (Shinto):

Link: Shinto Example

Hopefully you can see the difference between the etic approach using facts and objective information devoid of emotion or attachment whereas the believer (emic) approach showed devotion, faith, appealed to the senses and emotion. The quotes showed personal faith. Your emic view does not have to use quotes, except for the religious leader requirement, but it needs to show a personal view.

In addition to outside sources, make sure to reference your textbook and/or lesson.


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A Sample Answer For the Assignment: RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay

Title: RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay

Characteristics of Religion

The characteristics of religion explain the principles and practices to help someone understand the concepts of that religion. Discussing the 8 key characteristics regarding a religion, these are as follows:

  1. Belief system: A set of hypothetical arguments and opinions to form a strong faith in that particular religion.
  2. Culture or traditions: Cultural and traditional values that became part of that belief system.
  3. Sacramental rituals: These are interconnected with the culture as rituals define the festivals and customs.
  4. Moral and Ethics: Basic ethics and manners to make religion more applicable in a society
  5. Law obedience: The religion states a law system which is applied in the region for its followers to accept at all cost.
  6. Sacredness: A sense of purity that makes the religion pious and devout
  7. Myths or Theology: A collective way of expressing the religion, including spiritual texts in form of literature and guidelines.
  8. Emotional connection: Like faith, the emotional connection involves spirituality and mysticism that influence others.

Two of the most important characteristics, in that case, are moral/ethics and belief system. These two characteristics explain the core crux of any religion as it provides the moral principles and pragmatic approach of religion. Furthermore, these two characteristics are applicable in any part of the religion and it is most needed behind the influence circle of religion. The belief system defines the will to believe in terms of forming faith based on theology or myth. It is a psychological characteristic that makes a human belief to follow the theological religion blindly (Yonker, 2016).

For example, in Abrahamic religions, the basic fundamental principle is to have blind faith in one true god. Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all have to follow the one true God and that is inspired by the same theological scripture. Other polytheistic religions put their strong faith in believing that the idols or other lesser god will bless them in their daily lives. Hence, in any religion, there is a need to form a belief system that is inspired by myth or theology to have blind faith.

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The second one is as important because the hypothetical argument that forms the following belief system requires ethics. This is why I have selected this because it is applicable in a personal and professional setting. The moral characteristics including saving the life of fellow human being or basic human manner of caring for someone is most needed in personal as well as professional life (Gensler, 2016). Following the clinical practice profession, these moral values in form of spiritual guidance give me a reason to accept the religion.

Almost every religion has basic human morality and ethics that correlate with the medical field and it is needed in my clinical practice. Caring for others in a medical profession is the fundamental characteristics and for that, both strong morals and belief system is needed. Personally, it would help any medical professionals and a common person to live by moral ethics in their religion, giving the reason to believe in that particular belief system. 

RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay
RELI 448N Assignment Understanding Religion Essay


Callahan, S. (2016, October 10). William James’ defense of faith was liberating. National Catholic Reporter.

Gensler, H. J. (2016). Ethics and religion. Cambridge University Press.

Yonker, J. E., Edman, L. R., Cresswell, J., & Barrett, J. L. (2016). Primed analytic thought and religiosity: The importance of individual characteristics. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality8(4), 298.