Religion’s Impact on Philosophy and Culture
Religion plays a vital role in different countries all over the world - Religion’s Impact on Philosophy and Culture introduction. This same thing affects people’s values and culture in diverse manners. We will begin our discussion of what religion is. According to the dictionary, “religion is defined as a set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices” (Webster 977). These belief started long time ago, inherited and passed on different generations to be observed and practiced. This research will discuss specific religions in different countries that have made strong impact on people’s life, hich have also been manifested in its philosophy, values and culture. Religion or a set of belief has changed people’s lives in diverse manners. You could observe those people who have been sentenced guilty by courts and imprisoned, whose philosophical views in life were changed by religious beliefs, those who have devoted their lives in teaching the moral values as taught in the Christian dispensation and many more. Let us give a concrete example of this scenario. Paul or St. Paul as popularly known among the Catholics, was a notable figure whose life was changed by religion.
He was a persecutor of the Christians in his time. Accounts from the bible said “And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly made against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities” (Holy Bible-King James Version Acts 26:11). His philosophical concept was suddenly changed by religion, thus it was difficult for the detractors of Christianity to believe that after his conversion, he was indeed speaking in favor of the Christian virtue. According to him “My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at
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Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if would testify that after the most straightest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee” ((Holy Bible-King James Version Acts 26:4-5). Due to his conversion, he acquired a belief and faith in God, which he has criticized for so long. Along with the new found religion, his attitude and practices in life were also changed. He started to devote his life into the teaching of Christian doctrine as exemplified by Jesus Christ. Another impact of religion could be seen in various cultures. Let us take the Egyptian’s eligious practice of taking care of the dead. “Since they believe in life after death and that the soul could not enter into the future life without the body, they embalmed the bodies with utmost care” (Leodegario et al. 117).
Egyptians are properly embalming their corpses due to the belief that they are to be presented well for the life that is awaiting the dead, thus, they preserve their corpses through the process of mummification to prepare them for life after death. This religious belief that affects their culture is greatly manifested by the royal tombs seen in Egypt, starting rom Cairo, stretching towards the Nile. On the other hand, the religion of the Christians known as Christianity also played an essential role in molding the culture of the people. As you could see “religions dominates the cultural life of the Middle Ages” (Leodegario 219). The monks were the only educated people during the medieval era and they have assumed the responsibility of educating the people, while the training of a peasant boy was concentrated farming activities such as plowing of the fields, harvesting it and other needs that could suffice his family and the feudal master.
Even the ancient rite of circumcision, originally practiced by other people as a ceremony marking the boy’s entrance into the period of pubescence, was transformed into an act performed at the birth of the male child to symbolize the induction of the child into the covenant God made with Abraham” (Halsey and Friedman 651). Another example of the impact of religion on philosophy and culture is the belief of the Romans on different gods. The Romans adopted the Greek gods and deities like Zeus, who became Jupiter among the Romans. Venus replaced Aphrodite, being the goddess of love and eauty and Ares, the Greek god of war was called Mars among the Romans. As you could observe, their gods and goddesses were originated from the Greek culture which was just identified with their own gods. The early Romans worshipped nature and the gods of other nations. The culture of the Romans are greatly affected by their belief that there are many gods and goddesses in which prayers should be directed. If the concern is on love and beauty, such prayer should be addressed to Venus. If it pertains to wisdom, Minerva (Athena in Greeks) should be hailed.
There are also other gods whose intercession should be asked depending on one’s supplication, may it be love, harvest, fire, rain or fertility. All these things clearly depict religions impact on the philosophy and culture of its people, Let us also recall the early people of Babylonia whose philosophy and culture were affected by their religion. The Babylonians unlike the Egyptians does not believe in life after death, thus, they do not give much respect to the concept of life after death. However, one of the great impacts of religion into their philosophy and culture could be found in the practice of ffering sacrifices. They just offer foods and animals to their gods because they believe that it also has human qualities aside from having divine powers. This kind of religious belief could be seen among the Chinese who offers food for their dead loved ones. They either do this in their altars, to venerate the dead spirits. These are just simple manifestations of the different cultures as affected by religion. Conclusion We found out that religions have an enormous impact on the philosophy and culture of the people in various places all over the world.
Philosophical views that remain strong were changed by religion, such as the case of St. Paul, when he embraced Christianity. Religion also has affected the culture of the people, their life style and practices such as the veneration of the Egyptians to their dead, thus, properly embalming their dead in preparation for life after death, as exemplified in the beautified pyramids built in memory of the dead. The Romans adopted the Greek culture when they have embraced the concepts of gods and goddesses. As you could see in Greece, they built monuments to honor their deities. Because of eligion, the Babylonians adopted in their culture the offering of foods and animals to their gods, with the belief that these also has human qualities aside from being gods. All these manifestations which are seen in man’s values and culture were brought about by the impact of religion into their lives. In a nutshell, religion has reached an encompassing impact into man’s culture, values and lifestyle. Maybe, religion has a far reaching impact into a man’s culture and philosophy because it deals with the set of beliefs and values which are essential for the salvation of mankind.