After completing Professor McAvoy’s Religions of the World class, I definitely feel way more knowledgeable and exposed than I ever have to religions other than my own. There is definitely an importance to learning about religions that are popular, almost unheard of, and no longer existent, it can help in learning more about the way religions were formed and just gives a general knowledge of what others believe. Having a knowledge about other religions can also be helpful in choosing if whether or not your religion is truly ethical to you or right for you, since many people base their beliefs on what others tell them they should believe or what their parents or families believe.
The Most Interesting Religion
I personally found Buddhism to be the most interesting religion we learned about and discussed in this class. My knowledge of Buddhism was honestly very small and pretty close minded, before discussing it in this class. I really enjoyed what Dr. Peter D. Santina (1996), says about Buddhism not being a culture bound religion, such as Judaism. Buddhists can be found among all races, genders, race, ethnic group, and society, which I personally find amazing . I also find it extremely interesting that the Buddhist people do not see Buddha as their god and do not have a god or higher being to pray to, which also sets it apart from many other religions. The Buddhist view of life after death is somewhat confusing and difficult to understand at first, but it is definitely very interesting to learn about.
The Most Surprising Religion
The religion of Mormonism was one of the most surprising religions to me. I personally have never been educated at all on Mormonism, but I do know quite a few Mormon people. According to Phillips and Cragun (2008), the Mormon church consists of one of the largest religious groups in America. I personally have watched many documentaries and shows regarding Joseph Smith but did not understand certain concepts mentioned at the time. Mormons believe in two Gods, Elohim and Jesus. Both Gods were once a human and Elohim evolved into the Heavenly Father, while Jesus had to earn his way to the Godly status. This was very surprising to me, because I felt like Mormons would believe in the same God the Father as Christians do.
The Religion I Would Convert To
If I were to have to convert to another religion – besides Christianity, I think I would like to be a part of the Ancient Egyptian religion, if it was still in existence today. I personally found the discussion of this religion extremely captivating. I enjoy the fact that the people were allowed to choose which God or Goddess they believed in and wanted to serve. All of the Gods and Goddesses we discussed in this class were all very unique and I found them very interesting to learn about, especially because they were somewhat human-like and easy to imagine, unlike the Christian God that I believe in. The story of creation and the belief of the after life are both very interesting theories and ideas to learn about and are surprisingly not as crazy as the beliefs or ideas of creation and the after life some other religions have.
Overall, this class taught me a lot about many religions, including some that are no longer existent and ones that have just recently been created in the past one-hundred years. I found the religion of Buddhism the most interesting in this class, but I found the Mormon religion to be the most surprising. But if I were to ever have to convert to another religion, I would definitely choose to be a part of the Ancient Egyptian religion. It was extremely very hard for me to only pick one religion out of all of the ones we learned about to be the most interesting, the most surprising, and the religion I would choose to convert to, if it were necessary.
- eBooks/PDFs Phillips, Rick, and Ryan T. Cragun. 2008. Mormons In the United States 1990-2008: Socio-Demographic Trends and Regional Differences. eBook. Hartford: Trinity College. https://commons.trincoll.edu/aris/files/2011/12/Mormons2008.pdf.
- Santina, Dr Peter D. 1996. Fundamentals of Buddhism. eBook. Tullera: Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/fundbud1.pdf.
- Teeter, Emily, and Douglas J. Brewer. 2004. ‘Religion in The Lives of The Ancient Egyptians’. Fathom.Lib.Uchicago.Edu. http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190168/.