The Role Of Fear In Religion

Decent Essays
Fear specifically is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Throughout the history of man, fear has remarkably had a prominent effect on the actions of many: used by dictators as a tactic to control, used in politics and religion to manipulate people’s positions. Fear materializes to the world in many forms; basic fears akin to those of spiders or heights, to more complex fears that are deep-rooted, like the fear of rejection or disappointment. Fear is an extensive part of life that has held a grip on people for many centuries in the past, and will for the many centuries to go.
Identical to politics, entertainment platforms have manipulated fear to captivate
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It is a fundamental part of everyday life for many people. Religion is meant to be “peaceful”; yet, in today’s society religion has never caused more violence. Religious wars are currently happening all over the world. The conflict of whether Jerusalem is the religious capital of Israel or Palestine is one illustration. Both sides use fear as a tactic to intimidate the other. They utilize God’s name to instill fear and are told that “God’s hand has held [them] up” (Edwards 154). Equivalent to this conflict, in Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God, he depicts his belief that man is only enlightened when he is with God. He passionately exclaims, “The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart..” (Edwards 154). Edwards makes use of metaphors to instill fear that God’s punishment is worse than Hell itself. By showcasing the “wrath of Almighty God” and creating a sense of fear in the audience and making them gullible, Edwards takes the chance to reach his goal: converting non believers (Edwards 156). He proceeds to state, “And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open…” (Edwards 156). Due to the fear present in the audience, they see the forgiveness that “God” offers them. Fear provoked many to become gullible without realizing it, …show more content…
Fear that if you do the wrong thing, then repercussions will be worse. Arthur Miller is able to display important decisions that were made out of fear during the entirety of The Crucible. Based in the Salem witch trials, a time where fear was present, The Crucible focus on how fear pushed people to protect themselves, no matter the consequences. John Proctor is an excellent case of someone whose fear gets the better of them. John exclaims, “I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are” (Miller 142). Miller is able to showcase the fear John has for himself, because he if his name were to be put on the church, his reputation would be tarnished. While he is accused of being the Devil’s man, which he was not, he has to confess to being it because the fear of the community overshadows the truth. Like John, Abigail Williams’ fear overtook her common sense. Abigail was in love with Proctor and she feared losing him. However, Proctor didn’t feel the same way and in turn Abigail blamed Elizabeth Proctor for that. As Abigail declares, “You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet! John, pity me, pity me” (Miller 24). Her fear and obsession of John Proctor causes her to try to accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft and have her killed. Later on, as Abigail's lies catch up to her, she fears for her

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