Mircea Eliade's Roles And Emphasis On The Role Of Religion In Our World

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I sat down at the dinner table with my family. My parents ask me how my semester went and to share some interesting things that I have learned at school. I begun with the question ‘how do you define religion?’ followed by ‘what do you think the role of religion is in our world?’. I understand very well those are very personal questions and no right answer. However, these simple questions can reveal so much from the person’s identity to their personality to their openness to diversity and wisdom. I thought it would be interesting to introduce two influential scholars that approached religion is contrasting directions. I brought Mircea Eliade to our discussion. His definition of religion and emphasis on the role of religion offers multitudes …show more content…
Depending on an individual 's personal and intimate experience with a religion, Eliade believes that religion is often percieved very differently by people. Symbolism exists as a core concept to all religions according to Eliade. It exists as an universal pattern and is discovered through the two Axis. Images such as the moon, sun and water are almost always considered 'sacred ' in religion. Myth is also an important symbol to Eliade, as it is considered the verbal symbol. After discovering these universal patterns and symbols, Eliade then attempts to discover further. He claims that all of humanity exists in the Profane realm, where there is constant chaos. Therefore, humanity always attempts to connect themselves with the Sacred through worshipping the 'symbols ' as they represent the realm of the Sacred. An example would be a church, it is a symbol to Eliade because through the two Axis, we discover that it is an universal pattern. Churches, in different structures, locations and titles exists in almost every religion around the world. In the church, people gather and worship, dine and socialize, and even attempts to build houses around the infastructure all in order to connect to the Sacred. To contrast, you never see people trying to move closer to a grave yard as they are not considered sacred thus we …show more content…
He believes that through understanding religion, we can explain human motivation. To Weber, religion provides humanity answers to theodicy questions such as suffering and misfortunes to undeserved people and vice versa. Religion provide answers to this unbalanced world and thus motivates humanity to find salvation through it. Whether that salvation is a relief from suffering or simply reassurance of one’s abilities and importance, Weber believes that it is the foundation of motivation through the religious perspective. Weber introduced ‘Verstehen’ into the field of sociology. It is a way of interpreting human actions, behaviours and thought from their perspective rather than your own. Verstehen promotes understanding, empathy and acknowledgement over criticism. It is an empathetic way to understand social phenomenon, especially the mass industrialization during Weber’s time. Furthermore, Weber saw Capitalism as a Protestant movement. It is an expansion to the previous ideal of Catholic work ethics. Catholics believed that religious work is God’s will and some even believed that acquiring wealth gives you divine status of immortality. Through studying Martin Luther, Weber highlighted Luther’s idea of work ethics: working was God’s will and that all work was God’s calling. This is an important starting point to Weber’s idea of Capitalism. To contrast from Catholics, Protestants saw all hard work as a salvation

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