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The influence of religion on our culture

By Patricia Wilson,2014-02-16 10:01
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The influence of religion on our culture

    The Influence of Religion on Our Culture

    Tianrong Sun

    Abstract Religion is an important part of the culture and the significance of the religion for culture is indubitable. I was raised in a religious family, so I will take Christianity as an example to show the influence of religion on our culture.

Key words religion Christianity culture

1. Introduction

    Culture has kinds of meanings. To some points, the word culture means all

    [1]the ways in which a group of people act, dress, think, and feel .The core of the

    culture is thinking and behavior. It influences people easily and widely all the time and all over the world. Each individual, from the very beginning of his life, has formed a method to perceive the culture. However, we also learn part of our culture by being taught from our community. We watch how other people doing things, and we do them in the same way. We even learn how to think and feel in this way.

    Religion has definitely played a crucial role in culture. As defined by S. Nanda, religion deals with the nature of life and death, the creation of the universe, the origin of society and groups within the society, the relationship of individuals and

    [2]groups to one another, and the relation of humankind to nature However, with

    many people emphasizing the influence of the world view on a culture, the religious feature in culture has often been neglectedThe importance of the world view has

    been surely indubitable but the significance of the religion for culture has been, nevertheless, determinant. To some extent, religion even has functioned as the redemption of modem people.

    Religion is inseparable with culture. If religion were extracted from culture, culture would have become sourceless water.

    Nowadays, no matter you are willing to accept or not, we have to admit the truth

that Christianity has influence the people life throughout the world.

2. Christianity and our beliefs

    The world is moving at a fast speed. Morality is apparently subject to the fluctuating demands of the rat race. It is easy in today’s world to get sidetracked and

    caught up in materialism, and the things and lifestyles that are supposed to make us

    [3]“happy.”

    Though I was living in a religious family, honestly I'm not well-read concerning the Bible. However I've gotten the wind of the Gospel, as well as the fundamental message of Christ. I've digested enough information to realize why the Christianity should be in my mind. And this is what I thought the most important thing in our daily life, especially our young people--“the faith”.

    When we look at ourselves honestly and seriously, we will find we are really lonely in our mental world. Today's world offers us with a comfortable life, while at the same time it fails to provide us with a meaning of life. As a consequence, issues of morality are veiled in confusion and subjectivity.

    My faith has given me a strong foundation to base my life on and has been an important influence through my life. It helps me to understand what I should believe in, what I am busy with, the meaning of helping others and so on. No matter how much other things change, I know that my faith will always be with me. 3. Christianity and our daily life

    Our daily life is also influenced by the religion greatly. For example, the language sometimes is affected by the religious expressions, and people enjoy the religious holidays and so on.

    Where does the word “week” come from? Why are there seven days in a week?

    Why the first day of the week is called Sunday? Surely, it is what we learned from the western country. From the Bible, the God spent 7 days to create the whole world and Jesus revived seven days after his death. Maybe there are some certain relations between them.

    What is more, there are a number of holidays that everyone celebrates no matter

    they are Christians or not. For instance, the Christmas Day is the day we celebrate as the birthday of Jesus. There are special Christmas services in Christian churches all over the world. But many of the festivities of Christmas are irrelevant with the religion. Exchanging gifts and sending Christmas cards are the modern ways of

    [4]celebrating the Christmas in the world . By the way, the Thanks Giving Day is also

    very popular in China.

    Consciously or not, our daily life is influenced by the Christianity, we even use the expression “thank God” when we come across lucky things.

    4. Christianity and the attitude about money

    In modern times, money is equal to the chance and the power of control in some situations. The more chances and power of control one owns, the more freedom and comfort one can experience. Obviously, everyone needs money, including the Christians.

    However, money is not everything, and it is not the most important thing in our life. The Gospel tells us that wealth is not sin, but rich people should help the poor ones, spending the money in a meaningful way. Thats what the God appreciates.

    Having no money concerns would be great, but realizing the value of the people we care about is more important. If the development of society has improved peoples

    material life, then it is the religion that has enriched humans spirit. We need to realize

    that acquiring things is not nearly as important as appreciating the people that God

    [5]has placed in our lives . When we practice putting others interests and needs before

    our own, we learn what it means to love and serve.

    5. Conclusion

    As the deep structure of culture, Christianity has amplified the meaning of culture. Maybe Christianity is being gradually reshaped to suit the needs of modern life, but the truth of Christ's Gospel is not going to be replaced by new forms of belief, practice and worship.

    In my opinion, No matter how technology would develop, it still can not answer something especially those issues which are about human spirit. This is the reason why modem people still need religion. By the way, religion plays a positive role in

    peoples lives. It is exactly the reason why the religion is developing so fast and influencing the culture so widely.

    In the end, I want to share this poem with you to show:

    Life, love, and chocolate taste better when shared with others.

    [6] Cindy Hess Kasper

    I want to share with those I love

    The highest joy I’m thinking of,

    Not just what brightens all their days

    But what will give God highest praise. Hess

    Love is never afraid of giving too much.

References

    [1] Hongchao Zhang(Feb 2005) Harbin institute of Technology :Religion: The Deep Structure of World View in Culture. US. China Foreign language ISSN 1539-8080, USA.

    [2] "International Religious Freedom Report 2007". U.S. Embassy in Beijing. http:// beijing. usembassy-china.org.cn/2007irf_china.html. Retrieved 2008-08-10.

    [3] Wikipedia(2008).Faith. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith.

    [4] Sandro Schembri Adami(2009) today's changing world: Modern Christianity. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2001/0323/opinion.html.

    [5] Jerry Solomon(2002) Probe Ministries: Christianity and Culture http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/ probe/docs/culture.html.

    [6] Austin, Alvyn (2007). China’s Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-2975-7.

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