Nye's "Religion" Essay Example
|📌Published:||15 March 2021|
Chapter 1, Religion: Some Basics, introduces the framework for studying religion through a cultural lens specifically. That is to say that this book is not about any particular religion, conflict, or religious issue shaping the modern world. Rather, our aim is to understand the complexities of religious traditions and how they shape (and are shaped by) world cultures and events.
One of Nye’s key points of contention in focusing on cultural studies is the “World Religions” paradigm, or a very influential way of describing differences in distinct religions. This approach looks at discrete bounded religions as the basis for making sense of the vast range of religious practices in the world. His problem with this approach is that it is very dry and misses out on the nuances of each religion such as the sights, smells, and tastes as well as leaving the one studying through this method to believe that all practitioners are the same.
From this, I learned that religion cannot simply be defined by general practices and basic grouping, but each is its own world with rich history and cultural impact. I was particularly interested in Nye’s mention of televangelism as a very American custom in relation to the power of the television in American cultural life. More specifically, televangelism provokes the idea of “for-profit” religion and I would be interested to find out if and how this practice is mimicked in other religions and areas of the world through their own defining cultures. Overall, this chapter has served to give me a great idea of the differences in cultural and theological studies and I am very eager to continue with Mr. Nye’s text and expand my own understanding.