Poll: Studying other religions.


#1

The study of other religions of the world is a major hobby for some people. Other, however, fear that if they study other religions they may someday seek to blend their own beliefs with others. I on one occasion actualy met a person who called it sinful, claiming it showed intrest in "the false religions of man". Some religions like JWs even ban members from studying other faiths.

So, what's everyone's oppinion?
Studying other religions is...


#2

When you don't have the Truth then it's important to censor thought, dialogue and discussion.

Religions and cultures contain logoi spermatikoi - seeds of the Word.

Father Robert Barron: Theology: The Odyssey and the Logoi Spermatikoi

wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/July-2012/The-Odyssey-and-the-Logoi-Spermatikoi.aspx


#3

Studying other religions is... informative. While it will not dissuade me from my faith, I need to know what other people believe in order to meet them where they are. For example, if I knew about Lutheranism and had a friend who was a Lutheran, I would be able to have an informed conversation with him/her. If I knew nothing about it, I might inadvertently say things that would cause a wall to be formed between us and that wouldn't be helpful. The same is true for any religious beliefs that my neighbours hold.

By the way, this is a very good topic for discussion. Thank you! :)


#4

I have studied many other religions..while I think it is important to know other people's views of faith, it can also be confusing.

I think too much study has made me religiously confused. I am back to being a Catholic after being away from it for 30 years. But I am still confused about religion in general. So, I stopped studying, and started praying.

Now I am back to learning all the basics of the Catholic church again. I never know what to say after the priest says something in mass..I never know when to sit, when to stand, when to kneel....etc... :o

For me personally, it might be less confusing to me in the end if I focus on one religion only.


#5

Had to go with interesting - something I enjoy.

Learning those things is fun, and it can help you come up with questions to further your journey in your own religion. Or you could end up like me and accidentally be exposed to the Truth.


#6

I voted that it was interesting to me, simply because everything else that I could say about the study of religion flows from that point.

I find the study of religions to be of great importance. Religion has shaped the world, and continues to do so. A great many (if not the majority, I'd say) of the world's population are adherents to some religion or another. And, I'd venture to guess, that religion isn't going to disappear anytime soon.

Why is it important? For one thing, it gives us a better understanding of one another. We all need to try and understand.
Secondly, I find that it is important that if one is going to engage in in-depth religious/theological discussion, it is important to know what one is talking about.
And finally, the study of other religions should (in my experience) lead to deeper study and reflection on one's own religion.


#7

I think it is important .for me, it strengthens my faith. If your faith can not cope what good is that


#8

[quote="trin40, post:7, topic:292417"]
I think it is important .for me, it strengthens my faith. If your faith can not cope what good is that

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

G.K. Chesterson said that an unexamined faith is not faith, but superstition. (I probably should have issued a paraphrase alert!)


#9

It is important to know how another person thinks of the trinity and of their lives and the lives of others.:)

Chuk of Napa, Ca. St. Thomas Parish


#10

i voted good, it helps us better understand people, when you believe the Truth, what other faith is gonna turn you away, thats my opinion of the Faith anyways (: God bless you


#11

[quote="Nine_Two, post:5, topic:292417"]
Had to go with interesting - something I enjoy.

Learning those things is fun, and it can help you come up with questions to further your journey in your own religion. Or you could end up like me and accidentally be exposed to the Truth.

[/quote]

This.


#12

Studying other religions is unfruitful and is unhealthy when we use it to seek personal gain. This is dangerous, as the main desire that empowers the man is selfishness, pride, and greed. When we are seeking a true belief, a true practice, a true RELIGION you want to seek it with all great humility, sincerity, and meekness. You want to seek it not only out of servicing your neighbor, but first servicing your God, or creator. You want it to blend Godly virtue and True love in a fashion that is not confusing and convincing to everyone, while possessing the attributes to testify to this story plainly to all in a Catholic way. That is why I sought Catholicism, It satisfied all of the marks I looked for in a Religion.

However, many men and women look for the wrong marks in a religion. This is were things get sinful. They look for satisfaction of the flesh, satisfaction of the wicked pleasures, satisfaction of the beast who wants to be put before God. This is were you immediately need to become the man or woman who God created you to be, or to be or try with all of your energy to be holy. You can jeopardize your soul and ultimately lose it from this snare of satan. Yet, Holiness remains key in the world of the living. Everything is vain unless God is being Glorified. I mean this in a sincere sense, WE need to be the best man or woman we can be, Loving God with all of our heart, mind, and body, and then loving our neighbor as ourself.


#13

AND THAT IS NOT EVEN THE PROBLEM!!!!!!! THE REASON WE HAVE SUCH A BAD SOCIETY IS BECAUSE CATHOLICS AREN'T STUDYING THEIR RELIGION ENOUGH!
If we want a Godly society, then let us continue Christ's work on earth, since you are only jeopardizing your own man when you seek to destroy Christ, WHO IS LIFE! This is why Catholics should act, teach, and believe like a Catholic before looking into other religions just as a boy should be properly raised before it chooses a wife. How can we give ourselves to other people if all we're attracted to is selfish vanity? Pray to God he reveals to you what he has hidden from the wise, the learned, the great. For he has given to the least, just as he took the kingdom of God from israel and gave it to the Apostles, who were just fishermen.


#14

AND THAT IS NOT EVEN THE PROBLEM!!!!!!! THE REASON WE HAVE SUCH A BAD SOCIETY IS BECAUSE CATHOLICS AREN'T STUDYING THEIR RELIGION ENOUGH!
If we want a Godly society, then let us continue Christ's work on earth, since you are only jeopardizing your own man when you seek to destroy Christ, WHO IS LIFE! This is why Catholics should act, teach, and believe like a Catholic before looking into other religions just as a boy should be properly raised before it chooses a wife. How can we give ourselves to other people if all we're attracted to is selfish vanity? Pray to God he reveals to you what he has hidden from the wise, the learned, the great. For he has given to the least, just as he took the kingdom of God from israel and gave it to the Apostles, who were just fishermen.


#15

Voted it is good because it helps us to understand others. But we can only understand others if we are truly sincere in our desire to do so with charity and tolerance, remembering regardless of the faith, that's what it is. Faith. And faith cannot be proven. God bless all who walk along their journeys of faith.


#16

Well, as a brand new Dominican Novice and son of a Muslim...I voted important.

I recently was accepted to the Dominican Order and I have already got a fair amount of experience in dialogue with the adherents of Islam in Ireland.

I believe it is essential for Catholics to study other faiths and speak with the adherents of other faiths to understand our own faith better and in the spirit of evangelisation.

Of course, we do need a good knowledge of our own beliefs and why we believe what we do.

God Bless


#17

I voted interesting because not only was I pretty much the only person really interested in the religions 101 class in high school, it was my major in university (my class had like, 12 people in it). I wish more people would take at least one course on religion in their lifetime, because it's such an important part of many people's lives, and I hear some shockingly ignorant comments from people that I bet they'd think twice about saying if they actually took a course like the one I did in high school.


#18

[quote="Lokabrenna, post:17, topic:292417"]
I voted interesting because not only was I pretty much the only person really interested in the religions 101 class in high school, it was my major in university (my class had like, 12 people in it). I wish more people would take at least one course on religion in their lifetime, because it's such an important part of many people's lives, and I hear some shockingly ignorant comments from people that I bet they'd think twice about saying if they actually took a course like the one I did in high school.

[/quote]

My experience taking classes on religion is the opposite of yours, I am assured that my university has a Religious Studies department that is well known and respected, yet the two I took (I swore I wouldn't take another after that) had profs who couldn't detach themselves from the subject matter.

I've had much more luck studying on my own.


#19

[quote="AdamPeter, post:16, topic:292417"]
Well, as a brand new Dominican Novice and son of a Muslim...I voted important.

I recently was accepted to the Dominican Order and I have already got a fair amount of experience in dialogue with the adherents of Islam in Ireland.

I believe it is essential for Catholics to study other faiths and speak with the adherents of other faiths to understand our own faith better and in the spirit of evangelisation.

Of course, we do need a good knowledge of our own beliefs and why we believe what we do.

God Bless

[/quote]

Congratulations on being accepted into the novitiate.:thumbsup:

I bet you have an interesting story to tell about your conversion.


#20

If you have common interests, it can be very valuable to speak often with someone who disagrees with you on a wide range of topics. It's like having a counterpoint in your life- you help each other understand much more about each other, and it can be very good to have someone to explain things to.

I recently started talking with an atheist/agnostic (he explained that to me very nicely) who just got his degree in philosophy, which he got into by way of religious studies. (He was raised Catholic). He's telling me about Hume and Dennett an d distinctions in determinist philosophy, and I'm telling him what I know about the history of Christianity and the ways in which certain controversies mesh really well with some of his major interests. I don't think we've agreed with each other on a single major issue yet, but it's extremely enjoyable for both of us. It's really kind of funny how similar our interests are in general, but we do completely different things with them and wind up with completely divergent (in a fun way) worldviews and understandings of the universe in general.

If I want to, I can spend hour talking to people who basically believe what I do and we'll be lucky to learn a couple of things from each other. In these kinds of situations, though, there's something for both of us every minute of every conversation. There's a wealth of opportunity there, and I don't plan on leaving it untapped.


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