Culture And Religion: Two Disparate Systems

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Some would argue that culture and religion are two disparate systems, because we define religion as a system of faith, and culture as a system rooted in one’s environment. However, others would argue that culture and religion are one in the same, because both religion and culture can describe the ideas, customs, behaviours, and beliefs of a particular group. Although the specific customs and beliefs of different cultures and religions vary, both religion and culture generally describe a set of beliefs and behaviours that are customary among particular groups and communities. Therefore, I believe religion and culture are more analogous to one another than they are disparate. Although many perceive religion and culture as two distinct systems,…show more content…
For example, many of the existing laws in our legal system, such as the prohibition of incestuous relationships, may derive from laws written in religious texts suggesting that such behaviour is wrong. However, for incest to be a condemnable action and a punishable crime, there must be a pre-existing understanding that incest is wrong in the first place. Furthermore, when multiple punishments exist for a single unlawful action, the appropriate punishment for committing the unlawful action becomes ambiguous, and the austerity of the punishment will depend on how wrong the action is perceived to be. Thus, it important to consider how religion and culture influence one another as they engender and perpetuate widely held systems of beliefs, but it is equally important to acknowledge and consider how we interpret religious and cultural…show more content…
To highlight the diversity and evolution of religion and culture as comparable systems, we can look at ancient Greek religion. On Thursday, February 1st during the lecture on ancient Greek religions and sexuality, Dr. Justin Lewis discussed syncretism (i.e., the amalgamation of many different religions) and polytheism (i.e., the belief or worship of more than one god or goddess) as they existed in ancient Greek religion. Specifically, Lewis provided examples of the various depictions of gods and goddesses in different artistic works, and discussed how different communities believed in, and worshipped the gods and goddesses in different ways. For example, people perceived and worshipped the goddess Aphrodite differently in Egypt (i.e., ISIS - Aphrodite) than in Greece, despite both cultures worshipping the same goddess, suggesting that religious practices differ from community to

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