Common Practices in Religion

Common Practices in Religion


Common Practices in Religion

Common practices in religion are common beliefs, customs, and symbols that came from ancient myths and legends. These types of customs were a part of daily life for most humans dating back several thousands of years. Many traditional stories and events were passed down from one person to another to help explain what experience had happened and what their true beliefs are. These stories and customs have then been passed down as a common practice to their specific belief. This paper will help define what some of these practices are, help define what religion is exactly and share with you what some concerns, questions and issues are in some practices around the world.

What is the definition of religion?

Religion is something difficult to define. For many the meaning continues to change and others feel religion is the meaning for the past religions. The most basic meaning of religion is straight from the dictionary meaning “the belief in a god or in a group of gods, an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods, an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group”(“Definition Of Religion”, 2017). This definition from the dictionary defines what it is to put it in a language others can understand and that it has a purpose, but others feel that religion is something that many people find comfort in, something to believe in for faith and hope. Many believe they can find comfort in crisis when they turn to their religion and their “Gods”.

Some differences between the academic study, devotional practice and advocacy of religions.

Religious study is the examination of religions and their practices. Students examine religious social structures, communities, and rituals from around the world. The students then compare these religious cultures and rituals both in their contexts as well as how they compare to others through the past and how individuals interpret them through time. Devotional practice in religion is different than academic study because it is the actual involvement and practice of the religion, the individuals own religion. Individuals worship and practice religious traditions in their faith and will worship in their communities with others or alone. Religious advocacy is also different than that of academic study and devotional practice. An advocate is “One that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender: an advocate of civil rights. One that pleads in another’s behalf; an intercessor.”(“Advocate, 2017”). In other terms a religious advocate/religious advocacy groups argue for their religion and defends it on not only their behalf but on the behalf of each individual who is involved in that religion.

What are common questions, concerns, practices, and experiences across various world religions?

Each religion seeks to offer guidance for individuals who follow it. In several religions some common practice is prayer to their “Gods”, devotionals, and some shared ideas such as reincarnation, profits and “Gods”, religious texts and rituals. Jewish, Christians, Catholics and several other religions have sacred scriptures that they follow and are devoted to. Some Indigenous tribes such as Native American in the United States practice traditional dances, sweat lodges, and ceremonial customs such as a sun dance. These types of customs such as the sun dance, sweat lodges and so forth have been passed down from generation to generation orally and continue to be practiced to this day by their decedents. Religious rituals can be common practice throughout many different religions in certain geographical locations. Indigenous tribes are much more secluded from other religious ideas and so their customs and rituals are more similar due to their geographic locations.

Critical issues to the academic study of religion?

There are several issues within the study of religion. The first is that religions are clumped together. Scholars, professors and teachers tend to focus on the largest religious sects such as Christians and Catholics, Jews and Islam, and make the other religious cultures a minority. Another issue is that there are several unanswered questions when it comes to religion, such as criticism, how does one become or stay religious, how are religions organized. The focus on the study of religions is mainly on the religion itself and their beliefs. Another issue is recently been showing up and that is religion has become more of a culture of spirituality instead of the religion. Many young people have found that they still have their faith in their religion but practice the traditions, rituals and customs far less. People have learned about religions and customs of these religions and some find them to be much more rigid and strict and they end up choosing to be spiritual rather than religious. Because of these views of religions it has formed bias opinions and lack of understanding for specific faiths. Interpretations from the studies can form wrong conclusions and give off a bad representation of the information given.

Religious Ethics and the Role they play in Religion.

Ethics and Religion go hand in hand in certain religions. Ethic is a way to live a good life and on good terms with one another and religion for some has the same meaning. “Revealed religions like Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam do prescribe some clear and unambiguous rules to follow. If their scriptures were authored or dictated by God, then the commands in them are God’s own commands. They cannot be changed if human circumstances change or ethical ideas progress.If religion has a role in moral decision-making, then what should be that role? In America, for many individuals, their religion is a centrally defining characteristic of who they are, such that they would be nearly incapable of making ethical decisions independently of their religious beliefs. (“The Role of Ethics In Religion”, 2012).”


Religion has evolved and expanded which has made defining and understanding it that much more difficult. One constituency remains still with religion and the people who practice and that is each individual still understands the sacred and spiritual customs their own religion practices and shares and continues to experience it for themselves. Each religion has their own characteristics and unique rituals and customs but one thing is true, religions strive to find their place in the world with understanding and issues constantly trying to be understood and persuade.


Advocate. (2017). Retrieved from

Definition of religion. (2017). Retrieved from

The Role of Ethics in Religion. (2012). Retrieved from