Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Religious Philosophy

  Master of Religious Philosophy

                                                     Final Essay

     As stated many times "more wars are fought over religion . . ."  Reviewing this class on Religious Philosophy you can see where this can all come about.  If I could create my ideal world it would consist of acceptance of every group or individual beliefs in their own God.  Really, what does it matter what shape or size your God is?  Or my God is stronger than yours.  If you have a belief in a higher power and know that one day you will have to account for your actions on earth, so be it. That's my dream world and now back to what really is.  The four forms of religion was quite interesting.  I have never categorized them before in that way.  The Individualistic, Communal, Shamanistic and Ecclesiastical types of faith can be somewhat overlapping.  I see my stand in religion a mixture of all four.  Raised Roman Catholic, this is my religious base, although I have trouble agreeing with all doctrines.  This brings up the thought of taking a doctrine and picking and choosing the ideas and rituals you like and discarding the rest.  Regardless there are traits of the other three that I incorporate into my daily life and practice.

     Learning the history and practices of the many less known religions was enlightening.  The comparison of psychological, political and social brought a new outlook for me in how religious communities relate or do not relate to each other.  Seeing how area and culture play such an important part of which group the religion falls into.  This is a new concept, which is why I took the class- to learn different ideas and thoughts.  The last discourse going into the conflict between science and religion was 'crazy'.  Each field of study wants the other to prove or disprove their theories.  They bring a 'truth' to the moment and wait for the other to show that it is not the truth, but we on the other side have the real truth.  Ping-Pong.

     When I think of philosophy, scholarly people sharing thoughts comes to mind.  Religion is a way of honoring your God.  Put the two thoughts together and you are scholarly honoring God doesn't make much sense.  Religion comes from the heart not the brain.  Our beliefs come from the mind of knowing that there is a Higher power that interacts with us on different levels each day, each moment.

     This was a fantastic class!  Each lesson was concise, to the point and very informative.  Robert Chamberlain did an excellent projection of the many aspects religious history and how the physical location in the world can determine the bases for the practices within the religion.  Thank you, Robert, for sharing your knowledge.

Rev. Constance J. Hitts
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