Religious Authority

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Question

Topic: Discussion: Religious Authority
Details: Discussion: Religious Authority
Just about every world religion has an authority figure that presides over the religious institution and interprets and oversees the doctrine. In Christianity, for example, the structure of the religion’s institution has shifted over time and is currently rigidly centralized in some sects while decentralized in others. The related role of religious authority has been particularly contentious and has shifted as the institution itself changed over the centuries. Today, many Christian sects have split from others because of conflicting beliefs in who has authority. In this Discussion, you will compare religious authority and attendant institutions of two religions you have studied in the week’s readings.

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To prepare for this Discussion:

Review your course text’s selected readings for this week.
Choose two religious traditions to compare. Be sure one of the traditions is the tradition you selected to focus on in your Final Project.

Consider these questions:

Who is in charge?
Who is allowed a say in religious actions?
Are the religions deeply centralized? Loosely hierarchical?
How does culture evolve and change if religious institutions govern the values and practices of the culture?

By Day 3

Post a paragraph of your evaluation of religious authority and power in the two religions you chose. In a second paragraph, discuss the idea that if a higher power confers authority and shapes the religious institution, how does this influence the culture that practices the religion? Can people change values in the culture if religion originally sets the precedence? Support your assertions by making at least 2 references, in proper APA format, to your course readings.

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