Many religions are observed to manifest and follow eight unique elements. These elements include community, worldview, myths or general stories, ethics, rituals, emotional experiences, sacredness, and material expression (Guyette, 2014). These elements play a critical role towards bringing followers of the religion together. This discussion describes how Rastafarianism and Christianity appear to fulfill these eight elements.
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My religious belief is that of Christianity. This religious movement appears to fall into the same pattern. To begin with, the belief system follows the teachings of Christ described in the Holy Bible. The believers strongly believe that God is all knowing and dictates the fate of every human being (Guyette, 2014). This belief system is shared by members of the community. The religion is practiced in many regions across the world. Many people follow Christ’s teachings and God’s commandments. Such teachings dictate their actions, practices, and relations with other members of the society.
There are numerous stories narrated by members of the religion. For example, the stories of Noah, Moses, Jonah, and Jesus Christ have been observed to strengthen the Christianity faith (Guyette, 2014). Many believers also follow most of the parables described in the New Testament. There are also different rituals that are taken seriously by members of this religious group. Some of the common rituals embraced by Christians include Christmas and Easter celebrations. Followers of the religion are baptized in order to become true followers of Christ. Death and birth ceremonies are characterized by prayers. Additionally, prayers are used to communicate with God. These ceremonies are embraced by many Christians in different parts of the world.
The other issue revolves around ethics. The religion guides its followers to respect, protect, and guide others. Specific sins such as stealing and fornication are discouraged. Christians believe strongly that such sins should be treated as a rebellion against God’s teachings. These rules are usually narrated and guided by the Holy Bible. These ethical rules have guided the behaviors of many believers. Specific emotional experiences such as inner peace, joy, happiness, and devotion are evident in this religion (Guyette, 2014). Grieving and mourning are common when loved ones die. Material expression is evident because believers use certain objects to perform rituals. For instance, Catholics are known to use rosaries during prayers. The cross is a representation of Christ on earth. Churches are sacred places for worshiping. Finally, sacredness is supported by holy people in the Bible such as Abraham and Isaac. Jerusalem is treated as a holy place by many Christians. The above eight elements have more or less the same weight in Christianity (Guyette, 2014). The elements support the beliefs and doctrines of the Christian faith.
Several religious movements have emerged in the recent past. Rastafarianism is one of these movements and follows most of the ideals held by Christians (Yahudah, 2014). Members of this religious movement share common beliefs and ideals. They form the Rastafarian community and believe that Jah (or God) is the creator of the universe. Several stories or myths have been narrated by members of the community for decades. One of them is “the coronation of Haile Selassie as Ethiopia’s emperor in 1930” (Yahudah, 2014, p. 21). It is also agreeable that rituals are embraced by members of this religious community. Such stories and rituals are used to support the people’s beliefs. For instance, the smoking of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and singing of reggae music are some of the rituals embraced by members of this religious movement.
The religion outlines specific ethics that dictate the manner in which people behave. The smoking of marijuana and respected Mount Zion are powerful expressions of the religion’s beliefs. New guidelines such as respect for human rights have emerged in the recent past. Emotions such as devotion, mystery, and pain are shared by members of this religion. Inner peace is embraced by Rastafarians in order to avoid disagreements (Yahudah, 2014).
Material expression is supported by a number of objects such as sacred places and holy people. The followers believe strongly that Ethiopia is a holy place. According to Rastafarianism, Mount Zion is in Ethiopia. The followers argue that Mount Zion is the holiest place on earth. They also believe that “Ethiopia is the origin of man” (Yahudah, 2014, p. 63). The Holy Bible is also respected and read by many Rastafarians. The religious movement is characterized by the famous Rastafarian colors. These include yellow, green, and red. Cannabis sativa is another unique material that occupies a unique position in the religion (Yahudah, 2014).
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Sacredness in Rastafarians is expressed using a number of people, places, and actions. Some of these practices include smoking of marijuana, singing reggae music, and honoring the birthplace of Haile Selassie. Individuals such as Leonard Howell, Bob Marley, and Mortimer Planno are respected by Rastafarians. Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie are some of the central figures of this religion. Rastafarianism puts more weight on some of these elements. For instance, material expression and myths are the ones taken seriously by members of this movement. Elements such as worldview and ethics do not have much weight (Yahudah, 2014). However, each of the eight elements is embraced by members of the religion. This discussion therefore shows conclusively that the above eight elements are critical towards strengthening the values and principles held by members of different religious groups.
Guyette, F. (2014). Faith, friendship, and justice: Elements for a Christian social ethic. AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 2(1), 46-61.
Yahudah, A. (2014). A journey to the roots of Rastafari. Bloomington, IN: Trafford Publishing.