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Elements of Religious Traditions

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Religious traditions describe and encourage relationships with sacred time as cyclical reliving to its origins for renewal. Ordinary time exists everyday and we may see it as moving forward. Sacred time is "the time of eternity". Among the Koyukon people of the Arctic is called "distant time", it is the holy ancient past in which the gods lived and worked. It is among Australian abo rigines it is "dream time", and is the subject of their highly esteemed art. Indigenous religions structure daily lives in ways to make them conform to mythical events in sacred time, for them this creates a sense of holiness. In discussing time, and how it exists every day, so does space. Unlike time, it is a doorway to "the other world" of gods and ancestors, so we may contact them and they may contact us. Native religions may use a sacred space such as mountains, volcanoes, lakes or other natural sites. Sacred spaces can also be constructed in shape (circle or square), special buildings, margins made of rock or rope, or an open space among trees and buildings. Relationships with the Divine are made out effective by offering prayers and performing good deeds. It is believed that the relationship would be strong, if an individual walks on right path. In this relationship, the belief system would make person blessed with God's graces. It shows that the God is the supernatural power. Each thing is in control of God only. Relationships are maintained, by forming indirect connection. It is just a belief that the God is bestowing human with graces and blessings. Different rituals and traditions are executed at particular occasions just as to celebrate association with the God as well (Caputo, 2001).

Scholars identify key critical issues in studying religion. The study of religion is time consuming, with the research of sacred sites, reading various scriptures, talking to petitioners and partaking in religious rituals for experience and fiat hand knowledge. One critical issue in studying religion was in the first century, travel had limited availability, and studies were limited to what they could read. Scholars would read specific religions, read accounts of witnesses of religious sacred sites and rituals. They made comparisons on their readings and published their conclusions. An important key issue in studying religion, was oral traditions that that were not written. Scholars asked a vast amount of questions, but the biggest question was; how should the oral traditions be studied properly? The written scripts were either not complete or not translated properly and they contained Hagiography (Greek: "holy writing" or"saint writing"). It is not an objective in history, but it is more storytelling aimed to inspire devotion and some or all of it is highly structured.




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