Submitted By jsmith170
In the beginning of my college intro to religion course I was asked to write a reflection paper. The paper was to be based on why I decided to take the course, what some of my personal ideas on what religion were and, what I hoped and expected to gain after the course completion. In a short period of just six weeks I can say I’ve learned a lot. Some of my beliefs have remained the same, many of my questions have been answered and, most importantly I feel I have a better knowledge and understanding of the religions of others. One of the things I feel benefited me the most throughout this course was learning in depth about the origins of many of the great religions of the world such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity. Even going as far back as the primal and archaic period and how the transition of the agricultural revolution as well as the axial age paved the way for the more modern religions we still practice today. In order to be able to grasp some of the concepts and ideas I was learning and to be able to understand why people were doing or acting the way they were, I had to learn how to “bracket my own faith claims”. This was a little tough at first but sticking with the “my religion doesn’t apply here “or in this time period helped a lot. Once I had a better understanding of the lifestyles and the struggles of the people at that time it all made so much more sense to me. Another challenge I found within myself was being able to let go of some of the preconceived notions I had regarding other religions and even other parts of the world for that matter. I’ve always liked to think of myself as an open minded and adaptable person but, when you have had certain ideas engrained in you your whole life it can be a bit tough to put them to the side. Yet as I sat through lectures and began to hear the factual history as well as what the religions…...