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4.7: Chapter Summary

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    Through presentation of numerous concrete examples, the present chapter has sought to communicate a more concrete sense of the different ways of being religious as they can be found among actual religious phenomena throughout the world, starting with Christianity in the United States. A sampling was given of examples of the ways within religious phenomena falling outside what would conventionally be recognized as religious. Beyond straightforward examples of each way, examples were cited and discussed of how traditions differently emphasize, prioritize, subordinate, tolerate on the fringe of acceptability, exclude, and suppress specific ways. It helps to differentiate in this respect between religious traditions taken as a whole, such as Christianity or Hinduism, and subtraditions within them. One subtradition can often be differentiated from another in terms of what way or ways of being religious it chooses to emphasize relative to the emphases of other subtraditions. Within a given tradition or subtradition, the relationships between the ways sometimes change as the tradition evolves and differentiates itself over time, especially insofar as it moves from one culture to another. This is especially evident in the great missionary religions of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, but it is not limited to them. The course of change is typically from a less differentiated to a more differentiated state, from one way or a few ways of being religious to many ways. Finally, at any given stage in their development, both traditions and subtraditions may be characterized by the manner in which they tend to identify exclusively with one, two, or three ways and little else, or inclusively encourage and accept all ways within their symbol systems.

    This page titled 4.7: Chapter Summary is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Dale Cannon (Independent) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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