Religion has been an interest and fascination for human beings since the earliest civilization. For many, it is a very important part of their life serving as a guide for living, a support system when things are hard, and a community to belong to. Modern technology has made accessing a wealth of religious information and writings very easy. If you’re interested in religion and want to make it a more pronounced part of your worldview, the amount of material available seems almost endless.
In addition to holy text, there are centuries worth of writings dedicated to examining religious thought and a variety of viewpoints to enlighten the reader. With so much available reading material, and whether you’re interested in learning about Christianity or any other revisions, the first questions may very well be where to start?
Religion and Theology – Where To Start?
1. Limit Your Bias
An important part of becoming more spiritually active, and studying religion and other theoretical topics is to be free of bias. Now certainly you should apply critical thought and analysis to any information you read, but you should read the material with an open mind. It’s self-defeating to have already made up your mind or dismissed a subject before you even had a chance to read it.
2. Start With A Broad Overview Before Deeper Research
Most major religions offer books specifically written for beginners which give a broad overview of a faith’s worldview, tenants, practices, worship activity, and how it impacts practitioners’ daily lives. These beginner books can give you a good idea if religion is for you before you start doing more detailed research. Once you find a faith of interest you can then move on to reading the associated religious texts much of which is available online and many organizations offer free print books if you prefer having them in your hands.
If you struggle with staying on the path when learning or organizing your learning process in the most effective ways, setting up a curriculum can be an ideal option for you. You can break down all the points and start organizing what you can study and adapt it to your own learning pace. If you want to learn about Christianity for instance, a youth curriculum for the church can help you stay dedicated and organized. In comparison to other learning methods, this one is more interactive, as it contains additional materials and videos to help you stay engaged.
3. Attend Services
This is a big step but can be an important one for certain people. However, you should not be stressed as places of worship welcome guests and are often more than willing to answer questions from a potential convert or simply someone expressing an interest in religion. Always remember to be respectful and follow the rules when attending a religious function.
4. Remember Everyone Is Different
It’s important to remember that religion can be a very private thing for many people and how they approach it can vary greatly. For example, if you enjoy copious amounts of reading and research then your religious practices may be very self-contained. However, others are more discussion-minded and enjoy talking theology with others and engaging in the larger religious community. While there are many religious entities that claim the superiority of their methods the sheer number of different interpretations, even within a singular religion, shows debates on religious interpretation are not ending any time soon.
5. Display Religion in Your Home
No matter the religion or principle you are following, you can show parts of that in your home. Interior
design as an industry usually excludes religion, so people decorate their faith-based homes with
ornaments from shops. Beautifying your own home is much more than just decorating or putting some
ornaments like a Virgin Mary tapestry, incense sticks, a Buddha statue, or Christ Icon somewhere on the
shelves. Your home is a place of ministry for you. Reflect on your style by displaying your beliefs.
When choosing Christian home décor for instance, think of how you use a specific space and how you
can bring light, life, and inspiration when you are spending time there. Trendy things fade quickly,
choose what is lasting and decorate it with light and joy.
Embracing a religion can be an important step in your life and how you view your greater place in the world. Questions of the how and why of the world have occupied the thoughts of humans from antiquity to the present. By joining this vast cultural fabric, you can greatly enrich your understanding of not just faith but how people approach it and the world at large.