The following is an example of a critical reflection essay
Most individuals who are well informed know that the main aim of learning is to acquire knowledge and information. Therefore, after every learning process, an individual should be in a position to give a good account of the things that were learned. If the learning process was effective, one should also be able to demonstrate their understanding of the material through explanation of the main points and application of the ideas and concepts learned to personal life experiences. This paper comprises a personal critical reflection that is based on the information acquired in the three week’s readings, the theories, and the concepts learned.
After extensively reviewing the information that was in the three week’s readings, I am glad to say that I have obtained a lot of information on the issues that were discussed. In the first week, I managed to learn elaborate definitions for various concepts that were discussed. Although the term anthropology was familiar to me, I came to realise that it refers to the study of cultures. Through the readings, I learned more about cultural anthropology which enables me to examine religion and various religious communities around the world. However, prior to examining the concept of religion and how it relates to anthropology, two schools of thought that are the Britain and the American school of through were examined to elaborate on what cultural anthropology comprised of (Miner, 1993).
Going forward, religion was then defined as a dynamic and complex web of religious practices, beliefs, societies, and institutions. Another term that came into light was the anthropology of religion which referred to an approach used to study religion-based participant observation and field practices that were long-term (Bowie, 2012). Through the information acquired in the first week’s reading on anthropology, I now understand why individuals hold certain believes and tend to have a deep faith in various actions they engage in.
In the second week’s readings, I examined various scenarios that were highlighted that enabled me to understand religion and culture better. It is clear that every religion is somehow unique and that religion overlaps with other domains of life such as law and politics. In the third week, I examined various views that were raised by different theorist with regard to religion. Although all the opinions are related to the same topic, each theorist appeared to have different views. One of the assumption that strike me the most was the view given by Sigmund Freud who suggested that individual had personal drives of self-preservation and pleasure and religion was negative and kept individuals from meeting these goals.
Another interesting view was raised by Karl Marx who related religion to material interests. His idea was that religion was the source of orientation in an individual and that religion is shaped by economic forces (Miner, 1993). However, all the ideas reviewed suggested something unique about religion that elicited various thoughts. The questions that I would wish to pose to the reader are as follows; is there any correlation between the religion and the culture that an individual belongs to? The anthropology of religion is a practice used to study religion through long-term observation and fieldwork, do this practice reveal the truth regarding the perspectives, values, and beliefs held by participants?
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Bowie, F. (2012, July 21). (PDF) Anthropology of Religion. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230332742_Anthropology_of_Religion
Miner, H. (1993). Body Ritual Among the Nacirema. Irvington Pub.