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Religion as Worldview

Religion as Worldview


This lesson introduces religion as a form of "worldview thinking" that informs and largely guides the believer's thoughts, feelings, actions, and daily life.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to this tutorial on religion as worldview. A worldview is an overall belief system that is not easily set aside and is not easily compartmentalized. A worldview is something that people tend to carry with them, no matter what they do. It's an overall outlook on life.

So for a religious person, no matter what it is that they're doing, this worldview is always going to be present. Whether they're thinking about their family or their career, or the obstacles that they might be facing in life. No matter what it is it they're doing they're thinking about this worldview. And it colors or it helps them to see their life through the light of this particular way that they have of looking at the world.

So let's just take a simple example. This one comes from Islam. A common Muslim expression is In sha'Allah. And it means God willing. So if you're a religious Muslim, you don't want to just be making plans based on your own inclinations so you'll always throw this phrase in there-- In sha'Allah God willing.

So this phrase conveys an idea of God's sovereignty and it leads to a calm acceptance of things that happen in life. From the outside it might look like resignation or fatalism. But it's really just an expression that, hey look, everything's in God's control, so it's OK.

A similar belief in Hinduism and Islam is a belief in reincarnation and the theory of karma, which says that time is cyclical. I have plenty of rebirths to work out my karma so I can take a long view on the evils that happen in the world. And I can say that it'll all work out in the grand scheme of things.

So really, the same idea also exists in Hinduism and Buddhism. And I'm sure that you can think of examples from other world religions, maybe examples that we've talked about in other tutorials. So a worldview is just an overall take on life-- an overall view of the world.

Thanks for watching this tutorial on religion as worldview. A worldview is a wide and usually all-encompassing understanding of the nature of the world, divinity, truth, and or humanity. We said that a worldview informs nearly every aspect of life and that it can't easily be compartmentalized or set aside. We looked at worldviews in various different traditions, including Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Terms to Know

A wide, and usually all- encompassing, understanding of the nature of the world, divinity, truth, and/or humanity.