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Dimorphs and Cobblers: Ways of Being Religious in Canada

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 997
  • Category: Canada

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William Closson James’ “Dimorphs and Cobblers:  Ways of Being Religious in Canada” discussed about religion as what was observed in Canada in the late 20th century. The article expressed how religion all over the world, specifically in Canada had highly personal and individualistic inclinations. Spirituality was seen to be more preferred than religiosity to cater to the behavior and the environment of the individual. In comparison to a monolithic and unitary belief system James presented a view on the type of religion that was either cobbled or dimorphic.

Religious diphormism was seen as one of the manners by which new religion was practiced alongside a traditional belief system. It was considered as compartmentalized dualism. Religion in Japan was said to exhibit such kind of religion. It was considered to be a synthetic blending of two religious traditions. This was seen to be done in Japan by interchanging the different religions according to their needs and circumstances. For example, a woman said she was Roman Catholic when she was in Canada but a Hindu when she was in India. Couples with an interfaith marriage alter their religious practices to make way for each other’s practices.

Religion in relation to culture had also played an important part in the act of combining different religious practices. Cobbling was done when the traditional religion was constructed to be practiced with another religions by means according to what the individual saw was applicable to him or her. They could sort, like a consumer does, from different practices and select or disregard those that worked or did not work for them.

While the author of this article promoted that religions that involved the combination of two or more religions should not be considered as inferior or less legitimate kind of religions. He did not consider the importance of monotheism, not because of legalism but the protection understanding and sincerity to one’s faith. Even if it had been denied numerously, convenience was actually a significant reason why religion had become more individualistic and selective in the practices that they upheld.

Religion, especially with Christianity, involved lordship as a fundamental principle of religious practices. Lordship pertains to a devotion, a surrender or submission to the Supreme Being that the religion worshipped or venerated. Dual or multiple religious practices defeated this principle. Tradition should never be considered to be more important that the sincerity of the faith. Even if practices did not contradict each other, it still contradicts the purpose of religion. The author should address the question of lordship in his support for cobbling or for individualistic religions. Why does a person perform religious practices? Is it for one’s self? For whom are these practices? The question of motive should be examined and be aligned with the purpose for religion.

“The Politics of the Body in Canada and the United States” was written by John H. Simpson and discussed body-issues in relation to religion and the culture of the countries in the article title. He started the article with the discussion of the Cartesian principle of “I think, therefore I am” and how it was almost replaced by issues of the body instead of the mind.

The youth had increasing adopted a counterculture of sexual permissiveness. There was an emergence of popular music, homosexuality, sex and drugs. There was also an issue with economic, political and social rights as issues that concerned the minorities, women, as well as gays and lesbians.

The emphasis on the expression of the body as a result of the “somatic” society was discussed in this paper. Body-oriented socio-cultural shifts were said to take off in the 1960s and continued on since then. The growth of such issues were related to increased information and communication about it together with the participation of women, the development of more reliable birth control methods as well as new feminism.

Another main issue regarding this article was in terms of the analysis of the religious denomination of the population in regard to their convictions regarding body-related issues. Religion played a huge role in the development of their mindsets on body politics. The United States and Canada were compared against each other to examine this relationship.

Canada was a predominantly Catholic country and the United States was predominantly Protestant. The article showed how there were twice as many Catholics in Canada compared to those who were in the United States. Most of the people who lived in Canada did not consider religion as the most important thing in their principles and outlooks in life. They were also known for having more individualistic religion practices.

The consideration of homosexuality was a perfect example of Canada’s openness to liberal body issues. The fact that only Canada had a Church that ordained lesbians and gays was a major issue of discussion. Canada also showed little regard for pornography and abortion as national problem issues. Generally, Canada’s complacency or liberalism in terms of religious practices was highly related to how they had dealt with body politics such as abortion, homosexuality and the like. Overall, the only similarity the U.S. and Canada had was the importance of the equality of rights. While the United States did not tolerate the said issues with as much openness they still promoted the importance of the human rights.

Simpson accurately related the relationship between religion and the degree of conservatism or orthodoxy that the nation’s population. Canada was seen to be more open to the politics of the body. The U.S. had a certain degree of acceptance in terms of alcohol-use and pre-marital sexual relations. Questions that can be taken from this article would be in terms of the possibility for the U.S. to attain the certain level of openness Canada had towards homosexuality because of the decline in religious commitment in the country and is there less hate crimes against homosexuals in the nation because the acceptance of Canadian religious institutions.

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