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Define Religious Authority

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Introduction

´╗┐Part A) Define Religious Authority (45) Religious authority is an ultimate source of authority containing accurate and authoritative knowledge about God or a deity who can give guidance on how their believers should behave, for example, the Ten Commandments in the Bible which prohibits Christians from certain acts -?Thou shalt not kill?. There are numerous forms of authority in religion, with God being widely perceived as the ultimate origin of authority as his words are inspired and provides the foundation for the three main forms of authority which are through scriptures, profits and tradition. Scriptures provide a main factor whilst defining religious authority as they are believed to be the word of God, often containing some sort of moral code which society as a whole should adhere to, such as the teaching of ?Love thy neighbour as yourself? in the Bible. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, scriptures are seen as authoritative as they are used in Services of Prayer, for example, morning and evening prayers in the Church of England use readings from both the Old Testament and New Testament. Finally, scriptures also help provide answers to ultimate questions and can be used to solve disputes and conflicts due to the clarity of them. Another factor which is fundamental to defining religious authority is Tradition which is given authority because of its repetition and weight of history. Tradition implies religious teachings over a length of time which is passed down from one generation to the next and is usually the words from an initial profit, an example being that Jesus taught the disciples the Lord?s Prayer which is now frequently recited and has become a central prayer in Christianity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Prophets play a vital role in defining religious authority as they gain their authority due to the fact that very often they are great exemplars and provide very striking models on how to live shown in the life of the Buddha who gave up his privileged life in order to seek enlightenment. Furthermore, prophets are living beings who can be interacted with and spoken to and answer detailed questions as Jesus did with what he said about the Sabbath. Additionally, prophets enjoy vast authority because ultimately they have been sent by God as Mohammad was sent by Allah and they bring teachings from God himself. Finally, what we get from prophets is a narrative of their lives which are important to humans as we are inclined to follow and adhere to their narratives. Alasdair MacIntyre believes that human beings are ?unescapably story-telling animals?, meaning that humans are likely to follow the narratives of the Prophets. ...read more.

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