There are different ways to look at and give information about a religion since it has been a very important part of human affairs for a very long time. Religion plays a very important role in people’s daily lives; even if you’re not religious you are still indirectly affected by it. Religion influences so many different things like how we organize communities, social norms, some have even gone to war over religion. One of the ways you can look at it from an inside or subjective point of view(also keeping in mind there are several different ways to look at a particular religion as an insider) which means how you look at it will be influenced by your own opinion and sometimes even includes promoting the religion. It would be written in a Theological perspective and an example of this is the passage that author JC wrote. You can also look at it from an outside or objective point of view meaning that you are putting aside your own personal beliefs and opinions while examining the religion; you don’t need to be a part of the religion when looking at it from this perspective. While studying it you would learn just like an insider would without actually becoming an insider. This would make it a religious studies perspective like the passage written by author CF.
Author CF talks about an important ritual in Hinduism called Puja, which is the act of worshipping and entertaining an important and adored guest. They explain why and to who they perform Puja. It is a way to show their personal affection and honor their gods and goddesses but to also to create a unity between the deity to have a closer and stronger relationship to them. While writing this passage the author brackets their beliefs. Therefore, their opinion or beliefs are kept separate and they are not promoting nor undermining Hinduism. This passage is written from a religious studies perspective.
In the second passage author JC gives some information about Christianity. They state that it will show you the truth about all other religions. Claiming that other religions fall short in things like “elevation, magnitude, and beauty” when compared to Christianity. Author JC’s opinions and beliefs are clearly shown in the passage because they are speaking from an inside point of view. The author is also promoting the religion and undermining the other religions of the world. Therefore, this passage is written from a theological perspective.
In both of the passages both authors CF and JC do research and give information on two different religions Christianity and Hinduism. CF’s information is written in an outsider’s point of view. The information author CF gives is about Puja, which is from the religion of Hinduism, is just to inform the reader and not to influence the readers opinion. Author CF is not putting their own opinion into the passage making the passage objective or from a religious studies perspective. Author JC gives information about Christianity, but the information is not specific to a ritual. JC’s information is written in an insider’s point of view. Stating that Christianity will lift you above all other religions showing you the truth about all other religions suggesting that other religions are inferior to Christianity. The authors opinion is embedded into the information and they are also promoting it because they are indirectly implying that all other religions are not as good as Christianity making the passage subjective or written from a theological perspective.
Religious studies and Theology are two very different perspectives from which you are able to analyze a religion from. A religious studies perspective is objective which means that the passage has to be unaffected by the authors opinion. This is the perspective that was used by author CF because the author gives information about the Hinduism but does not promote or undermine the religion. Theology is subjective, which means that the passage will be influenced by personal opinions meanwhile promoting a religion and undermining all other religions. This is the perspective that was used by author JC.