Muidh Alfarwan Barry Pen-Hollar RELIGION 202 9 May Question Sikhism: Religious Traditions and its Moral Philosophy Sikhism is the fifth largest religious belief in the world which traces its roots from the state of Punjab in India. The religion is said to be the youngest religion, founded more than 500 years ago by Guru Nanak Dev Ji as a response to a spiritual revelation (Singh Anand 1).
Guru Nanak imparted to his followers that the religion consisted …of always being mindful of God, meditating on the name and attributes of God, and reflecting on God’s Power in all activities of daily life (Sing Anand 1). The Holy book of the Sikh religion is called the Guru Granth Sahib, which contains the teaching, devotional composition that were written by Sikh Gurus, and some contemporary Hindu and Muslim saints. Its presence provides sanctity to the Gudwara, which is the place of worship of Sikh followers (2).
Sikhism believes in concepts such as the universal acceptance of all humanity, belief in one God, the name of God is Truth (Sat Num), the equality of all persons irrespective of their caste, color, gender, nationality, and religion, and equality in sexes is emphasized (2). In addition, the ten Gurus of the religion are considered one with the Divine being, wherein each had divine attributes (Singh Chanal 11). Moreover, the Sikh philosophy is grounded in the spirit of freedom, which influenced its notion of social justice and freedom. Sikhism cherishes freedom not only for themselves but for others as well (Singh 1).
The understanding of this religious tradition provides a more logical approach in a religious belief, since the teachings of Sikhism emphasizes that the True God encompasses all the names that are attributed to it by other religions and that there is only one God worshipped by any other religion. Sikhism also values equality of every individual and its aim for freedom for everyone is also a very noble act.
Impacts of Religion Today and the Importance
of Interreligious Dialogue
Religion in many centuries has always been an integral dimension in many armed conflicts, due to the inherent differences in the religious beliefs and practices of different religions. The diversity of these traditions had been a constant hurdle in undergoing conflict resolutions (Hapviken 352). Thus, religion can have both positive and negative impacts on the efforts of peacemaking. Multidimensional approach is also fundamental in order to address the conflicts between different beliefs and inter-religious dialogue is the key part of this (Brajovic 186).
Religious traditions imply its negative potential on the aspect wherein a member of one religion has a tendency to uphold strong religious convictions that constitutes a negative force over other traditions. This usually results to an individual that feeds conflicts, undermines political and economic development, and lead to an attitude of preventing rational dialogues and conflict resolution (Hapviken 353). On the other hand, Religion can also provide positive impacts in terms of its peacemaking potential. By having religious orders that would accept their commonalities with other religious traditions and by having inter-religious dialogues, peace can be achieved and the gaps between different religions can be bridged (Hapviken 356).
The negative potential of a religious tradition is addressed through a system of inter-religious dialogue, which provides the positive potential of the religion to bring peace within states and communities. Inter-religious dialogues or syncretism usually includes the interaction of these religious groups in mutual presence wherein the groups are able to speak and listen to each other, and witness the commitments, values, and rituals of other religious traditions (Brajovic 187). Conversations between two individuals with different religious constructs can also be considered as a form of inter-religious dialogue, where both can share their differences and similarities. However, inter-religious dialogues would have its greatest potential when influential leaders of religious groups come together and settle their differences and strive to develop their normative practices in respecting other beliefs.
Singh Anand, Jasminder. Sikhism. Office of Multicultural Affairs. 2008. Web. 7 May 2012.
Singh Chahal, Devinder. SIKHISM – A Philosophy without Myth.. UNDERSTANDING SIKHISM, 54 (2002): 10-12. Web. 7 May 2012.
Singh, Avtar. The Role of the Moral Philosophy in Sikhism. Institute of Sikh Studies. 2011. Web.
Brajovic, Zoran. The Potential of Inter-Religious Dialogue. Bergholf Center. 2006. Web. 7 May 2012.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg. Faithful brokers? Potentials and Pitfalls of Religion in Peacemaking. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 25.3 (2008): 351-373. Web. 7 May 2012.