Religious And Culture Value Essays
The Italian culture is perhaps one of the richest cultures in the entire southern Europe. It has a very rich history in respect to its popular customs and traditions, classic architecture and art. The Italian people are very agreeable, welcoming and warm towards strangers. They are a people who derive pleasure in sharing the exciting pleasures of everyday life with their neighbors. Getting bored in Italy is quite an understatement since the Italian land offers the most exciting, delightful and stimulating beauty that nature has to offers. Coupled with this is the charm and the elegance of its residents who share a variety of regional cultures.
Perhaps the most exciting aspects of Italian culture is the richness of its wine and food, artists with an admirable reputation, glorious engineering and design. Italian musicians and filmmakers offer very captivating forms of entertainment. Any one who has gotten a chance to visit Italy will bear me witness that our architecture and monuments provide quite an enthralling experience (Killinger, 2005). Our language, Italian, offers a sensuous pleasure and any one who is keen enough to observe it in actual usage can not help falling in love with the way Italians use nicknames and diminutives in creation of intimacy and familiarity with those surrounding them. Most intriguing are the tragedies and scandals that accompany Italy’s history as well as politics since the ancient Roman times through to the renaissance up to the present age offers quite a wonderful experience for any one who explores the Italian history.
Family Roles and Rituals
The family forms the core of the Italian social structure. It is often credited for the stability of its members. Family values are the building blocks of the Italian society which help in maintaining very close and strong social links. All Italians are expected to sustain strong bonds with their siblings, other relatives and parents regardless of whether one is married, single, or divorced. A typical characteristic of the northern families is the nuclear families living together while in the south the extended family are normally found living as a unit in one home. The family is entrusted with responsibility of providing for financial and emotional support for all its members (Killinger, 2005).
For the past few decades the Italian society has undergone a couple of drastic social changes which are characterized by both problems and advantages. There has been drastic increase in the number of women working away from their home as well as the swelling number of youths thirsting for higher education. The legalization of divorce In addition to the above has brought about a lot of profound changes on the structure of the family. Elderly persons are supposed to be taken care of and respected regardless of whether they reside with their children in their home or independently (Cuilleanain, 2006).
Communication/ ExpressionItalians are people who value appearances hence the mode of dressings means a lot to them. They are a people who are extremely conscious of fashion. The Italians can learn a lot from you from your dressing code for instance the family background, level of education and social status even before the listen to your mannerism in speaking. The first impression to them is very important since it is normally the last hence they value the ‘Bella Figura’ concept which means good image (Cuilleanain, 2006). They can so easily assess ones social standing or age unconsciously even before they utter their first word.
Religious Beliefs and Values
Italy is very rich in holy places some of them which are worth over 2000 years. The Vatican City and Rome alone has thousands of churches, shrines and relics. For instance St Peters relics other saints and popes, sites that the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared, sites that were holy to ‘Saint Francis of Assisi,’ and other numerous sites associated with miracles. Religious ceremonies are common phenomena in Italy. For instance Easter, Immaculate Conception, Pentecost, and charismas which mark the holy days of the Roman Catholic church Italy’s. Other rituals and ceremonies include sanctification of saints, blessings, and the reciting of the novenas, sodalities, reciting the rosary, masses both dairy and weekly, and feast days as well as their quasi religious activities (Killinger, 2005).
The Italian people believe in life after death. This belief is based on the conviction that the good shall be rewarded while the sinners shall be punished. They believe in purgatory a place where sinners reside before they go heaven for their sins to be purged. Hell and heaven form part of their realities. The dead are celebrated and quietly spoken to. Modern day funerals are carried out in parlors and the dead are supposed to be respected. Absentia from the funeral of a friend or for one of the family members attracts relationship breach if at all there no valid reason.
Culture Influence on My Counseling
One of the cultural values that might influence my role as counselor while dealing with a client who shares a different culture is my belief in my religion and its values. Dealing with a client who might tend to dispute my religious values taking for instance Protestants or Muslims who attach different beliefs and respects to the Virgin Mary might cause me to feel that the client does not respect my religious beliefs and values. The remedy or adjustment that I might have to adopt is to keep the therapy session professional. I would try as much as possible to avoid getting personal or involving our religious differences in our conversation and make the client realize that religion is a personal thing since it involves one adopting a personal relationship with his or her God and the beliefs and values that the religion identifies with.
Another cultural value that might influence my role as a counselor is my strong belief in the family as the central pillar of the social structure. Counseling a person from a cultural background that does not put much value on the family for instance a man who has neglected his family and does not seem to care may affect my tolerance towards him. The remedy or adjustments that I might have to make is to understand that though people are equal they might never be the same. Some hold very different values from the ones that we consider important and therefore we should take this into consideration and approach them without any prejudices or personal judgments.
Culture and Religion
This web site is about our human nature and how the social forces of culture and religion can bring people together for cooperative success or can divide people for persecution and suffering.
Culture defines the social forces within a community involving its conventions for behavior, ranging from food preparation techniques, to forms of entertainment that keep the community together like music or dancing, to dating rituals, and so on.
Religion defines how the community members interpret their role in the universe, with this teaching based on the local culture, so different religions rise out of different cultures. Similarly when members of one religion convert members of a foreign culture often the resulting religion in that area is affected by the host culture.
According to the book by Jonathan Haidt, the Righteous Mind, most of humanity seems to fall into valuing one of two tendencies higher than the other, either tolerance or loyalty and conformance. I suspect those valuing conformance higher than tolerance can be influenced into intolerant behaviors. This book also points out the inherent groupish nature of people. These tendencies provide the foundation for the typically divisive political leadership of today.
According to the book by Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (GGS), religion only surfaces as something important to a community after the group has grown to such an extent that layers of leaders are in place to manage the larger population and its resources. Religion is often a tool of politicians.
Religion is a divisive tool for political leaders as it enables one group to be defined and divided from another, just as race has been used. Whenever one political group can unite against an opposing group, persecution and suffering is often the result for that group now isolated from the others. The book GGS also describes how different cultures have conquered or disappeared over the course of human history around the world.
In our modern times of high rates of literacy across so many different cultures around the world, we should have learned that cooperation is part of our human nature and its practice will be successful in most endeavors, where a group of people of diverse skills and backgrounds can succeed when individuals or a group of uniform skills cannot. Instead the problem is 'divide and conquer' remains the most widespread leadership technique, so only a privileged few will benefit to the detriment of so many others.
I started this web site because American political and religious leaders were using the Christian religion to justify the wars in the Middle East. This message is emphasized throughout our media, with the ever present phrase 'God bless America' as if our country is exceptional as the conduit for God's master plan during our campaign of dominance over competing cultures and religions in the world.
The point of this web site is we are all part of this global community and it is not fair that only a few benefit while most suffer. The concentration of power, with no workable mechanisms for accountability, leads to absolute power which (as observed long ago) corrupts absolutely. The major problems of our time arise directly out of our presently large social structures (government, corporations, etc.) that are managed by those lacking empathy for anyone impacted by their behaviors and policies. Sociopaths are those most likely to succeed at the top, especially whenever there is the priority on short term results. I find it quite appalling our world is approaching the dystopian world described in the infamous book of fiction 1984, as if no one of importance has recognized such dangers.
I have collected my thoughts into several groups (with the number of essays in each group shown below). The site map has the site in an outline form, which can be easier to navigate among the various essays within the main topics.
Mythology and the origins of our religions (8)
Creationism - mixing science and religion (6)
Moral values (10)
Foreign policy (7)
Debates - issues dominated by groups (7)
A brief view of life (20) (new page added 01/10/2018)
The Religion of AGW (6 + 25 pages of analysis)
My counterpoint to BreakPoint commentaries
Parents guide part 1 responses (19),
Parents guide part 2 responses (14),
Worldview of the Church responses (2),
Second Sight responses (5)
The BreakPoint web site provides a Christian fundamentalist perspective on life and trends. I am offering an alternate perspective to consider. (that site has had drastic content changes since these perspectives )
Comments on a blog about Progressive Christianity (links to 33)
Various books about religion, science and politics (books added 01/10/2018)
Various publications regarding catastrophism (Pensee, Kronos, Aeon)
About the author (3) (new page added 02/14/2018)
Site Map presents the site in an outline form, for simple navigation from one page)
Site Chronology is a quick way to navigate to recent posts (at the end)
If you have comments, please E-mail me at dave at cultureandreligion.com. (with @ )
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In July 2014 this web site was reformatted to a vertical presentation, more appropriate for a mobile device. Unfortunately the web site development tool being used has no capability for different formats based on the users platform. The reminder for zooming, shortcuts common to many different browsers, has been added to the main pages in case a non-mobile user finds the default presentation font too small.
original site created in geocities - May 2000
culture and religion web site created - Nov. 2004
last home page content change - 01/02/2015
last change to the web site - 02/14/2018