Thebook, “What Is Religion-Introductions” was written by John F.Haught in attempts to reveal things that religions have in common.Also, Haught is focused on providing information on the typical needfor humans to discover significant routes through life and how tomaintain their spiritual potential (Haught,1990).
Silenceis one of the different types of religious behaviors. I agree withthe author that there exist similarities between different religionssuch as silence. This is because those people who practice silencehave revealed that God manifest himself to them in mysterious ways.Silence quiets the minds and imaginations of people and this allowsthem to enter into a mystery where there are no words. Silence is acommon aspect in all religions and it is one of the ways of doingreligion. Many religions recognize that words fail many peopleincluding worshipers when they aim to explain the ultimate mystery ofthe universe. In Christianity, although worshipers use different waysto communicate with God, they recognize that God is beyond thethoughts and words of human. Haught states that silence is a deepestway of a worshiper to express themselves and it surpasses words andthoughts. This evident in the story of Job in the Bible where despiteall his suffering, he remained silent. He did not complain nor curseGod as advised by his friends and wife. Instead, Job remained silenceand this led to his restoration again. This means that throughsilence, Job was able to adequately communicate with God (Haught,1990).
Additionally,I agree with the author that actions and justice are importantaspects in Christianity. Actions such as helping the pure and justiceare a demonstration of faith of Christians. Martin Percy indicatesthat participation of Christians in the political sphere, socialordering and public life is destructive to their faith and thisaffects their practice of justice. I conquer with Percy becauseparticipation in these spheres divides their loyalties and commitmentto God (Percy,1998).
Althoughthe author has provided significant information on religiousbehaviors including silence and action, I found the discussionconsisting of some opposing views. For example, the Haught makescontradictory statements on use of silence as a means ofcommunication. He states that most religions use silence because theybelieve it is the deepest way of expressing themselves. On thecontrary, Haught claims that the use of symbolic expressions and nowords cannot adequately communicate the meaning of the contentexperienced in religion. On the contrary, it is claimed that the useof words in mystical experience dose not communicate. The author hasnot provided a clear clarification on his comment and makes manyspeculative declarative statements without providing a clearjustification and thus it is misleading ((Haught,1990).
Haughtreveals that silence is one of the religious behaviors that is commonamong all religions. It is an important aspect in religion because itis considered the most effective way of communicating whereindividuals are able to adequately express themselves. Also, actionsand justice are crucial aspects in Christian life.
Haught,J. F. (1990). Whatis Religion?: An Introduction.Paulist Press.
Percy,M. (1998). Powerand the Church: Ecclesiology in an Age of Transition.Bloomsbury Publishing.