“In The Presence Of Mystery” is a book authored by Michael Horace Barnes addressing the concept of human religiousness. The author tries to trace the diverse forms of religious behaviors where he deeply focuses on the role of human beings in spreading religion (Barnes 2). He notes that religion has been transformed from the most primitive form to a more advanced state through use of anecdotes, myths, fork tales and literal illustrations (Barnes 4).
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This paper will critically reflect on the author’s contribution towards the understanding of religion and examine whether his thinking is beneficial or harmful to the society. Moreover, the paper will incorporate a discussion to defend the analysis made in response to the thinker’s perspective.
It is apparent that most of the topics in the book are quite interesting since they make the reader to have a grasp of what religion is all about and the major landmarks that have shaped it to present moment. For instance, in chapter one that is titled An Enchanted World, the author discusses the aspects that define a primitive religion (Barnes 10). He explains that people sympathetically forms some beliefs that are closer to truth without tasting the real scenario of a particular matter.
This implies that some people tend to believe in some things which they are less informed of how much power they possess and associated with divinity (35). In this case, people have some misinformed perceptions that are connected to some cultural accumulations thus creating a society of individuals with archaic minds. Another interesting topic is that of The Human Quest where the author uses theories to explain how humans seek to believe in gods and spirits (42).
The author argues that culture make people comfortable to believe in the divinities irrespective of whether they are archaic or not. Moreover, A Supreme and Awesome Unity is a topic that addresses the fact that human beings are able to unify their belief in God and other historic deities. In line with this, the author confirms that man has an endless hunger for belief in divinity as portrayed in the topic, The Endless Quest.
From a careful analysis literature, I am convinced that the author’s ideas are beneficial to the society. To a greater extent, his thoughts act as a mid opener to the society by questioning the basis of various religions. In fact, the author enlightens the society on the need to belief on a religion which they are most informed.
This implies that they need to carefully scrutinize some of the religious beliefs in order to identify those that are real or false (Barnes 87). The author’s perspective helps the society to face some of the religious mysteries and adopt those which influence their lives positively. For instance, the society should examine the impacts of some of the beliefs especially those that govern friendship and social interactions.
In this case, the author gives a reflection that people should embark on beliefs that will foster social success, bring satisfaction and make people helpful to others (Barnes 87). The other benefit that can be derived from the thinker’s perspective is that he sensitizes the society to adopt fundamental religion and beliefs that make people develop a positive sense of life.
To recap it all, the author’s multifaceted approaches toward numerous religions help society to realize that every individual has an entitlement to believe in what they perceive as right.
This has also fostering respect for other people’s religion thus providing a room for freedom, commitment and appreciation of societal humanness. The discussion of ancient religious denominations such as Buddhism, Judaism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity makes the society appreciate diverse human civilizations and the basics of diverse human beliefs.
Barnes, Michael. In the Presence of Mystery: An Introduction to the Story of Human Religiousness. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 2003. Print.