Why Everyone Should Study World Religions

I honestly believe everyone—from an early age—should be exposed to as many world religions, mythologies, creation stories, and folk tales as possible. It is beyond eye-opening to watch the similarities unfold. From the proclaimed deities and religious figures, to the nearly identical tales being told by different cultures, to the overwhelming sameness of the core principles outlined in the various writings—seeing the connected threads in these “unique” religions is definitely an enlightening experience.

Side view of an open book with pages turning.

Children believe some religious stories to be true and others to be false because we convince them of such when they are young and trust us implicitly. Can you imagine what a different world we would live in if future generations were instead exposed to myriad mythologies and as they grew were encouraged to draw their own conclusions about their similarities, incompatibilities, and logic?

In our homeschool we aim to present many different tales in a neutral way, so my students can appreciate the lessons offered in these stories without bias. Sharing various approaches to how humans have attempted to understand the mysteries of our world—without implying that any one explanation is “more true” or should hold more “weight” than another—has allowed them {and me} to both appreciate the journey that has kept these words alive throughout time as well as clearly see the improbability of any of them being 100% correct.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the Agents do not believe any one religion to be true, but are quite fascinated by the different beliefs and worldviews folks hold. They know they can extract insights from these myths; the fact that they are fictional does not diminish their value. They note the connections all faith stories share {lots of “a-ha” moments in our reading when they come across a familiar tale, such as the flood myth}.

I want their life path—wherever it may lead—to be treasured, even if it doesn’t look like the majority. I am grateful they feel comfortable with their own convictions, because I was most definitely not at their age. Of course, inevitably someone is going to come along and try to tell them that their spiritual place is wrong, incomplete.

While my children readily embrace their atheistic conclusions as valid, I spent years struggling to acknowledge non-belief as a possibility. This sounds silly when you think about it; I mean, of course it is. But realistically, growing up in a culture where virtually everyone you know is of some religious stripe or another {mostly Christian/Catholic, in my case}, and following the religion of your parents is expected and encouraged, this is not something most people even have on their radar. I certainly did not. It took much contemplation and time to internalize this as a worthwhile and legitimate viewpoint.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Yes yes that’s all good – I appreciate the way you show up for your kiddos, but OMG it’s Sulley!!! I came because I saw your pic and everything Disney is life for me. hahaha

    Also you said “not to put too fine a point on it” and suddenly the ‘They Might Be Giants’ song burst into my head. Please tell me you know it, if not, please find them. All school children need they might be giants in their life – and adults too.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Sarah! Agree that Disney is life. We are always counting down to a trip, currently Disneyland, later this month. And we are huge TMBG fans around here. My son, especially, is borderline obsessed. We listen/sing in the car pretty much daily. We still listen to the kid albums sometimes, but now all the kids are fans of the adult stuff, too. When my oldest was about 2 we had the DVDs for ABCs and 123s on basically nonstop. Birdhouse in Your Soul will be in my head for the rest of the day now.

      1. I love it!!! I’ll have to stick around – you seem like good people based on those interests alone 😉

Leave a Reply