Sample Religious Studies Paper on Religious Rituals

Sample Religious Studies Paper on Religious Rituals

Different rituals were conducted by different communities in different countries for different reasons (Freiberger, 2018). The ancestral veneration conducted in China was a kind of worship that was done to the ancestors and it started with a son’s filial piety for the father before his death. After the father’s death, it was the duty of the son to follow certain conversations during the morning section. The reason why I decided to employ phenomenological methodology in ancestral veneration is that this approach focuses on the study of people’s experiences while they were alive within certain nations (Freiberger, 2018). Phenomenological approaches are concerned with examples of an individual’s knowledge and subjectivity and they mainly give emphasis on the importance of personal perspective as well as interpretations. The approach will enable gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese ancestors, gaining insights into their motivation and their actions, and how the ritual was done (Freiberger, 2018).

The phenomenological method will enable make detailed comments about how ancestor worship in China was done, the steps involved, and the activities associated with the ritual. The phenomenology approach is also a powerful research strategy that is suitable for exploring and examining challenging situations and building a better understanding of the nature of the ritual (Freiberger, 2018).

The Indians performed the Puja ritual which was a form of worship done by the Hindus. They sacrifice devotional homage and prayer to their deities to host and honor a guest or to conduct a spiritual event (Whitehouse, 2020). The ritual involved making sacrifices of flowers or fruits to an imaginary god. The aspects that made up the puja ritual differ from one community to another, and the time during which the ritual is done.  The sociological approach suited the study of this ritual because this methodology will study the Puja ritual as both a belief and a social activity among the Hindu people. As a belief, the sociological approach will give an understanding of what the Hindu people think about the ritual. The approach will also give a detailed explanation of where the Puja ritual originated from and its impacts on society (Whitehouse, 2020).

The sociological approach will also clear differentiation between the beliefs, experiences, and rituals of the Hindu religion. The sociological methodology will make use of different theoretical frameworks such as functionalism, symbolic interactionism as well as critical sociology to facilitate the understanding of the Hindu religion and its rituals (Pandharipande, 2018).

The Shuho ritual in Japan was mainly done as a way of purification and it was often performed to cleanse an individual of all of his accumulated defilements. This was assumed to bring harmony with everything that was associated with the cleansed person. There were different ways to conduct this ritual but the most known was by exposing the whole body to ice-cold water (Pandharipande, 2018). The reason why the reductionist methodology was preferred in this ritual is that the approach focused on reducing the defilements of the people. Once the ritual was done, it was believed that the sins of that person were cleansed. The approach focuses on how the sins of the people were reduced by been exposing their bodies to ice water.

The ritual could take away all the defilements of a person, remove all obstacles, in his life, separate the individual from disorders as well as help the individual to cease experiencing negative thoughts (Pandharipande, 2018). The three models were significant to my study on the several rituals carried out in different parts of the world as they will help in gaining a deeper understanding and knowledge of how those rituals were conducted, and what the rituals were all about. Different approaches were employed to different rituals depending on the context of the ritual (Rodrigue, 2017).




Freiberger, O. (2018). Elements of a Comparative Methodology in the Study of Religion. Religions, 9(2), 38.

Whitehouse, H. (2020). Emotion, memory and religious rituals: An Assessment of Two Theories. In Mixed Emotions (pp. 91-108). Routledge.

Pandharipande, R. V. (2018). Digital religion and Hinduism in the United States. World Englishes37(3), 497-502.

Rodrigue Jr, C. E. (2017). American Shinto Community of Practice: Community formation outside original context (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno).