Thursday, 8/13, our Bible study topic is: comparing different denominations and faiths! Join us, 7:30-8:30pm, on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/703956236.
Below these discussion questions are some optional read-ahead resources, though obviously there's a whole world of beliefs and perspectives to explore.
Questions to center our discussion, and encourage personal reflection:
- What have been your experiences of worship or participation in other faiths or Christian denominations?
- What were you explicitly and implicitly taught about other faiths & denominations as you were growing up?
- Barbara Brown Taylor's recent book Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others explored the idea of loving parts of others' faith and traditions. (The book is a great read and recommended - each chapter describes taking undergrad students in her World Religions class to experience a different faith.) Where do you find "holy envy" (or appreciate about other religions)?
- Beyond doctrinal differences on the page or would appear in a chart such as these below, what are the practices or little behaviors you've noticed or understand about different religions?
- What questions do you have about different religions or different denominations?
From the Lutheran Handbook
, here's a very simplified (and slightly outdated (c.2000)) chart about some of the largest world religions:
Here's a fuller chart including many more world religions: The Big Religion Chart. Helpfully, this one includes practices, belief in the afterlife, etc.The best source for up-to-date religious data in the US (how many people practice different faiths, what beliefs, and how it all breaks down against different factors) is the Pew Forum Religious Landscape Study - you can explore data by region, topic, and various data sets. From the Lutheran Handbook, these following charts summarize the somewhat complicated family tree and comparisons of Christian denominations: