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Faith and Organized Religion Essay

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Many skeptics in today’s culture are convinced that organized religion does more harm than good. Many of these people make persuasive arguments that are or can be conclusive. In some cases, they say, a church, has too much power, is filled with politics and its rituals take away from God and put emphasis on one’s self; therefore, faith is what matters. In the novel A Portrait of The Artist as Young Man by James Joyce, readers see Stephen go through life with faith, surrounded by others with faith and religious activities. After a while, Steven loses sight of true faith, forgets God and becomes an artist.
Faith is defined as the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Many people choose to either believe or not believe in a higher power, a higher power that they believe in which, most people call God. These people that believe usually, seek to live for God just like Stephen. In most cases, people believe in God because they grew up in the faith, or others find faith when they try to find more to life. Some choose not to have faith or to believe in God. In “Portrait”, Readers see that Stephen was brought up in a religion with a faith in God. This faith that he had was grounded in organized religion that lead to his loss of faith.
In chapter three the main character Stephen, realized he sinned against the almighty God and needed to repent. The audience may recall that he became obsessed with his sexual desires and acted them out accordingly. The main character is taught by Catholicism to confess to the clergy when he had done something contrary to Gods law. Stephen realizes that he needs to get right in God’s eyes. Knowing “what to do”, he gets over his own selfishness “His pride in his ...


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...s a great thing to build one’s faith, but, when it becomes one’s life then it can be harmful. Faith is, therefore, good to have; organized religion is also good, but stand guard.



Works Cited


Akca, Catherine. "Religion and Identity in James Joyce's A Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man." International University of Sarajevo . Fall 2008.
PDF file.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man . New York: Dover
Publication, INC., 1994. Print.

Leege, David C., and Lyman A. Kellstedt. Rediscovering the religious factor in
American politics. Armonk, New York : M.E Sharpe Inc. , 1993. Google Book .
Web. 7 Mar. 2011.

Reynolds, Mary T. James Joyce: A Collection of Critical Essays. The Sermon as a
Massproduct: “Grace” and A Portrait. Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey: A Simon & Schuster Company, 1993. Print.


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