Saturday, April 19, 2008

Identity Crisis/Crisis of Faith

What constitutes a faith? A particular worldview, ideology, religion, spirituality, or set of conventions and behaviors that dictate one’s life? The term faith conjures up images of strong belief and practice—something that requires devotion and something that demands a certain element of trust in and expectation of that thing. While faith is a deeply personal element of an individual, a faith is something people share which can foster community and facilitate culture. A faith is something people, groups of people, identify with.

But the ability to identify with a faith—or anything—doesn’t just fall in to place accidentally. Religions do not boast millions of followers by dumb luck. Rather, an identity is carefully crafted and strategically promoted on behalf of the belief itself by those representing it. In this way, rhetoric is essential to the experience of faith and community that is so closely tied to religion and spirituality.

As in all churches, this experience is unique in First Congregational Church, a member of the United Church of Christ denomination located in Boulder, Colorado. Each institution of faith has its own traits and characteristics which construct its unique identity. Or, perhaps more accurately, traits and characteristics are constructed to create this identity. It is no wonder that the familiar phrases “having a crisis of faith” and “an identity crisis” have become clichés; faiths now inherently have an interdependent relationship with identity.

The above is my first attempt at an introduction for my rhetorical criticism paper. Feel free to critique. It's only one page...the intro itself isn't even complete yet.

Sitting and waiting. Note the lovely day outside and me sitting inside.

Grad school. It'll kill ya.

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