Your Image of Religion

Images are important–they inform our ideas, feelings and beliefs.  Look at the images below.  Which images do you find primarily linked to your notions and feelings about the function of “religion” in general.

Please take the surveys below the images and see what others think.   Let me know if you can think of other important categories/images and I may add them — but note: I am not looking for images about a particular religion.  If you can point me to the clip art URL, all the better.










Life Preserver















Take these surveys and share how you view things.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

10 responses to “Your Image of Religion

  1. Obviously a lot of these overlap indirectly, but three additional ones that come to mind are:

    (1) Safety net. Something to catch you if you do fall in the future, offering a vague sense of comfort in the back of one’s mind. (Perhaps this is too similar to “life preserver”, though.)

    (2) Religion as a relief for avoiding the temptation of vices. Perhaps this is what is meant by “shackles” or even “revolt” (against vices), but these really aren’t specific enough to capture the sort of role I understand religion plays in the mind of an addict. I can’t think of a single word that captures this, however.

    (3) “Insurance” in the spirit of Pascal’s wager.

  2. @ Brandon
    Good points. Thanx, I like yours.
    (1) Yeah, I think life preserver (positive or negative) captures safety net — but the net is a good image.
    (2) I think shackles (negative) and struggle (positive) cover “avoiding temptation too”.
    (3) Likewise for insurance, I think life preserver (positive) works — imagine using a life preserver (negative) in shallow water — sort of foolish because their is no threat.

  3. Mike aka MonolithTMA

    I would have found this much easier to take back when I was in religion. Currently, I could see any of those labels applying to religion today.

    Maybe I should take it from my old perspective.

  4. Max

    I chose community, effort, and inspiration. Then I realized you weren’t just asking about my religion, but religion in general. Funny how other people’s religions are associated in my mind with all those negative things like shackles, crutches and silliness, but not mine. But, then again, I still won’t really cop to having a religion. I’m an atheist who finds Buddhist dharma practice fruitful in my life. I subscribe to the ‘no beliefs’ doctrine as my only belief. ‘Religion’ seems inseparable from ‘belief’ and all the negative associations that come along with it.

  5. @ Mike :
    Yeah, they can all apply. I am talking about *primary* images — though it does not matter much.

    @ Max :
    Ahhh, an honest confession. Thanx. You are safe here. 🙂

  6. I found it interesting that I found myself picking “inspiration” and “community” rather than crutches. But the truth is that religion does offer those benefits.

  7. @ Lorena :
    Funny, reading your blog, I hear the conflict of images in your mind. You are right, of course.

  8. I had a really hard time not picking “all of the above”.

  9. crl

    A few extra images that seem to apply here are tradition, family (though this could go under community), an explanation for events (god of the gaps type arguments,) and philosophy. I’m not how tradition, explanation, and philosophy could be expressed by images, but I’m sure there’s a way.

    BTW, the asperger’s post is (finally) up.

  10. Earnest

    I would add something like beauty or aesthetics. There’s some great religious art out there. Another would be sword & shield to suggest a militaristic/evangelical aspect.

    I also had a hard time not choosing all of the above.

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