Religion: Clothing


Figure 1.--Parents once bought boys new suits, in some cases white suits, for their First Communion. This was easpecially true for Catholics. Note the First Communion bow on this boy's sleeve.

Religion since the dawn of civilization has been a major force in history. in many historical eras, civilization was ordered around religion. Many in the 20th century have seen religion as a spent force, buffeted by both nationalism and socialism. Events in the late 20th century, however, have shown the continuing force of religion in modern life. Church attendance used to be an occasion for dressing up in your best clothes. This was as true for children as their parents. Church is no longer such a formal occasion. Men commonly still wear a sports coat and tie, but often not a suit. Boys are much less likely to wear a sports jacket or suit. Special days such as Easter and Christmas or events such as weddings and christenings, however, still often are occasions for formal dress.

Religious Traditions

There are in the world five great religious traditions. Three of theem arose in the Middle East in remarakable proximity (Judiamism, Christianity, and Islam). The other two originated in India (Buddhism and Hinduism). It is remarkable that the religious faiths today practicted by so many arose in such limited geographic areas. There are remarkable similarities as well as profound differences in these religious traditions. It is interteresting that one of the most mystical of these religions with a tradition of literal interpreation of miraculous works, Christianity, is the predominate faith of the Western world, the most scientifically advanced area of the world. There are very considerable borrowings among these various religious traditions, especially among the People of the Book. All of been influenced by earlier religions that predated them. All have been the aegis and inspiration for the ethical improvement of man as well as some of the most apauling barbarous behavior in human history.

Religion and History

Religion since the dawn of civilization has been a major force in history. in many historical eras, civilization was ordered around religion. Many in the 20th century have seen religion as a spent force, buffeted by both nationalism and socialism. Certainly the force of religion has declined in Western Europe, but less so in America. Events in the late 20th century, however, have shown the continuing force of religion in modern life. The ability of Pope John Paul to confront Communism in Poland, the Muhajadeen to confront the Soviets in Afghanistan , and the conflict betwwn Al Queda and the secular West show that religion is not as spent force. The on going religioys conflicts also show the continuing force of religion, the Catholic and Protesatants in Norther Ireland, the Isrealis and Palestinians in the Middle East, the Muslims and Hindus over Khasmir, the Muslems and Christians over Ache, and many others.

Religion and Clothing

Information on the clothing worn to church and church related activities provide some interesting information on the clothing boys wore during various historiacal periods. Religious garments once adopted tended to persist for cebturies--in effect freezing fashions . The formal clothing worn by children attending church services and events, howeve, is another matter. While such formal attite was often conservative--it did change with time. Some of the religious events we can identify by the clothing. In other cases we are not sure justg what the event is.

Countries

Most religions or shared by mamy differnt countries. Christianity, Islam, Budiaism are practiced in many diffeent counties. While the same religion, practices often vay among different coutries. One factor is the devlopment of competing denominations of the same religion. The importance of these different denominaions often varies from country to country. Some religions are more associated with one or a small number of countries like Hibuism (India) and Judiism (Israel). Many religions are practiced as minority religions, although there are differences in religious toleration for minority religions from country to country. These differences arrise from both civil authorities and majority rligious leaders. Christianity has been generally intolerannt of other religions. Riots and pogroms as well as organized supression like the Spanish inquisition or expelling the adherents of different faiths mar the history of Christianity. In the 20th century became more tolerant. Islam on the other hand, once relatively tolerant of other religion, has become increasing less tolerant in the 20th century.






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Created: April 7, 1998
Spell checked: November 20, 1998
Last updated: 3:52 AM 8/7/2009