Understanding Religion and Experience

According to George Lindbeck:

Religions are seen as comprehensive interpretive schemes, usually embodied in myths or narratives and heavily ritualized, which structure human experience and understanding of self and world. Not every telling of one of these cosmic stories is religious, however. It must be told with a particular purpose or interest. It must be used with a view to identifying and describing what is taken to be more important than everything else in the universe, and to organizing all of life, including both behavior and beliefs, in relation to this. If the interpretive scheme is used or the story is told without this interest in the maximally important, it ceases to function religiously.

Although, most of that is really confusing and hard to understand, I think Lindbeck really hits on the function of religion in the lives of people around the world. In discussing religion as such he seeks to make a connection between religion and experience (both individual experience and group experience). Lindbeck, at least at this point in the book, is not necessarily linking the gospel to this idea of religion. He is just giving a framework for thinking and discussing religion. How does this interact with any current definitions that any of us have of religion currently?


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