Blog on Adornment in Religions
Elaine Penksa, Fall 2015
The included file contains a pdf document of the blog https://religionandbodyadornment.wordpress.com/ written for REL 1300 Introduction to World Religions Fall 2015. This blog discusses how different religions view various forms of adornment such as hair cutting, the use of makeup, ornate dress, perfume, jewelry, tattooing and more. The specific religions or religious cultures discussed within the 5 posts are Islam, Judaism, Jainism, Amish and the Maori culture which belongs to the "indigenous" religious tradition category. The blog posts initially address the religions broadly, but topics become progressively narrower to provide a more accurate depiction. Posts include descriptions of the religion's beliefs regarding different forms of body adornment and theories and evidence as to why these beliefs exist for the particular culture.
Through researching this topic, I have discovered the reasoning for many of the practices regarding dress and other adornment for various religions. These customs often reflect popular interpretations of religious texts, but also practicality and the culture of the surrounding geographical area. Many of the customs seem strange at first, but in many cases serve a social purpose in addition to a spiritual purpose. Through researching and writing these blogs, I also discovered a lot of differences within a particular religion. Especially when it comes to things like fashion that relate to adornment, things change over time different members of the same religion have differing views. Another important realization and point of these blog posts is that, while many religions have rules against personal adornments, body modifications, etc., for many other religions these things are a part of daily life and even enhance one's spiritual experience. All these points and more are discussed in the attached blog posts.