The Case of Contamination

In his analysis, Appiah states that one of the roles of religion is to create a global society, which is not divided along cultural ties. This implies that religion creates a society whereby all individuals share one culture. That is the culture of worship or submission to one god (depending on the religion). Appiah refers to the ummah, the global community of Muslims, which provides membership to all individuals who share their faith (4). Here, Appiah uses the ummah to demonstrate that religion allows different people of various backgrounds to share one common thing: common faith.


The role of religion is also to bring about equality in the world. From the aforementioned role, it is clear that religion allows people with different social-economic backgrounds to be equal. In every religion, the believers share a common faith. The social-economic status of an individual becomes irrelevant when it comes to matters of religious faith. There is no religion in the world, which define the social-economic or even political status of its members. Therefore, religion plays a great role in bringing about equality in the world.

I agree with Appiah’s analysis about the roles of religion. Since immemorial time, religion has always been referred as a social institution, which enables people of different cultural backgrounds to share a common culture. For example, Christianity is a global religion, which has many members who possess different cultural backgrounds. In this religion, all members share a common culture: Christianity. Similarly, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are global religions with members who possess different cultural backgrounds. Under religion, nobody identifies him/herself with his/her culture. For instance, a group of Muslims would refer themselves as Muslims but not according to their cultural background. Besides, religion ensures equality of all by allowing members to share a common faith. Religious faith is not dependent on an individual’s social, economic, or political status. Therefore, my approach to religious roles is similar to that of Appiah.