IRJ-QR #1

The Shields of Religion: A Look into the Role Religion Plays to Help Pi in his Quest

On a pleasant day in India, a boy, his parents, and three men from different religions meet to discuss a serious matter. The boy, Pi Patel, discovered his love for religion and was determined to show his adoration for God by becoming a practicing Christian, Hindu, and Muslim. When his priest, pandit, and imam all find out they demand he choose only one religion. “Piscine’s piety is admirable. In these troubled times it’s good to see a boy so keen on God. We all agree on that. But he can’t be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. It’s impossible. He must choose.” (Page 69)

Though out Life of Pi, the question of religion is constantly being brought up. At the beginning, the question Pi must deal with is: can you have more than one religion?

People often use religion as a shield to explain things that they do not understand. For them, religion can explain the unexplainable, can justify the deaths of the innocent. Yet, if you believe in more than one religion, what is true?

Pi uses not one but three shields which can, at times, enable him to understand all that is going on around him by putting his faith in God. Pi’s adoration of religion helps him through his quest because he believes that God will never leave him. In his heart, Pi knows that having three religions is not a bad thing; it is simply the best way to open his heart.

Proposition: Pi having different religions is not a sin in any way; actually it is a good thing because he explores the different aspects and appreciates everything God has done for him and this world.

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