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      What is a worldview? — Definition & Introduction

      A worldview is a view of the world, used for living in the world.  A world view is a mental model of reality — a comprehensive framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life,  a system of beliefs,  a system of personally customized theories about the world and how it works — with answers for a wide range of questions:

      What are humans, why we are here, and what is our purpose in life?  What are your goals for life?  When you make decisions about using time — it's the stuff life is made of — what are your values and priorities? *
      What can we know, and how?  and with how much certainty?
      Does reality include only matter/energy, or is there more?
      Some worldview questions are about God:  Can we know whether God exists?  Does God exist?  If yes, what characteristics does God have, and what relationship with the universe?  Have miracles occurred in the past, as claimed in the Bible, and do they occur now?  Are natural events produced and guided by God?  Was the universe self-creating, or did God create it?  Was it totally self-assembling by natural process, or did God sometimes create in miraculous-appearing ways?  Does God communicate with us (mentally and spiritually) in everyday life, and through written revelation, as in the Bible?  What is God's role in history?  Is there a purpose and meaning in history, for each of us individually and for all of us together, or is life just a long string of things happening?  What happens after death?

      We'll look at these questions and others, plus practical applications:  how do worldviews affect decisions and actions in everyday life, for individuals and societies?  what should we teach students about worldviews, and how, and why?   how can we actualize our worldview, so "the worldview we want" is the way we actually view the world, because it's the dominant influence shaping our decisions and actions while we are living in the world.

      A person's worldview is affected by many factors — by their inherited characteristics, background experiences and life situations, the values, attitudes, and habits they have developed, and more — and these vary from one person to another.  Therefore, even though some parts of a worldview are shared by many people in a community, other parts differ for individuals, so worldviews (of different people) are shared yet unique.   Or, could it be useful to think about an individual's worldviews (plural) instead of their worldview (singular)?

* Carol Hill says, "By ‘worldview’ I mean the basic way of interpreting things and events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes a culture's concept of reality — what is good, what is important, what is sacred, what is real.  Worldview is more than culture, even though the distinction between the two can sometimes be subtle.  It extends to perceptions of time and space, of happiness and well-being.  The beliefs, values, and behaviors of a culture stem directly from its worldview."


This area looks at several aspects of World Views:
Christian Worldview Education and Living Your Worldview

Christian Stewardship of Life as a Worldview


Christian Apologetics and the "tolerance" of Postmodern Relativism


LINKS for Areas of "Whole-Person Education" Website

This home page for World Views, written by Craig Rusbult, is

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