Write a 750- to 1,050-word paper that addresses the following topics:

What is essential (in the practices and beliefs) for a tradition to be called a religion?
Illustrate your points by referring to the commonalities of the three Western religions.
How do different fields of study approach religion?
What are some critical issues in the academic study of religion?
Include specific examples from the various religious traditions described in the Week 1 readings.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.