The Alchemist (Coelho)

The Importance of Religion and Spirituality in The Alchemist 12th Grade

To most people, the brand of religion they follow, as well as the God they believe in, are the two most important factors of their religion. Most religions have similar philosophies, with guidelines that involve being kind, being honest, not cheating, and other basic moral rules. But the biggest controversy comes in when a god and the certain ways to achieve closeness to that god are named. Although it can be inferred that Santiago, the protagonist in The Alchemist, is heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian values through the various Biblical symbols present in the book. However, he does not resort to traditional means of achieving religious fulfillment; instead, he rejects his father's notion of religion when he refuses to become a priest, because of his unique interpretation of his faith. People forget that religion is simply a means by which people achieve spirituality – not a competition. Since spirituality is a bond between the heart and mind, one must experience things differently from others in order to achieve it. This is why Santiago decides to become a shepherd. He is passionate about his travels, finds peace in that, and thus he becomes closer to God through these travels rather than as a priest in the Church....

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