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I need one definition of religion?

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dmcs1 | Student, College Freshman | Honors

Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM via web

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I need one definition of religion?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM (Answer #1)

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This is a great question, but a very difficult task. As you might know definition are notoriously difficult to construct in a world as complex as ours. People from around the world will have differing opinions of what is and what is not a part of religion. Augustine said is best: "We know what religion is until someone asks us to define it." 

The best that we can do is give a general definition of anything, which includes religion. For more thoughts on this topic, you have to read Wittgenstein on his theory of family resemblances. 

In light of this point, I would say that a good general definition of religion is as follows: 

Religion is the belief and worship of a supernatural being or beings.

Others have given different definitions. Here is a short sampling:

Karl Marx:

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature... It is the opiate of the people."

Peter Berger - the great sociologist:

"Religion is the human attitude towards a sacred order - that includes within it all being—human or otherwise—i.e., belief in a cosmos, the meaning of which both includes and transcends man." 

 

Sources:

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