What is the definition of religion?

1 Answer | Add Yours

belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Religion is usually defined as a set of beliefs, often based in supernatural origins, that explains correct, moral human behavior. Religion claims to have "The Answers" to life's questions and concerns, and almost always points to divinity as explanation for both tragedy and joy. This leads to clashes with those who do not believe a particular explanation; religious wars have dominated world events almost since the beginning of recorded history.

For many, religion gives meaning to life; the possibility that there is nothing after death is frightening and religion alleviates that fear through the belief in a supernatural afterlife. For others, religion represents a calling, a focus for their attitudes and lifestyle, or even the driving force behind their entire life. Older religions sometimes have more "credibility" because their origins are lost to history; newer religions are sometimes derided for having explicitly "human" origins.

Most religions contain some form of belief in the supernatural. This may be monotheistic, such as Judaism, or recognize multiple deities, such as forms of Paganism. Deism states that adherence to a specific religion is not necessary to recognize the existence of a divine being or origin. Worship of a divine being is not required for religious beliefs; Buddhism, for example, rejects the idea of a divine being entirely and focuses instead on personal growth and the affect of human action on the physical and spiritual worlds.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question