Religion Defined Analysis Essay Example
Religion Defined Analysis Essay Example

Religion Defined Analysis Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1112 words)
  • Published: October 18, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The diversity of meanings and implications for different global communities makes it challenging to describe religion.

The topic of the best or most “correct” religion is often a subject of heated debate among people. Religious institutions and freedom have been at the center of wars and conflicts throughout history. Despite this, few people can succinctly express their personal understanding and definition of religion. In my view, religion denotes a shared set of beliefs or ideas centered around a supreme or supernatural force. This encompasses morals, traditions, and rituals specific to the belief system (Robinson). While there are differences between religions, universal themes exist which make it applicable to all.

The provision of valuable aspects such as belonging and understanding is a significant contribution made by religion. These factors have been instrumental in the formation of some religions and also serve as motivators for individua


ls to become members of religious communities. Friedrich Schleiermacher, the founder of Liberal Protestant Theology, asserts that religion originates from an "immediate self-consciousness," whereby individuals recognize their dependence on something beyond themselves (Lyden 18-19).

Similar to other social groups, religion creates a supportive environment for individuals with shared beliefs and concerns. It can also provide stability and security for those overwhelmed by life's unpredictability. Ludwig Feuerbach, a German philosopher, proposed that people often find solace in a virtuous or strong divine entity during challenging times (Hopfe 9).

The primary motivation for religion is to fulfill humans' fundamental need for solace and companionship in a frequently hostile and inhospitable world. The belief in a higher power, whether supernatural or divine, is essential to the inception of religion. According to Sir Edward Tylor's theory, the idea that soul

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and spirits exist throughout the universe led to the emergence of religion. Humans often have religious encounters with emotional spirits that can be communicated with (Hopfe 19).

Although there are differences in beliefs and practices among various religions, many revolve around the idea of a supreme power controlling human destiny. The majority of these religions follow monotheism, with one deity at their center. For instance, Christians worship God while other religious groups revere Allah, Krishna, Jehovah, Yahweh, Jah, Ik Onkar, Ahura Mazda, the Divine One or the Supreme Being. Despite having different titles for this entity, major religions share a common belief in one true god. However some belief systems such as Epicureanism, Falun Gong, Asatru Greek and Jainism hold that multiple gods and goddesses exist.

Despite differences from monotheism, polytheism similarly acknowledges the existence of divine powers or spirits that govern various aspects of human life. One shared attribute among most religions is their transmission through generations, either orally or as written history. Typically, a religious or sacred text exists that provides directives, guidelines, as well as records the religion's formation. The sacred text is fundamental as it sustains the religion's forward movement and continuity.

The text upon which each religion's beliefs are founded is perceived differently by each person. Muslims, for instance, consider the Qur'an to be the authentic utterances of God as revealed to Muhammad. The Qur'an is held in the highest esteem, and proper standards must be followed when handling or reading it (Holm 86). On the other hand, for Judaism, the Bible serves as a basis for faith and comprises various works by multiple authors.

Religious texts are valued by many religions

as a vital component, containing laws, fables, prophecies, and historical records. These texts have been translated and held sacred by Christianity and other religions to gain knowledge and attain salvation (Holm 87). Furthermore, religion typically includes moral codes that establish beliefs about morality. These doctrines are often founded on religious texts. Although individuals may uphold their own ethical perspectives within a religion, Christians adhere to the principle of "treating others as you would like to be treated" as a guiding principle in life.

Robinson notes that differing religious groups hold varying perspectives on topics such as abortion, homosexuality, suicide, and divorce. These views are shaped by each religion's ethical and moral beliefs that they consider to be superior. Additionally, customs and traditions play a vital role in religion. Although tradition can have multiple meanings, I interpret it as a set of actions or behaviors passed down from one generation to the next.

The customs and practices that make up traditions can encompass a wide range of things, like religious holidays, traditional attire, specific foods, festive events, and more. Each religion has its own unique set of holidays, which generally commemorate a religious figure or deity. These festivities often involve important elements such as food, clothing, and various activities. Sometimes we participate in traditions without even realizing it. Ultimately, rituals are a major aspect of every religion, with each one having their own distinct set of practices that can either be simple or complex and performed on a regular or infrequent basis (Hopfe 25).

Rituals serve as a means to convey vital beliefs and essential practices. The types of rituals available are vast, ranging from prayer, meditation, worship,

baptism, to sacrifice. Along with the common type of rituals, the rites of passage hold significant value and emphasis that mark important milestones in life, such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death (Holm 15). Not only do these events hold tremendous importance for individuals involved, but they also bring meaning and significance to the family and surrounding community. The significance of rituals ought not to be underestimated though only a few are mentioned here.

While religions may differ in various aspects, they all use rituals to express essential beliefs that encourage spiritual growth. This paper does not aim to define religion entirely but aims to highlight key components that hold significance. Religion entails a shared faith in a supernatural or divine power and comprises common attributes such as traditions, ethics, and ceremonies. Despite differences between religious systems, these themes originate from the same fundamental principles.

According to the "Facts, Religion" section of The Big Religion Chart from 2008, religion is a universal aspect of life because it shares commonalities across cultures.

A paragraph enclosed by


tags presents information about the publication of "The Study of Religions" by Jean Holm on September 13th, 2008, as well as the availability of a significant religion chart at

Two books on religion were published in San Diego and New York. "Enduring Issues in Religion" by John Lyden was printed by Greenhaven Press in 1995, while B. Robinson's "New York: The Seabury Press, 1977" was separately published.

Acknowledging Religious Tolerance from on 15 December 2007.

On September 11, 2008, the website "" published a definition of religion at the URL "".

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