Defining Religion

Good Essays
Topics: Religion
Merriam-Webster defines religion as “the service and worship of God or the supernatural; commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance; a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; or a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”. Our lecture and reading assignment also both suggest that there are many different aspects to consider when attempting to specifically define religion. Most religions recognize some type of deity; have and live by certain Holy Scriptures; and practice traditional rituals. As I stated in our Unit 1 discussion, our lecture from Dr. Catanzaro states that some of the common features found in major world religions consist of having a communal nature, a unified belief system, supernatural and historical connections, and being deeply rooted in moral code and conduct (Catanzaro, 2013). The text in our reading assignment confirms this by defining religion as “A system of belief that involves worship of a God or gods, prayer, ritual, and a moral code.” So, based on our lecture and reading assignment for Unit 1, I would define religion by saying that religion is a realistic and communal system of unified beliefs that is centered in the worship of a celestial divine being or God which consists of prayer, rituals, and a moral code of conduct. I would also say that religion has a tendency to connect the supernatural to real life. I chose these elements to compose my definition of religion due to the fact that each element was found in the lecture as well as in the reading assignment. It seems to me that there is a standard that needs to be followed when attempting to define religion. The elements found in the lecture and reading also coincide with other definitions that I found on the internet such as the definition given by Merriam-Webster. The Oxford dictionary defines it as “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power especially a God or gods”.

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