There are many different definitions of religion, but two we are studying about is Paul Tillich’s definition and Melford E. Spiro’s definition. Paul Tillich is a Christian theologian and philosopher who defined religion “the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the meaning of life. Melford Spiro, a contemporary anthropologist defined religion “an institution consisting of culturally patterened interaction with culturally postulated superhuman beings.” I prefer Tillich’s definition.
I prefer Paul Tillich’s definition because I am a Christian and I can relate to what he is saying with his definition. As a Christian, God is your ultimate concern, just like Tillich said. God comes before everything. He is your only way to heaven. So you have to make him your ultimate concern by living for him every day. Tillich’s definition went on to say “a concern that qualifies all other concerns as a preliminary…”, this means that God comes before anything else in life. Nothing should ever come before God. Everything else should just be a preliminary, or second to God. The last part of Tillich’s definition says a concern which contains the answer to the question of the meaning of life. This means that God is the meaning of life.
I prefer Tillich’s definition because this is what I believe. I believe that God is the answer to what is the meaning of life, he has a purpose for everyone and everyone’s life. God should be your ultimate concern if you want to go to heaven, He is the only way in. You have to live your life through him, and to do that he has to be your greatest concern. If other things get in the way you have to put them off and make them second to God. Never let anything get in the way of you and God. I feel Tillich’s definition of religion is a great definition of religion.
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