What Is Religion?
Religion is a term for a set of social practices or beliefs connected to spiritual and/or supernatural components that uniquely impact the adherent’s worldview, behavior, belief, culture, morality, or approach to certain writings, persons, or places.
Traditionally, religion was a term for scrupulous devotion to a particular god or group of gods, but today it has come to be used for sets of social practices that are shared among many different people or cultures.
There are few sources of value for human beings other than religion.
To make sense of life in the world, humans need to have meaning and value as well as a way to orient themselves to that world. They need faith, which is the compulsion to live in accordance with and at times to die for what they most value.
The concept of religion came to be adapted from the Latin word religio, which referred to a scrupulous commitment to a specific god or group of gods, but also to conscientiousness, devotion, or felt obligation in general.
This broader use of the term led to its adoption as a category-concept for sets of social practices, an application which has become commonplace in modern societies.
But, it is also important to remember that this concept has always been ambiguous. It is not a fixed definition, so that what counts as religion for one person can be totally disregarded by another. The shifting nuances of this concept reveal a great deal about how it was originally conceived and how it has been used over time.