The Definition of Religion Perhaps one of the hardest words to define on the societal and personal level is religion. As Kile Jones 1 wrote in his essay on defining religion that was once included in our section containing visitors' essays section: "It is apparent that religion can be seen as a theological, philosophical, anthropological, sociological, and psychological phenomenon of human kind. The notion of religion has always been a very important element of the world’s history. Some Definitions of Religion 1. The third type treats the term as referring to commerce with a specific class of objects, i.e. Essay What Is Religion What is religion? The Pragmatics of Defining Religion in a Multi-cultural World Dr. Victoria Harrison University of Glasgow This is an archived version of ‘The Pragmatics of Defining Religion in a Multi-cultural World’, published in The International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 … A good example of a narrow definition being too narrow is the common attempt to define "religion" as "belief in God," effectively excluding polytheistic religions and atheistic religions while including theists who have no religious belief system. 'Religion' as referring to a class of metaphorical statoments and actions obliquely denoting social relationships and claims to social status. "By religion, then, I understand a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life" (James George Frazer, The Golden Bough). Such factors include race, ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods..Sample Essay on Religion "[Religion is] the belief in Spiritual Beings" (Edward B Tylor, Primitive Culture) 2. In the case of Hinduism, you are not allowed to eat beef, since the cow is sacred to the religion, meanwhile Muslim's are not allowed to drink alcohol and eat pork. Since the eighteenth century, when the first rudimentary beginning was made in the study of religion in a scientific manner, scholars have been confronted by the problem of definition, which became more complicated with the rise of a philosophical humanism in Western Europe that denied the notion of the supernatural, (Harrison, 2006:1). Religion is an aspect of the society’s way of life, implying that factors that affect the society’s way of life will have an impact on religious views. When a definition fails in this aspect it is said to be prejudiced. It pinpoints the set of beliefs, dogmas and practices defining the relation between human beings and the so called “divinity”. Based on your religion, your lifestyle can be drastically changed. Times when religion played a major role in the lives of the majority of people living in Europe and the United States have gone long ago. Nowadays, religion is just one of the social institutions (perhaps, even facultative institutions) performing certain functions, namely providing moral guidance and consolation to those who seek them. This essay will discuss and evaluate three scholarly definitions of religion. 'Religion is the belief in spirits' or 'Religion is the belief in the supernatural'. Religion, to me, means a system of beliefs and worships that can define peoples' lives. According to an Oxford dictionary, religion is the belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and controller of the universe, who has given to man a spirtual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body. In defining religion it should be borne in mind that the definition arrived at must give an objective picture of religion. The essay will examine and assess the beliefs and theories of Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. 3. It will use a range of both primary and secondary sources to determine which is the best definition of religion. Religion is a constant element shaping our political, economic and social lives. The ideas in which this one word encompasses has been the cause of countless wars, crusades, misconceptions, and prejudice but also gives millions the sense of hope in dark times, community, moral codes, and a reason for existence. 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