Religion is the belief in a spiritual being, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life and a worldview. It answers the “Big Questions”, shapes peoples view of the world, impacts culture, takes a position on the Supernatural and is an important part of human society.
Studying religion is a challenging and fun way to learn about other peoples, cultures, beliefs, values, and experiences. It is an interdisciplinary discipline that incorporates textual, historical, linguistic, philosophical and many other approaches to study.
Definitions of Religion
It is difficult to define what religion is, but the word itself is derived from the Greek language and means “religious life”. The term comes from the ancient Latin verb religiosus, which is a translation of the Greek words religare meaning “to live by one’s own conscience” and iustus meaning “belief”.
A person who has religious beliefs believes in some sort of supernatural being that exists outside of the physical world. They may also believe that this being is responsible for things in the physical world, or they might not.
Some people think that religion affects the lives of the people who practice it, such as giving them a sense of morality and community, and it can help with mental health issues. It can also make people healthier, as research has shown that religion can have an impact on physical activity and diet.
The semantic range of the word religion has grown to include an ever increasing number of social practices. It is now commonly used to describe sets of social practices such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism.