What Is Religion?


Religion is a cultural system of behaviors, practices and ethics that people use to express their beliefs in God. Many people who follow a religious path believe that their religion is the best. It is possible that some of the different religions may actually be more similar than they are different, although the differences tend to be more about rituals and the specific details of how believers interpret their faith.

The definitions of religion that are used in modern society often treat the concept as a complex rather than a simple thing, and they are sometimes called polythetic or multifactorial. While this approach might seem avant garde today, it is actually quite traditional. Christian theologians, for example, have long analyzed their way of life as simultaneously fides, fiducia and fidelitas—fides, trust and loyalty.

Essentially, the concept of religion is man’s willingness to acknowledge his dependence on a free, supernatural Being (or beings) and his deeply felt need for Divine help. This dependence and the desire to achieve bliss-bringing communion with the Deity engender hope, which leads men to engage in acts of homage.

The desire to attain happiness and perfection in human life lays the foundation of most lower religions, while the desire for material welfare is the prevailing motive in higher religions. Affection, love for the Deity or for the objects of worship, is generally implied by these devotional acts and is the basis of true charity. Repentance is also commonly a component of religion, since, in his frailty, man often offends the Deity—whether intentionally or by virtue of his ignorance—and is aware of his need for Divine forgiveness.

Posted in: Gambling