• Submitted By: robbrink20
  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2008 1:54 AM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 284
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 431

Before a definition can be made we must make some preliminary separations as towards what is in question. Are we going to define religion based on the doctrines within a worldview, or are we concerned with the practices of people? It seems that a simply theological definition could be given by comparing different religions one to the other and finding some common strands of similar teachings and beliefs within them; or we could examine people that seem to repeat certain acts and behaviors and analyze them and find a definition. For the sake of finding some "working definition" it seems best to utilize both of these techniques to discover what religion truly is. Therefore in the definition two parts will be made: the first concerning similar doctrines, and the second with apparent ritual actions.

As a theological definition it appears that religion has to do with the beliefs of individuals that there is some meaning and purpose for their lives. This meaning and purpose may be found from outside of themselves (Theism and Polytheism) or from within themselves (Atheism and Buddhism). Similarly, this meaning and purpose can be discovered spiritually, intellectually, and/or morally and is that worldview by which people gather and interpret phenomena, make judgments, and live ethically.

As a behavioral definition it seems that religion has to do with the actions, patterns, and practices that are done as a result of individual’s beliefs about what is most crucial in life. This could be actions done for Jesus Christ, Allah, Buddha, Zarathustra, or for the self. Yet these action are more than normal, they are religious. They are done frequently with distinguishable characteristics from and for a set of beliefs.

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