The Full Wiki

Religious: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Religion article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.[1]

Aspects of religion include narrative, symbolism, beliefs, and practices that are supposed to give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life. Whether the meaning centers on a deity or deities, or an ultimate truth, religion is commonly identified by the practitioner's prayer, ritual, meditation, music and art, among other things, and is often interwoven with society and politics. It may focus on specific supernatural, metaphysical, and moral claims about reality (the cosmos and human nature) which may yield a set of religious laws and ethics and a particular lifestyle. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience.

The term "religion" refers both to the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system,"[2] but it is more socially defined than personal convictions, and it entails specific behaviors, respectively.

Religions by country

Religion Portal    

The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures, with continental differences.

Religion is often described as a communal system for the coherence of belief focusing on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, tradition, rituals, and scriptures are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion is also often described as a "way of life" or a life stance.

Contents

Etymology

Religion is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possibility is derivation from a reduplicated *le-ligare, an interpretation traced to Cicero connecting lego "read", i.e. re (again) + lego in the sense of "choose", "go over again" or "consider carefully". Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation from ligare "bind, connect", probably from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or "to reconnect," which was made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation of Lactantius.[3][4] However, the French scholar Daniel Dubuisson notes that relying on this etymology "tends to minimize or cancel out the role of history"; he notes that Augustine gave a lengthy definition of religio that sets it quite apart from the modern word "religion".[5]

History

The word "religion" as it is used today does not have an obvious pre-colonial translation into non-European languages. Daniel Dubuisson writes that "what the West and the history of religions in its wake have objectified under the name 'religion' is ... something quite unique, which could be appropriate only to itself and its own history."[6] The words used in other languages for similar concepts, such as dharma, bhakti, Tao, or Islam, have vastly different histories. The history of other cultures' interaction with the religious category is therefore their interaction with an idea that first developed in Europe under the influence of Christianity.[7]

Religion and the body politic

A good understanding of the meaning of Christianity before the word "religion" came into common usage can be found in St. Augustine's writing. For Augustine, Christianity was a disciplina, a "rule" just like that of the Roman Empire. Christianity was therefore a power structure opposing and superseding human institutions, a literal Kingdom of Heaven. Rather than calling one to self-discipline through symbols, it was itself the discipline taught by one's family, school, church, and city authorities.[8] At this point, too, the root of the English word "religion", the Latin religio, was in use only to mean "reverence for God or the gods, careful pondering of divine things, piety" (which Cicero further derived to mean "diligence").[9][10] Max Müller characterized many other cultures around the world, including Egypt, Persia, and India, as having a similar power structure at this point in history. What is called ancient religion today, they would have only called "law".[11]

At this point, Western Europe and the rest of the world diverged. As Christianity became commonplace, the charismatic authority identified by Augustine, a quality we might today call "religiousness", had a commanding influence at the local level. This system persisted in the Byzantine Empire following the East-West Schism, but Western Europe regulated unpredictable expressions of charisma through the Roman Catholic Church. As the Church lost its dominance during the Protestant Reformation and Christianity became closely tied to political structures, religion was recast as the basis of national sovereignty, and religious identity gradually became a less universal sense of spirituality and more divisive, locally defined, and tied to nationality.[12] It was at this point that "religion" was dissociated with universal beliefs and moved closer to dogma in both meaning and practice. However there was not yet the idea of dogma as personal choice, only of established churches.

Religious freedom

In the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of Christianity as the purest expression of spirituality was supplanted by the concept of "religion" as a worldwide practice.[13] This caused such ideas as religious freedom, a reexamination of classical philosophy as an alternative to Christian thought, and more radically Deism among intellectuals such as Voltaire. Much like Christianity, the idea of "religious freedom" was exported around the world as a civilizing technique, even to regions such as India that had never treated spirituality as a matter of political identity.[14] In Japan, where Buddhism was still seen as a philosophy of natural law,[15] the concept of "religion" and "religious freedom" as separate from other power structures was unnecessary until Christian missionaries demanded free access to conversion, and when Japanese Christians refused to engage in patriotic events.[16]

With the Enlightenment, religion lost its attachment to nationality, but rather than being a universal social attitude, it was now a personal feeling or emotion.[17] Friedrich Schleiermacher in the late 18th century defined religion as das schlechthinnige Abhängigkeitsgefühl, commonly translated as "a feeling of absolute dependence".[18] His contemporary Hegel disagreed thoroughly, defining religion as "the Divine Spirit becoming conscious of Himself through the finite spirit."[19] William James is an especially notable 19th century subscriber to the theory of religion as feeling.

Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are one, a painting in the litang style portraying three men laughing by a river stream, 12th century, Song Dynasty

Modern currents in religion

Religious studies

With the recognition of religion as a category separate from culture and society came the rise of religious studies. The initial purpose of religious studies was to demonstrate the superiority of the "living" or "universal" European world view to the "dead" or "ethnic" religions scattered throughout the rest of the world, but this was eventually supplanted by a liberal-ecumenical interest in searching for Western-style universal truths in every cultural tradition.[20] Clifford Geertz's definition of religion as a "cultural system" was dominant for most of the 20th century and continues to be widely accepted today.

Sociologists and anthropologists tend to see religion as an abstract set of ideas, values, or experiences developed as part of a cultural matrix. For example, in Lindbeck's Nature of Doctrine, religion does not refer to belief in "God" or a transcendent Absolute. Instead, Lindbeck defines religion as, "a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought… it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.”[21] According to this definition, religion refers to one's primary worldview and how this dictates one's thoughts and actions. Thus religion is considered by some sources to extend to causes, principles, or activities believed in with zeal or conscientious devotion concerning points or matters of ethics or conscience, and not necessarily including belief in the supernatural.[22]

Although evolutionists had previously sought to understand and explain religion in terms of a cultural attribute which might conceivably confer biological advantages to its adherents, Richard Dawkins called for a re-analysis of religion in terms of the evolution of self-replicating ideas apart from any resulting biological advantages they might bestow. He argued that the role of key replicator in cultural evolution belongs not to genes, but to memes replicating thought from person to person by means of imitation. These replicators respond to selective pressures that may or may not affect biological reproduction or survival.[23] Susan Blackmore regards religions as particularly tenacious memes.[24] Chris Hedges, however, regards meme theory as a misleading imposition of genetics onto psychology.

Interfaith cooperation

Because religion continues to be recognized in Western thought as a universal impulse, many religious practitioners have aimed to band together in interfaith dialogue and cooperation. The first major dialogue was the Parliament of the World's Religions at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which remains notable even today both in affirming "universal values" and recognition of the diversity of practices among different cultures. The 20th century has been especially fruitful in use of interfaith dialogue as a means of solving ethnic, political, or even religious conflict, with Christian-Jewish reconciliation representing a complete reverse in the attitudes of many Christian communities towards Jews.

Secularism and criticism of religion

As religion became a more personal matter, discussions of society found a new focus on political and scientific meaning, and religious attitudes were increasingly seen as irrelevant for the needs of the European world. On the political side, Ludwig Feuerbach recast Christian beliefs in light of humanism, paving the way for Karl Marx's famous characterization of religion as "the opiate of the masses". Meanwhile, in the scientific community, T.H. Huxley in 1869 coined the term "agnostic," a term subsequently adopted by such figures as Robert Ingersoll. Later, Bertrand Russell told the world Why I Am Not a Christian.

Atheists have developed a critique of religious systems as well as personal faith. Modern-day critics focus on religion's lack of utility in human society, faulting religion as being irrational.[25] Some assert that dogmatic religions are in effect morally deficient, elevating to moral status ancient, arbitrary, and ill-informed rules—taboos on eating pork, for example, as well as dress codes and sexual practices[26]—possibly designed for reasons of hygiene or even mere politics in a bygone era.

Religious belief

Religious belief usually relates to the existence, nature and worship of a deity or deities and divine involvement in the universe and human life. Alternately, it may also relate to values and practices transmitted by a spiritual leader. Unlike other belief systems, which may be passed on orally, religious belief tends to be codified in literate societies (religion in non-literate societies is still largely passed on orally[27]). In some religions, like the Abrahamic religions, it is held that most of the core beliefs have been divinely revealed.

Religious belief can also involve causes, principles or activities believed in with zeal or conscientious devotion concerning points or matters of ethics or conscience, not necessarily limited to organized religions.[28]

Specific religious movements

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the academic practice of comparative religion divided religious belief into philosophically-defined categories called "world religions." However, some recent scholarship has argued that not all types of religion are necessarily separated by mutually exclusive philosophies, and furthermore that the utility of ascribing a practice to a certain philosophy, or even calling a given practice religious, rather than cultural, political, or social in nature, is limited.[14][29][30] The list of religious movements given here is an attempt to summarize the most important regional and philosophical influences, but it is by no means a complete description of every religious community.

Sociological classifications of religious movements suggest that within any given religious group, a community can resemble various types of structures, including "churches", "denominations", "sects", "cults", and "institutions".

Religion and superstition

While superstitions and magical thinking refer to nonscientific causal reasoning, applied to specific things or actions, a religion is a more complex system about general or ultimate things, involving morality, history and community. Because religions may include and exploit certain superstitions or make use of magical thinking, while mixing them with broader considerations, the division between superstition and religious faith is subjective and hard to specify. Religious believers have often seen other religions as superstition.[34][35] Likewise, some atheists, agnostics, deists, and skeptics regard religious belief as superstition. Religious practices are most likely to be labeled "superstitious" by outsiders when they include belief in extraordinary events (miracles), an afterlife, supernatural interventions, apparitions or the efficacy of prayer, charms, incantations, the meaningfulness of omens, and prognostications.

Greek and Roman pagans, who modeled their relations with the gods on political and social terms, scorned the man who constantly trembled with fear at the thought of the gods as a slave feared a cruel and capricious master. Such fear of the gods (deisidaimonia) was what the Romans meant by superstitio (Veyne 1987, p 211). Early Christianity was outlawed as a superstitio Iudaica, a "Jewish superstition", by Domitian in the 80s AD, and by AD 425, Theodosius II outlawed pagan traditions as superstitious.

The Roman Catholic Church considers superstition to be sinful in the sense that it denotes a lack of trust in the divine providence of God and, as such, is a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that superstition "in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion" (para. #2110).

Superstition is a deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand is to fall into superstition. Cf. Matthew 23:16-22 (para. #2111)

Related forms of thought

Religion and philosophy

Being both forms of belief system, religion and philosophy meet in several areas - notably in the study of metaphysics and cosmology. In particular, a distinct set of religious beliefs will often entail a specific metaphysics and cosmology. That is, a religion will generally have answers to metaphysical and cosmological questions about the nature of being, of the universe, humanity, and the divine.

Cosmology

Humans have many different methods which attempt to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe and our place in it (cosmology). Religion is only one of the methods for trying to answer one or more of these questions. Other methods include philosophy, metaphysics, astrology, esotericism, mysticism, and forms of shamanism, such as the sacred consumption of ayahuasca among Peruvian Amazonia's Urarina.[36] The Urarina have an elaborate animistic cosmological system,[37] which informs their mythology, religious orientation and daily existence. In many cases, the distinction between these means are not clear. For example, Buddhism and Taoism have been regarded as schools of philosophies as well as religions.

Given the generalized discontents with modernity, consumerism, over-consumption, violence and anomie, many people in the so-called industrial or post-industrial West rely on a number of distinctive religious worldviews. This in turn has given rise to increased religious pluralism, as well as to what are commonly known in the academic literature as new religious movements, which are gaining ground across the globe.

Religion and science

Religious knowledge, according to religious practitioners, may be gained from religious leaders, sacred texts (scriptures), and/or personal revelation. Some religions view such knowledge as unlimited in scope and suitable to answer any question; others see religious knowledge as playing a more restricted role, often as a complement to knowledge gained through physical observation. Some religious people maintain that religious knowledge obtained in this way is absolute and infallible (religious cosmology).

The scientific method gains knowledge by testing hypotheses to develop theories through elucidation of facts or evaluation by experiments and thus only answers cosmological questions about the physical universe. It develops theories of the world which best fit physically observed evidence. All scientific knowledge is subject to later refinement in the face of additional evidence. Scientific theories that have an overwhelming preponderance of favorable evidence are often treated as facts (such as the theories of gravity or evolution).

Early science such as geometry and astronomy was connected to the divine for most medieval scholars. The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God's act of creation.

Many scientists have held strong religious beliefs (see List of Christian thinkers in science) and have worked to harmonize science and religion. Isaac Newton, for example, believed that gravity caused the planets to revolve about the Sun, and credited God with the design. In the concluding General Scholium to the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he wrote: "This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being." Nevertheless, conflict has repeatedly arisen between religious organizations and individuals who propagated scientific theories that were deemed unacceptable by the organizations. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has in the past[38] reserved to itself the right to decide which scientific theories were acceptable and which were unacceptable. In the 17th century, Galileo was tried and forced to recant the heliocentric theory based on the church's stance that the Greek Hellenistic system of astronomy was the correct one.[39][40] Today, belief in any form of religion among scientists is more a mixed matter, with the 2009 Pew Research Center finding out that 33% of the American scientists believe in a personal God in some form of communication with humanity, while 48% expressed a religious affiliation.[41]

Epistemology

Many theories exist as to why religions sometimes seem to conflict with scientific knowledge. In the case of Christianity, a relevant factor may be that it was among Christians that science in the modern sense was developed. Unlike other religious groups, as early as the 17th century the Christian churches had to deal directly with this new way to investigate nature and seek truth.

The perceived conflict between science and Christianity may also be partially explained by a literal interpretation of the Bible adhered to by many Christians, both currently and historically. The Catholic Church has always held with Augustine of Hippo who explicitly opposed a literal interpretation of the Bible whenever the Bible conflicted with Science. The literal way to read the sacred texts became especially prevalent after the rise of the Protestant reformation, with its emphasis on the Bible as the only authoritative source concerning the ultimate reality.[42] This view is often shunned by both religious leaders (who regard literally believing it as petty and look for greater meaning instead) and scientists who regard it as an impossibility.

Some Christians have disagreed or are still disagreeing with scientists in areas such as the validity of Keplerian astronomy, the theory of evolution, the method of creation of the universe and the Earth, and the origins of life. On the other hand, scholars such as Stanley Jaki have suggested that Christianity and its particular worldview was a crucial factor for the emergence of modern science. In fact, most of today's historians are moving away from the view of the relationship between Christianity and science as one of "conflict" — a perspective commonly called the conflict thesis.[43][44] Gary Ferngren in his historical volume about Science & Religion states:

While some historians had always regarded the [conflict] thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule.[45]

Eastern religions

The Hindu population of South Asia comprises about 2,000 castes.[46] According to some Hindu literature, there are 330 million (including local and regional) Hindu deities.[47]

In the Bahá'í Faith, the harmony of science and religion is a central tenet.[48] The principle states that that truth is one, and therefore true science and true religion must be in harmony, thus rejecting the view that science and religion are in conflict.[48] `Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, asserted that science and religion cannot be opposed because they are aspects of the same truth; he also affirmed that reasoning powers are required to understand the truths of religion and that religious teachings which are at variance with science should not be accepted; he explained that religion has to be reasonable since God endowed humankind with reason so that they can discover truth.[49] Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, described science and religion as "the two most potent forces in human life."[50]

Proponents of Hinduism claim that Hinduism is not afraid of scientific explorations, nor of the technological progress of mankind. According to them, there is a comprehensive scope and opportunity for Hinduism to mold itself according to the demands and aspirations of the modern world; it has the ability to align itself with both science and spiritualism. This religion uses some modern examples to explain its ancient theories and reinforce its own beliefs. For example, some Hindu thinkers have used the terminology of quantum physics to explain some basic concepts of Hinduism such as Maya or the illusory and impermanent nature of our existence.

The philosophical approach known as pragmatism, as propounded by the American philosopher and psychologist William James, has been used to reconcile scientific with religious knowledge. Pragmatism, simplistically, holds that the truth of a set of beliefs can be indicated by its usefulness in helping people cope with a particular context of life. Thus, the fact that scientific beliefs are useful in predicting observations in the physical world can indicate a certain truth for scientific theories; the fact that religious beliefs can be useful in helping people cope with difficult emotions or moral decisions can indicate a certain truth for those beliefs. (For a similar postmodern view, see grand narrative).

Mysticism and esotericism

Mysticism focuses on methods other than logic, but (in the case of esoteric mysticism) not necessarily excluding it, for gaining enlightenment. Rather, meditative and contemplative practices such as Vipassanā and yoga, physical disciplines such as stringent fasting and whirling (in the case of the Sufi dervishes), or the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD, lead to altered states of consciousness that logic can never hope to grasp. However, regarding the latter topic, mysticism prevalent in the 'great' religions (monotheisms, henotheisms, which are perhaps relatively recent, and which the word 'mysticism' is more recent than,) includes systems of discipline that forbid drugs that can damage the body, including the nervous system.

Mysticism (to initiate) is the pursuit of communion with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or Deity through direct, personal experience (intuition or insight) rather than rational thought. Mystics speak of the existence of realities behind external perception or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible through personal experience. They say that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge.

Esotericism is often spiritual (thus religious) but can be non-religious/-spiritual, and it uses intellectual understanding and reasoning, intuition and inspiration (higher noetic and spiritual reasoning,) but not necessarily faith (except often as a virtue,) and it is philosophical in its emphasis on techniques of psycho-spiritual transformation (esoteric cosmology). Esotericism refers to "hidden" knowledge available only to the advanced, privileged, or initiated, as opposed to exoteric knowledge, which is public. All religions are probably somewhat exoteric, but most ones of ancient civilizations such as Yoga of India, and the mystery religions of ancient Egypt, Israel (Kabbalah,) and Greece are examples of ones that are also esoteric.

Spirituality

A sadhu performing namaste in Madurai, India

Members of an organized religion may not see any significant difference between religion and spirituality. Or they may see a distinction between the mundane, earthly aspects of their religion and its spiritual dimension.

Some individuals draw a strong distinction between religion and spirituality. They may see spirituality as a belief in ideas of religious significance (such as God, the Soul, or Heaven), but not feel bound to the bureaucratic structure and creeds of a particular organized religion. They choose the term spirituality rather than religion to describe their form of belief, perhaps reflecting a disillusionment with organized religion (see Major religious groups), and a movement towards a more "modern" — more tolerant, and more intuitive — form of religion. These individuals may reject organized religion because of historical acts by religious organizations, such as Christian Crusades and Islamic Jihad, the marginalisation and persecution of various minorities or the Spanish Inquisition. The basic precept of the ancient spiritual tradition of India, the Vedas, is the inner reality of existence, which is essentially a spiritual approach to being.

Myth

The word myth has several meanings.

  1. A traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon;
  2. A person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence; or
  3. A metaphor for the spiritual potentiality in the human being.[51]

Ancient polytheistic religions, such as those of Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia, are usually categorized under the heading of mythology. Religions of pre-industrial peoples, or cultures in development, are similarly called "myths" in the anthropology of religion. The term "myth" can be used pejoratively by both religious and non-religious people. By defining another person's religious stories and beliefs as mythology, one implies that they are less real or true than one's own religious stories and beliefs. Joseph Campbell remarked, "Mythology is often thought of as other people's religions, and religion can be defined as mis-interpreted mythology."[52]

In sociology, however, the term myth has a non-pejorative meaning. There, myth is defined as a story that is important for the group whether or not it is objectively or provably true. Examples include the death and resurrection of Jesus, which, to Christians, explains the means by which they are freed from sin and is also ostensibly a historical event. But from a mythological outlook, whether or not the event actually occurred is unimportant. Instead, the symbolism of the death of an old "life" and the start of a new "life" is what is most significant. Religious believers may or may not accept such symbolic interpretations.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion
  2. ^ The words "belief system" may not necessarily refer to a religion, though a religion may be referred to as "belief system."
  3. ^ In The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light. Toronto. Thomas Allen, 2004. ISBN 0-88762-145-7
  4. ^ In The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers, ed. Betty Sue Flowers, New York, Anchor Books, 1991. ISBN 0-385-41886-8
  5. ^ Dubuisson, The Western Construction of Religion. pp.22-23
  6. ^ Daniel Dubuisson. The Western Construction of Religion. 1998. William Sayers (trans.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. p. 90.
  7. ^ Timothy Fitzgerald. Discourse on Civility and Barbarity. Oxford University Press, 2007. pp.45-46.
  8. ^ Talal Asad, Genealogies of Religion. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993 p.34-35.
  9. ^ Max Müller, Natural Religion‎, p.33, 1889
  10. ^ Lewis & Short, A Latin Dictionary[1]
  11. ^ Max Müller. Introduction to the science of religion. p. 28.
  12. ^ Fitzgerald 2007. p.194.
  13. ^ S. N. Balagangadhara. The Heathen in His Blindness... New York: Brill Academic Publishers, 1994. p.159.
  14. ^ a b Brian Kemble Pennington Was Hinduism Invented? New York: Oxford University Press US, 2005. ISBN 0195166558
  15. ^ Jason Ānanda Josephson. "When Buddhism Became a 'Religion'". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 33.1: 143–168.
  16. ^ Isomae Jun’ichi. "Deconstructing 'Japanese Religion'". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 32.2: 235–248.
  17. ^ Fitzgerald 2007, p.268
  18. ^ Hueston A. Finlay. "‘Feeling of absolute dependence’ or ‘absolute feeling of dependence’? A question revisited". Religious Studies 41.1 (2005), pp.81-94.
  19. ^ Max Müller. "Lectures on the origin and growth of religion."
  20. ^ Tomoko Masuzawa, The Invention of World Religions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  21. ^ George A. Lindbeck, Nature of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1984), 33.
  22. ^ from unabridged dictionaries on http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion?r=75 and also the Oxford English Dictionary
  23. ^ Dawkins 1989, p. 352
  24. ^ Blackmore 1999
  25. ^ Bryan Caplan. "Why Religious Beliefs Are Irrational, and Why Economists Should Care". http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/ldebate.htm.  The article about religion and irrationality.
  26. ^ Nobel Peace Laureate, Muslim and human rights activist Dr Shirin Ebadi has spoken out against undemocratic Islamic countries justifying "oppressive acts" in the name of Islam. Speaking at the Earth Dialogues 2006 conference in Brisbane, Dr Ebadi said her native Iran as well as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen "among others" were guilty of human rights violations. "In these countries, Islamic rulers want to solve 21st century issues with laws belonging to 14 centuries ago," she said. "Their views of human rights are exactly the same as it was 1400 years ago."
  27. ^ Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought, Pascal Boyer, Basic Books (2001)
  28. ^ see several dictionaries on http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion?r=75 and also Oxford's English Language Dictionary
  29. ^ Russell T. McCutcheon. Critics Not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion. Albany: SUNY Press, 2001.
  30. ^ Nicholas Lash. The beginning and the end of 'religion'. Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN 0521566355
  31. ^ Charles Eric Lincoln. Race, religion, and the continuing American dilemma. Macmillan, 1999. ISBN 0809016230
  32. ^ Won Moo Hurh. The Korean Americans. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998.
  33. ^ Hinduism is variously defined as a "religion", "set of religious beliefs and practices", "religious tradition" etc. For a discussion on the topic, see: "Establishing the boundaries" in Gavin Flood (2003), pp. 1-17. René Guénon in his Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines (1921 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-74-8, proposes a definition of the term "religion" and a discussion of its relevance (or lack of) to Hindu doctrines (part II, chapter 4, p. 58).
  34. ^ Boyer (2001). "Why Belief". Religion Explained. http://books.google.com/books?id=wreF80OHTicC&pg=PA297&lpg=PA297&dq=%22fang+too+were+quite+amazed%22&source=web&ots=NxCB1FWq5v&sig=SuHHSm8zvnJd8_I2cKp5Zc090R0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result. 
  35. ^ Fitzgerald 2007, p. 232
  36. ^ Dean, Bartholomew 2009 Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia, Gainesville: University Press of Florida ISBN 978-081303378 [2]
  37. ^ Bartholomew Dean 1994 "The Poetics of Creation: Urarina Cosmology and Historical Consciousness." Latin American Indian Literatures Journal (10):22-45
  38. ^ Quotation: "The Second Vatican Council affirmed academic freedom for natural science and other secular disciplines". From the essay of Ted Peters about Science and Religion at "Lindsay Jones (editor in chief). Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition. Thomson Gale. 2005. p.8185"
  39. ^ By Dr Paul Murdin, Lesley Murdin Photographs by Paul New. Supernovae Astronomy Murdin Published 1985, Cambridge UniversityPress Science,256 pages,ISBN 052130038X page 18.
  40. ^ Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2003. Theory and reality: an introduction to the philosophy of science. Science and its conceptual foundations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Page 14.
  41. ^ Pew Research Center: "Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media", Section 4: Scientists, Politics and Religion. July 9, 2009.
  42. ^ Stanley Jaki. Bible and Science, Christendom Press, 1996 (pages 110-111)
  43. ^ Spitz, Lewis (1987). (The Rise of modern Europe) The protestant Reformation 1517-1559.. Harper Torchbooks. pp. 383. ISBN 0-06-132069-2 The historian of early modern Europe Lewis Spitz says "To set up a 'warfare of science and theology' is an exercise in futility and a reflection of a nineteenth century materialism now happily transcended". 
  44. ^ Quotation: "The conflict thesis, at least in its simple form, is now widely perceived as a wholly inadequate intellectual framework within which to construct a sensible and realistic historiography of Western science." (p. 7), from the essay by Colin A. Russell "The Conflict Thesis" on "Gary Ferngren (editor). Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8018-7038-0".
  45. ^ Gary Ferngren (editor). Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8018-7038-0. (Introduction, p. ix)
  46. ^ India – Caste. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  47. ^ Jeffrey Brodd (2003), World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, Saint Mary's Press, p. 45, ISBN 9780884897255, http://books.google.com/books?id=vOzNo4MVlgMC&pg=PA45&dq=%22330+million%22 : '[..] many gods and goddesses (traditionally 330 million!) [...] Hinduism generally regards its 330 million as deities as extensions of one ultimate reality, many names for one ocean, many "masks" for one God.'
  48. ^ a b Esslemont, J.E. (1980). Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era (5th ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-160-4. 
  49. ^ `Abdu'l-Bahá (1982) [1912]. The Promulgation of Universal Peace (Hardcover ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-172-8. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/PUP/. 
  50. ^ Effendi, Shoghi (1938). The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-231-7. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/WOB/index.html. 
  51. ^ Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, p. 22 ISBN 0-385-24774-5
  52. ^ Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor. Ed. Eugene Kennedy. New World Library ISBN 1-57731-202-3.

Bibliography

  • Saint Augustine; The Confessions of Saint Augustine (John K. Ryan translator); Image (1960), ISBN 0-385-02955-1.
  • Descartes, René; Meditations on First Philosophy; Bobbs-Merril (1960), ISBN 0-672-60191-5.
  • Barzilai, Gad; Law and Religion; The International Library of Essays in Law and Society; Ashgate (2007),ISBN 978-0-7546-2494-3
  • Durant, Will (& Ariel (uncredited)); Our Oriental Heritage; MJF Books (1997), ISBN 1-56731-012-5.
  • Durant, Will (& Ariel (uncredited)); Caesar and Christ; MJF Books (1994), ISBN 1-56731-014-1
  • Durant, Will (& Ariel (uncredited)); The Age of Faith; Simon & Schuster (1980), ISBN 0-671-01200-2.
  • Marija Gimbutas 1989. The Language of the Goddess. Thames and Hudson New York
  • Gonick, Larry; The Cartoon History of the Universe; Doubleday, vol. 1 (1978) ISBN 0-385-26520-4, vol. II (1994) ISBN#0-385-42093-5, W. W. Norton, vol. III (2002) ISBN 0-393-05184-6.
  • Haisch, Bernard The God Theory: Universes, Zero-point Fields, and What's Behind It All -- discussion of science vs. religion (Preface), Red Wheel/Weiser, 2006, ISBN 1-57863-374-5
  • Lao Tzu; Tao Te Ching (Victor H. Mair translator); Bantam (1998).
  • Marx, Karl; "Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right", Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, (1844).
  • Saler, Benson; "Conceptualizing Religion: Immanent Anthropologists, Transcendent Natives, and Unbounded Categories" (1990), ISBN 1-57181-219-9
  • The Holy Bible, King James Version; New American Library (1974).
  • The Koran; Penguin (2000), ISBN 0-14-044558-7.
  • The Origin of Live & Death, African Creation Myths; Heinemann (1966).
  • Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia; Penguin (1971).
  • The World Almanac (annual), World Almanac Books, ISBN 0-88687-964-7.
  • The Serotonin System and Spiritual Experiences - American Journal of Psychiatry 160:1965-1969, November 2003.
  • United States Constitution
  • Selected Work Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • The World Almanac (for numbers of adherents of various religions), 2005
  • Religion [First Edition]. Winston King. Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. Vol. 11. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. p7692-7701.
  • World Religions and Social Evolution of the Old World Oikumene Civilizations: A Cross-cultural Perspective by Andrey Korotayev, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7734-6310-0.
  • Brodd, Jefferey (2003). World Religions. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5. 

On religion definition:

External links


Redirecting to Religion


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Religiousness article)

From Wikiquote

This page is for quotes on religiousness or religiosity. See also: Religion and Irreligiousness
  • Anybody that believes in separation of church and state needs to leave right now. -Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education)
  • The 'wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. -William Rehnquist (Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court)
  • The best way to insure the earth is never over populated is for sensible and righteous governments to clear all forms of atheism and heresy. -Robert T. Lee (Society for the Practical Establishment of the Ten Commandments)

Contents

A B C

  • Civilized people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator. -John Ashcroft (Attorney General)
  • A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. —Francis Bacon
  • A man may go into the field and say his prayer and be aware of God, or, he may be in Church and be aware of God; but, if he is more aware of Him because he is in a quiet place, that is his own deficiency and not due to God, Who is alike present in all things and places, and is willing to give Himself everywhere so far as lies in Him. He knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere. —Meister Eckhart
  • All that we refrain from and all that we do, let us not do or refrain from merely because it seems to the multitude somehow honorable or base, but because it is forbidden by reason and the god within us. —Marcus Aurelius
  • All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other things. For things have been co-ordinated, and they combine to make up the same universe. For there is one universe made up of all things, and one God who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, and one reason. —Marcus Aurelius
  • Atheism leads not to badness, but only to an incurable sadness and loneliness. -William Pepperell Montague
  • Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; Unbelief, in denying them. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. -Albert Einstein
  • Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me ... That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave. —Stonewall Jackson
  • Creation is too grand, too glorious, too complex and too mysterious to be captured in any narrow creed or reflected in any single metaphor. It is exactly because we so cherish the world in all its multi-hued grandeur that we resist the temptation to see it through only one lens. Our conviction is that we will come a little closer to the truth about the world -- and certainly be more receptive to its splendour if we set a variety of vehicles to apprehend it. -William F. Schultz
  • Those who believe that they believe in God,
    but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind,
    without uncertainty, without doubt,
    without an element of despair even in their consolation,
    believe only in the God idea, not in God Himself. -Miguel de Unamuno

D through L

  • Deep, solemn optimism, it seems to me, should spring from this firm belief in the presence of God in the individual; not a remote, unapproachable governor of the universe, but a God who is very near every one of us, who is present not only in earth, sea and sky, but also in every pure and noble impulse of our hearts, 'the source and centre of all minds, their only point of rest'. —Helen Keller
  • Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion —- human religion -— but any number of faiths. —Mahatma Gandhi
  • Even in the slightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in different ways. —Black Elk
  • For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love. —John Donne
  • Freedom from all attachment is the realization of God as Truth. —Mahatma Gandhi
  • He who steadily observes the moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven as to the dogmas in which they all differ. —Thomas Jefferson
  • Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being ... When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. —Mahatma Gandhi
  • I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of humans; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy. —Thomas Paine
  • I believe it is a sacred duty to encourage ourselves and others; to hold the tongue from any unhappy word against God's world, because no man has any right to complain of a universe which God made good, and which thousands of men have striven to keep good. I believe we should so act that we may draw nearer and more near the age when no man shall live at his ease while another suffers. These are the articles of my faith, and there is yet another on which all depends -— to bear this faith above every tempest which overfloods it, and to make it a principal in disaster and through affliction. Optimism is the harmony between man's spirit and of God pronouncing His works good. —Helen Keller
  • I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing. -Umberto Eco
  • I can doubt everything, except one thing, and that is the very fact that I doubt. - Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650)
  • I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were (permanent) Seekers after Truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment--until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather. If he was seeking after political Truth he found it in one or another of the hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth; if he was seeking after the Only True Religion he found it in one or another of the three thousand that are on the market. In any case, when he found the Truth he sought no further; but from that day forth, with his soldering-iron in one hand and his bludgeon in the other he tinkered its leaks and reasoned with objectors. (from What is Man?) - Mark Twain
  • I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. —Thomas Jefferson
  • I never spoke with God,
    Nor visited in heaven;
    Yet certain am I of the spot
    As if the chart were given. —Emily Dickinson
  • I saw my Lord with the Eye of my heart,
    And I said: Truly there is no doubt that it is You.
    It is You that I see in everything;
    And I do not see You through anything (but You). —Al-Hallaj
  • I saw a marvellous high mystery hid in God, which mystery He shall openly make known to us in Heaven: in which knowing we shall verily see the cause why He suffered sin to come. In which sight we shall endlessly joy in our Lord God. —Julian of Norwich
  • I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
    In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass,
    I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign'd by God's name... —Walt Whitman (in Leaves of Grass)
  • In my religion there would be no exclusive doctrine; all would be love, poetry and doubt. —Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave (1945)
  • ...it may be that there is no God, that "the existence of all that is beautiful and in any sense good is but the accidental and ineffective byproduct of blindly swirling atoms," that we are alone in a world that cares nothing for us or for the values that we create and sustain - that we and they are here for a moment only, and gone, and that eventually there will be left no trace of us in the universe. "A man may well believe that this dredful thing is true. But only the fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true. - Sterling M. McMurrin
  • It was in a flood God destroyed all but one man. It would seem prudent that he now knows better --Anonymous
  • “[J]ust as the illiterate cannot read books like those who are literate, neither can those who have refused to go through the commandments of Christ by practicing them be granted the revelation of the Holy Spirit like those who have brooded over them and fulfilled them and shed their blood for them.” — St. Symeon the New Theologian, “On Spiritual Knowledge” - Discourse 24 (in the Paulist Press ed.)
  • Let's reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
    Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests... —Jim Morrison, from the spoken-word album, An American Prayer (1978), released posthumously
  • "[The] liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will [is] a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be it's best support." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Captain John thomas, Nov.18, 1801 (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, A.E. Bergh, editor, Washington D.C. 1904, Vol.XVI, p.436)

M through Z

  • Much that was called religion has carried an unconscious attitude of hostility toward life. True religion must teach that life is filled with joys pleasing to the eye of God, that knowledge without action is empty. All men must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensations which tells you this is something you've always known. —Frank Herbert (in Dune)
  • My effort should never be to undermine another's faith but to make him a better follower of his own faith. —Mahatma Gandhi
  • My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. -Albert Einstein
  • No coward soul is mine,
    No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere :
    I see Heaven's glories shine,
    And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear. —Emily Brontë
  • O great creator of being
    grant us one more hour to
    perform our art
    and perfect our lives. —Jim Morrison, from the spoken-word album An American Prayer
  • Once you accept the existence of God —- however you define him, however you explain your relationship to him -— then you are caught forever with his presence in the center of all things. —Morris West
  • Our times are in his hand
    Who saith, "A whole I planned,
    Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" —Robert Browning
  • Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. —James 1:27, New Testament
  • Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Religion itself is nothing else but Love to God and Man. He that lives in Love lives in God, says the Beloved Disciple: And to be sure a Man can live no where better. —William Penn
  • Religion, whatever it is, is a man's total reaction upon life. -William James
  • ...resident mockery
    give us an hour for magic. —Jim Morrison, from the spoken-word album An American Prayer
  • Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -Albert Einstein
  • That friend of mine who lives in God,
    That God, which ever lives and loves,
    One God, one law, one element,
    And one far-off divine event,
    To which the whole creation moves. —Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried. —G.K. Chesterton
  • The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research. —Albert Einstein
  • The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will. -Adolf Hitler, - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim translation p. 562.
  • The moral sense reappears today with the same morning newness that has been from of old the fountain of beauty and strength. You say there is no religion now. 'Tis like saying in rainy weather, There is no sun, when at that moment we are witnessing one of its superlative effects. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always. -Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)
  • The whole duty of humanity, from a Christian perspective is: "To know God and to show God." -James Patterson
  • There is surely a piece of divinity within us, something that was before the elements, and owes no homage unto the sun. —Thomas Browne
  • Though earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee. —Emily Brontë
  • To believe in God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
    To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning. —Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell. —John Adams (The italicized quotation within this statement has often been quoted out of context.)
  • We have now learned from our generalizations of the great complexity of the interactions of principles... that what is approached is eternal and instant awareness of absolute reality of all that ever existed. All the great metaphysical integrity of all the individuals, which is potential and inherent in the complex interactions of generalized principles, will always and only coexist eternally. —Buckminster Fuller
  • We must forgive our enemies. I can truly say that not a day has passed since the war began that I have not prayed for them. — General Robert E. Lee
  • What do I know about God and the purpose of life?
    I know that this world exists. —Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan —- to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations. — Abraham Lincoln
  • You and I didn't design people. God designed people. What I am trying to do is to discover why God included humans in the Universe. —Buckminster Fuller

See also

Wiktionary-logo-en.png
Look up religious in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to religious article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Most common English words: father's « killed « marriage « #873: religious » allow » spent » soldiers

Etymology

Various theories exist:

  • From the Latin religio, "respect for what is sacred".
  • Latin re- and legere -- "to read again".
  • Latin religare, "to bind".

Pronunciation

Adjective

religious (comparative more religious, superlative most religious)

Positive
religious

Comparative
more religious

Superlative
most religious

  1. Concerning religion.
    It is the job of this court to rule on legal matters. We do not consider religious issues.
  2. Committed to the practice of religion.
    I was much more religious as a teenager than I am now.
  3. Highly dedicated, as one would be to a religion.
    I'm a religious fan of college basketball.

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun

Singular
religious

Plural
religious

religious (plural religious)

  1. A member of a religious order.
    I am only one religious among the many religious of this church.

Translations

External links

  • religious in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • religious in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message