What is Religion?
For centuries, scholars have wavered on the definition of religion due to either too much specificity or vagueness. Those that are flawed with specificity often do not incorporate beliefs from all religions and cultures, and thus leave out many key aspects that would allow the definition to envelope and combine the views into one. On the other hand, vagueness often does not sufficiently differentiate religion from moral philosophy, psychological and ethical systems, and other areas of human thought.There is no one-liner that can fully represent religion in all its complexities, so first we’ll start out with this idea:
“Religion originates in an attempt to represent and order beliefs, feelings, imaginings and actions that arise in response to direct experience of the sacred and the spiritual. As this attempt expands in its formulation and elaboration, it becomes a process that creates meaning for itself on a sustaining basis, in terms of both its originating experiences and its own continuing responses.” – Paul Connelly
Nonetheless, people have tried time and time again to write a definite response to this question. The complexity of religion provides the substance that has made these attempts futile. Religion is constructed through the responses that stem from many observable attributes within the human capacity. These responses are combined with various weighting on certain categories that eventually serve to define and delineate different religions from each other (i.e. Christianity as compared to Buddhism).
As you can see above, each primary category (the bubbles) stem into several subcategories that serve as a basis for the development of religion.
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