Understanding Religion


Religion is a family of social institutions. It is a form of belief in an ever-living God. Throughout human history, the human race has found many ways to express their religious feeling. In fact, some writers have classified religious feeling as an essential element of all religious ideas. If you’re interested in religious ideas, it’s a good idea to understand the feeling at its source.

Religion is a form of belief

Throughout human history, people have used the term religion to describe a variety of social practices, including those relating to the afterlife, cosmological orders, and the worship of gods. Nevertheless, this term is not universal. In some cultures, religion is not a belief, but a tool invented by a group of people for their own purposes and imposed on others.

It is a social energy

Religion is a social energy that makes a social group conscious of itself. It does this by projecting collective energy onto an external symbol. The object is then considered sacred, as it receives the power of the community and becomes a tangible image of the society.

It is a family of social institutions

Religion is an important institution that provides essential public goods. One of these public goods is morality. While most modern societies don’t promote morality through church participation, the Ten Commandments are universally recognized as moral values. Moreover, they are cultivated in religious settings. In this way, religion not only serves to keep the moral codes of a society intact but also reminds people of their basic societal values.

It is a form of belief in an ever-living God

According to Charles Darwin, every species is a product of a long, evolutionary process. In the evolutionary process, a species develops genetic and behavioral traits that make it more likely to survive against a hostile environment. Religion, therefore, is an adaption that increases the odds of survival. This adaptation is passed on to future generations and helps the individuals reproduce. This is referred to as natural selection.

It is a way people deal with ultimate concerns about their lives and fate after death

For centuries, people have grappled with the fear of death and sought ways to deal with these issues through their religion. For example, Hindus believe that their souls live on even after they die. Christians believe that their souls go to heaven and live with the gods.

It is a way people maintain moral/ethical, economic, and political reasoning

Religious beliefs can be used to motivate people to take positive action for social change. For instance, religion played a key role in the civil rights movement in the South decades ago. Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. based their actions on religious beliefs, and black churches served as venues for civil rights movement meetings, recruiting new members, and raising money.