A definition of what constitutes a religion

Here is a concise definition of a cult of Christianity: A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which system denies either explicitly or implicitly one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible. A comparison with historic, Bible-based Christianity, shows that the Mormon Church rejects, changes or adds to the central doctrines of the Christian faith to such an extend that Mormonism must be regarded as having separated itself from the faith it claims to represent, and instead having established a new religion that is not compatible with Christianity. Attempts to present Mormonism as Christian e.

A definition of what constitutes a religion

What is a Religious Belief? This is the fifth article in an occasional series on apologetics and worldview analysis. The problems of philosophy were illusory, he believed, and arose as a misunderstanding about language. While I think he greatly overstated the case, I think Wittgenstein was on to something important.

Many problems—not only in philosophy but in other areas such as religion—result from the imprecise use of language. Imagine, for instance, trying to define the concept of tree in a way that is limited to what is true for all trees but only true of trees.

Paring the explanation down in such a manner would not only be difficult but would leave us with a curious, and likely unsatisfying, definition. What is true of trees will be equally so for religious beliefs. We should also expect to find that a minimally precise definition will have exposed the fact that some beliefs that we might have considered to be religious really are not, while finding that others are actually more religious than we might have imagined.

Nevertheless, while we might be surprised, unsatisfied, or unimpressed, the important point is that we have defined the term correctly. Let us begin by examining two features that are commonly though mistakenly believed to be essential to religious beliefs: But such a feature would be too narrow because it would exclude polytheistic religions that do not recognize a supreme being.

A definition of what constitutes a religion

In fact, we cannot include the concept of god or gods at all since some religions e. The same is true for the religious beliefs of some ancient Greeks such as Aristotle and later the Epicureans who thought the gods neither knew about nor cared about humans. They certainly felt no obligation to worship such apathetic beings.

Having excluded gods and worship from our definition, we are left with very few features that all religious beliefs could possibly share in common. By contrast, everything nondivine ultimately depends for existence at least in part on whatever is divine. This idea of nondependence or its equivalent is the shared feature in all religious beliefs.

Clouser uses this common element to formulate a precise definition: A belief is a religious belief provided that it is 1 a belief in something as divine or 2 a belief about how to stand in proper relation to the divine, where 3 something is believed to be divine provided it is held to be unconditionally nondependent.

The conclusion we can draw from this definition is that everyone holds, consciously or unconsciously, a religious belief. Others, though, will have a reaction similar to those who argue that while everyone else may speak with an accent, they themselves do not.

This can be shown by focusing on a theory or belief that many people mistakenly believe to be the reverse of religion: Although the idea of materialism has been around since at least the ancient Greeks, it has only recently been considered to be a non-religious idea.

This is rather odd considering that it explicitly claims that matter or some other physical entity is unconditionally, nondependently real and draws conclusions about nature and humanity based on that belief.

Materialism, in fact, fits the definition more closely than some related beliefs, such as atheism. Just as monotheism claims that the number of gods is one and polytheism holds the view that the number is more than one, atheism simply claims the number of gods is zero.

Because it merely takes a position on a nonessential element of religious belief, it would be erroneous to claim that atheism is inherently a religious belief. Materialism, on the other hand, fits the definition in a categorical and clear-cut manner.

I have, however, filtered it through my own interpretation and sprinkled in some of my own thoughts on the question. Anything coherent, obvious, reasonable, and logical should be attributed to Clouser.

Anything incoherent, absurd, unreasonable, and illogical should be credited solely to me.Oct 11,  · What is it that constitutes a religion? How is one defined? When we use the term "religion" how do we mean it, and to what property of all so-called.

Of the various forms of religious literature, prayer is considered by many to be the purest in expressing the essential elements of a ashio-midori.com Islamic Qurʾān is regarded as a book of prayers, and the book of Psalms of the Bible is viewed as a meditation on biblical history turned into prayer.

The Confessions of the great Christian thinker St. Augustine of Hippo (–) are, in the. The Most Primitive Religion. Armed with his "preliminary definition" of religion, Durkheim set out in search of its most primitive, elementary form.

Personhood is the status of being a ashio-midori.comng personhood is a controversial topic in philosophy and law and is closely tied with legal and political concepts of citizenship, equality, and ashio-midori.coming to law, only a natural person or legal personality has rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability..

Personhood continues to be a topic of international. Literature definition, writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.

See more. Jul 05,  · Discussion of the difference between churches and religious orgnaizations. Skip to main content Search. Include "Churches" Defined. English;.

Religion | Definition of Religion by Merriam-Webster