Religions are social institutions that organize human lives. They take a variety of different approaches to truth, Scripture, behavior, reason, tradition, authority, deity, doctrine, salvation, morality, sexuality, family, death, and humanity.
Studying religion is a great way to expand your knowledge of other cultures and learn about what makes us all unique. It also opens doors to a new world of spiritual ideas and experiences that can improve your life.
The best part about studying religion is that you can do it online. It is as easy and natural as chatting with a friend and you can learn from millions of people around the globe at any time.
A defining characteristic of religion is that it has the property of valuing in an intense and comprehensive manner. This is the key feature that distinguishes it from all other forms of valuation.
To qualify as a religion, a phenomena must show at least four of the following characteristics:
A belief in spiritual beings or supernatural powers (e.g., a divine king or a judgment after death); A system of rituals, ethics, and scriptures; A system of beliefs about the nature of existence; A system of worship that is organized into a coherent hierarchy.
Tylor (1971) was a pioneer in this approach. He defined religion as “the belief in spiritual beings” and argued that it should apply to all known societies, regardless of whether the believers were members of the highest order of society or pagans who worshiped a supreme deity.