What Is Religion?

Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that gives its members a unified system of thoughts, feelings, and actions, something sacred to believe in, a figure or concepts to worship, and a code of behavior to live by. It is a part of many cultures around the world. Some scholars have sought to discover a universal definition of religion that is shared across all cultures. But the idea that some kind of “thing” called religion is common to all human cultures has never been proven, and most scholars now accept that a scientific study of religion can only give a functional account of how it functions in any given culture.

Historically, religious ideas grew out of people’s attempts to control uncontrollable parts of the environment. They did this through magic, such as drawing pictures of animals on cave walls to assure success in hunting, and through supplication, such as praying to gods or goddesses. Early religions tended to be polytheistic, but monotheism became dominant later on.

Many religions also teach about life after death and morality. They may also offer comfort, support and guidance in times of crisis or stress. The pervasiveness of religion throughout the world makes it an important topic to study. Students of all ages can find rich and engaging resources that explore many different perspectives on Religion online. These resources will help make this topic more accessible to all learners, and will allow them to build their understanding of the diversity of world religions.