Building off the last post, after hearing the difficulty of defining the word religion, how do you define what is a religion so that everything that we generally call a religion is included, yet everything we generally consider to be secular is excluded?
Reading Michael Molloy’s Experiencing the World’s Religions I learned that the etymology of the word religion is two words, “re” and “lig”. “Re” means again; makes sense, reply, rebound, repeat, etc. “Lig” means “to connect” or “to join,” as in ligament. Together, religion means “to connect again.”
This concept is easily found in most religions. They offer ways or processes of returning to some sort of original state of mankind that has been lost or severed from some problem. For Christianity, the problem is sin that separated Adam and Eve from God and thrust them out of the Garden of Eden. Their sin then was passed on to all men and the ultimate effect of our sin is eternal death and separation from God. The way to “reconnect” with God and that original state of humanity before the “Fall” is through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Other religions offer a different problem, a different separation, and a different way or path of reconnecting with that original state of being.
Moving beyond the etymology of religion, Molloy says that instead of making a set definition that can encompass all religions it is best to simply list common characteristics of religions. He lists 8 common characteristics and I address them in the following video:
After watching the video, post a comment giving examples of how the 8 elements are found within Christianity. Also, ask yourself, does Atheism have these 8 elements? If it does, then should it be considered a religion? If it doesn’t, should it not be considered a religion?
2 thoughts on “What do all religions have in common?”
I saw these questions, “Also, ask yourself, does Atheism have these 8 elements? If does, then should it be considered a religion? If it doesn’t, should it not be considered a religion?” and I had to reply….. Atheism is NOT a religion, period.
Mark, I agree. It’s interesting though that many Christians argue that Atheism is a religion. What is your belief system or worldview?