Date of publication: 2017-09-02 00:52
The first basic element of religion is the belief that there are supernatural powers. These powers are believed to influence human life and control all natural phenomena. Some call these supernatural forces God, other call them Gods. There are even others who do not call them by any name. They simply consider them as forces in their universe. Thus, belief in the non-sensory, super-empirical world is the first element of religion.
Pfleiderer defined religion as 8775 that reference men 8767 s life to a word governing power which seeks to grow into a living union with it. 8776
Contact with complex form of religion adds many new elements in the simple form of tribal religion. For example, with the gradual spread of Vaishnavism in chhotanagpur, the Oraons tribe which lives in that region, began to reorganise traditional faith.
Religion encourages people to render services to the needy and poor and promote their welfare. It develops philanthropic attitude of people. Help and assistance are rendered to poor and destitute persons due to religion inspiration. It is believed that one can obtain the cherished goal of religion by way of giving alms and assistance to the helpless and needy persons. In this way religion promotes the welfare of individuals, groups and community.
Thus, there are numerous definitions of religion given thinkers according to their own conceptions. As a matter of fact the forms in which religion expresses itself vary so much that it is difficult to agree upon a definition. Some maintain that religion includes a belief in supernatural or mysterious powers and that it expresses itself in overt activities designed to deal with those powers.
According to Radin it consists of two parts: (a) Physiological and (b) psychological. The physiological part expresses itself in such acts as kneeling, closing the eyes, touching the feet. The psychological part consists of supernormal sensitivity to certain traditions and beliefs. While belief in supernatural powers may be considered basic to all religion, equally fundamental is the presence of a deeply emotional feeling which Golden Weiber called the 8775 religion thrill 8776 .
The priesthood often was dedicated to art and culture. The priests laid the foundations of medicine. Magic supplied the roots of observation and experimentation from which science developed. It also inculcated the habit of charity among the people who opened many charitable institutions like hospitals, rest houses, temples to help the needy and the poor.
Japan, the UK, Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, France and Uruguay (where the majority of citizens have European roots) are all places where religion was important just a century or so ago, but that now report some of the lowest belief rates in the world. These countries feature strong educational and social security systems, low inequality and are all relatively wealthy. &ldquo Basically, people are less scared about what might befall them,&rdquo says Quentin Atkinson, a psychologist at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
The term 8766 secularisation 8767 has been used in different ways. Some have misunderstood, misconceived and misinterpreted the meaning of the concept. Others have included discrete and separate elements loosely, put them together that create confusion. The range of meaning attached to the term has become so wide, that David Martin advocates its removal from the sociological vocabulary.
A method of salvation is the fifth basic element of religion. Man needs some method by which he can regain harmony with the Gods through removal of guilt. In Hindu religion Moksha or Salvation represents the end of life, the realisation of an inner spirituality in man.
Religion in Western societies has tended to place less emphasis on dogma and more on social values. It has tried to reconcile its doctrine with scientific knowledge. As Barnes has pointed out religion adapted to our changed conditions of life is worth preserving and it must seek to organise. The masses and guide their activities for the benefit of the society rather than for the purpose of pleasing the God.