What does the word 'religion' mean to you?

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What does the word 'religion' mean to you?

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May 23, 2007, 1:28 pm

By the look of our libraries, we are a pretty curious bunch. Not to get anyone over excited, but I was wondering what the word 'religion' might mean to each of us?

If you made a WIKI entry intended to communicate what the word
'religion' means in three sentences or less, what would you write?

How about its key concepts? Religion is an idea, a perception, a thought, a feeling, a foundation, a ritualistic system, a cultural system, a belief system... What is the single most, central concept of 'religion,' do you think, and why is that thing so powerful and pervasive?

(Be nice. Don't let anyone's answers bug you. Just share your own ideas. Don't worry about it if someone else thinks differently.)

May 23, 2007, 1:43 pm

D'oh! You said be nice, so I guess that means I'll just have to wait and read everyone else's answers. :P

May 23, 2007, 2:01 pm

It's probably only fair that I answer my own question.

(Here goes....)

WIKI entry: The word Religion is used to name and unify a variety of concepts, experiences, rituals, behaviors, and ideas stemming from the human compulsion to question physical and metaphysical existence in particular. Religion also encompasses the resulting ideas, concepts, rituals, behaviors and beliefs that result from this questioning. And Religion is, finally, the institutional or spontaneous practice of both the question and any identified revelation, enacted during a human in their lifetime, in the context of social community and relationship, either as physical ritual, intellectual framework, or through/by emotional expression.


Key concepts would be that the search for personal meaning --the search for the meaning of existence --seems behaviorally hardwired in every human being. (To the good or ill of his fellows.) From the moment we are old enough to put our fingers in our mouths, we are already locked into the process of existential discovery.

(And that's a mouthful!)

Sep 6, 2008, 12:12 am

For me, (and this is not a wiki effort), religion has a sense of binding to it, a commitment to God, worship, precepts, ethical system, or whatever. This contrasts with spirituality, where one is trying to follow the call of the divine with a greater sense of latitude.