There are several definitions of Religion. Some are based on Christianity, while others focus on Idolatry. Regardless of the definition, religion is the root and source of religion. As such, religion and religions share a close relationship. Definitions of Religion that apply only to Christianity are not a true representation of religion.
The absence or indifference to religion is called irreligion. It can take many different forms, from a casual disregard for religious beliefs to a full-fledged philosophical outlook. Some examples of irreligion include atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism.
Idolatry in religion has many causes and effects. It arises when we fail to see God as the One and Only Creator. This causes our minds to take distorted and fanciful forms. We attribute powers to every substance, animal, or combination of substances, even if they are not created by God. In doing so, we worship the creature as if it were a god, or a heavenly being.
In the following article, I will explore the fundamentalist aspect of monotheism and how it can lead to violence and exclusion. These views are shared by Christianity and Islam.
Evolution and religion are often considered to be opposites, but they are not mutually exclusive. While some religious communities have rejected evolution as atheistic, many others have embraced it and found it to be a positive influence on their religious beliefs. For example, evolution theory allows people to affirm God’s ongoing engagement over time and the openness of the divine creative activity.
The debate on the evolution of religion is a burning issue. The byproduct theory and the adaptation theory have both been suggested to explain the evolution of religion. The byproduct theory posits that the origins of religion lie in the evolution of cognitive defaults and transmission biases. These traits were incorporated into coherent networks by cultural evolutionary processes. By contrast, the adaptationist model asserts that the cognitive foundations of religion have been selected for in more fundamental ways.
Humans have a common set of values and beliefs. Some of these values are genetically determined, while others are imposed by religious thought. People of all religions strive to improve the world around them. These common values include love, compassion, respect, and tolerance for others. Organized religions were first practiced around 11,000 years ago, during the Neolithic revolution, as our species evolved from foraging bands to empires. Throughout history, state societies justified their political power by invoking a divine authority. Polytheism began with Hinduism in 2500 BC, while pantheism may have originated in African and American Indian cultures.
Religion is a major social force and intersects with most major institutions of society. It encapsulates the good and the bad of social life. This Virtual Issue of Social Problems aims to draw attention to the social and political impact of religion and its intersections with other institutions. The essays in this issue address timely issues like racism and acknowledge the differences and heterogeneity of religious belief and practice among different denominations and ethno-racial groups. The virtual issue also examines the impact of religion on individuals.