Definition: Religion [was Re: MD quality religion]

From: Leland Jory (
Date: Thu Mar 11 2004 - 02:48:55 GMT

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    On Mar 10, 2004, at 6:45 PM, drose wrote:

    > Wim -
    > I suspect you'd have a difficult time finding a working definition of
    > religion everyone could agree on, much less come to a consensus on
    > "good-better-best."

    Here's an appropriate definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged
    Dictionary (1913):

    Religion \Re*li"gion\ (r[-e]*l[i^]j"[u^]n), n. [F., from L.
        religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. 'ale`gein
        to heed, have a care. Cf. Neglect.]
        1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their
           recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having
           power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and
           honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love,
           fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power,
           whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites
           and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of
           faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical
           religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion;
           revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion
           of idol worshipers.

        Note: Religion, as distinguished from theology, is
              subjective, designating the feelings and acts of men
              which relate to God; while theology is objective, and
              denotes those ideas which man entertains respecting the
              God whom he worships, especially his systematized views
              of God. As distinguished from morality, religion
              denotes the influences and motives to human duty which
              are found in the character and will of God, while
              morality describes the duties to man, to which true
              religion always influences. As distinguished from
              piety, religion is a high sense of moral obligation and
              spirit of reverence or worship which affect the heart
              of man with respect to the Deity, while piety, which
              first expressed the feelings of a child toward a
              parent, is used for that filial sentiment of veneration
              and love which we owe to the Father of all. As
              distinguished from sanctity, religion is the means by
              which sanctity is achieved, sanctity denoting primarily
              that purity of heart and life which results from
              habitual communion with God, and a sense of his
              continual presence.

    Leland Jory :^{)>
    Cafeteria Spiritualist and Philosopher
    "It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, 'Go 
    away, I'm looking for the truth.' and so it goes away. Puzzling." - 
    Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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