What is Religion?
Religion is a social-cultural system of a collection of beliefs that are based on the faith in a god or gods and the activities associated with it.
Meaning of Religion by different scholars
To further clarify the meaning of religion, scholars have defined religion in their own way. Some scholars and given definitions are as follows
- According to Taylor– “Religion refers to the devotion or worship of those powers superior to human beings, about which individuals believe that they control and instruct nature and human life. “
- According to Majumdar and Madan– “Religion is a human response to the fear of any supernatural and psychic power. It is a form of expression of behavior or adaptation to situations that are influenced by the notion of supernatural power.”
- According to Johnson – “Religion is, to a greater extent, an organized system of beliefs and practices relating to supernatural elements, powers, places, and spirits.”
It is clear from the above definition that that system of beliefs related to supernatural powers is called religion, which despite being influenced by human experiences, gives a sense of a mysterious power beyond human power.
Impact of Religion on Society
Religion is the name of a supernatural power, which has an impact on human life from all around. Describing the importance of religion, Rodin said that “religion is not only a reflection of the life and goal of man, but it is also a means of preserving life values.”
Similarly, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has also discussed the importance of religion, saying that “human nature attains its full satisfaction in God.” Religion plays a significant role in society, due to which various types of social and mental qualities are developed in a human being.
Related: Ethics and Religion
The importance/impact of religion on society can be discussed as follows:
- Development of the spirit of purity– Developing a sense of purity in personal and social life and prohibiting impurity and wrongdoing is the main function of religion. Only those works are done in a society that is pure and holy from a religious point of view. As a result, the social system is maintained.
- Development of a sense of security – In religion, it is believed that there is some power over the person who is omnipotent, and in times of crisis this power can liberate the person from the crisis. This kind of feeling makes one feel safe.
- Socialization– Religion develops social qualities like kindness, affection, tolerance, harmony, etc. in a human being, due to which devotion and ability are developed in the system of society. Religion establishes social control by imposing control on the behavior and behavior of the individual.
- A solution to social problems – Many organizations and institutions have been born in the society, which resolves the problems found in human life. Religion enhances self-confidence. As a result, one gets rid of problems through religion.
- Development of virtues– Due to belief in religion, most people directly or indirectly try to mold their life in accordance with religious ideals. As a result, many human qualities develop in them.
- Establishment of peace – Religion believes in immense supernatural power. That is why a person is not able to defy religious ideals and values. As a result, peace prevails in society.
- Help in relieving mental stress– To get rid of situations like anger, hatred, tension, conflict, etc, a person prays to God, surrenders to supernatural power. After manifesting happiness and sorrow in front of God, he feels relieved and gets rid of mental stress.
- Helps in upholding morality – Morality is blended with religious rules. Therefore, religion is helpful in maintaining morality.
- Defender of social values and beliefs – By creating sin and virtue and fear of heaven and hell, religion creates inspiration, encouragement, and compulsion to follow social rules. As a result, social values and beliefs are protected.
- Creating unity in the society– Religion establishes unity in society. Durkheim says that religion binds all people who believe in them. Unity is seen in the followers of one religion at the time of community and religious riots and during religious festivals. This proves that religion plays an important role in establishing unity.
Thus, it can be said that religion helps in the development of a person by making him worthy of society, helping in times of uncertainty, building patience in despair, and developing the moral and social values of individuals.