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Green defines religion as “a system of beliefs and symbolic practices and objects, governed by faith rather than by knowledge, which relates man to an unseen supernatural realm beyond the known and beyond the controllable.” According to Maclver and Page, “Religion, as we understand the term, implies a relationship not merely between man and man but also between man and some higher power.” As Gillin and Gillin says, “The social field of religion may be regarded as including those emotionalized beliefs prevalent in a social group concurring the supernatural plus crest and behaviour, material objects and symbols associated with such beliefs.” 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.
While it is possible to define religion as belief in God or some super-natural powers, it is well to remember that there can also be a Godless religion as Buddhism.
In sociology, the word religion is used in a wider sense than that used in religious books.
Judaism, Christianity, Islam (Semitic religions), Hinduism and Buddhism; Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto (Chinese-Japanese religions) etc. Religion is concerned with the shared beliefs and practices of human beings.
It is the human response to those elements in the life and environment of mankind which are beyond their ordinary comprehension.
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.
Others regard religion as something very earthly and materialistic, designed to achieve practical ends.The second root refers to the carrying out those activities which link human beings with the supernatural powers. Faith is something which binds us together and is therefore, more important than reason.Thus, we find that the word religion basically represents beliefs and practices which are generally the main characteristics of all religions. Religion in this sense is the organisation of faith which binds human beings to their temporal and transcendental foundation. Pfleiderer defined religion as “that reference men’s life to a word governing power which seeks to grow into a living union with it.” According to James G.Religion goes back to the beginning of the culture itself. While most people consider religion as universal and therefore, a significant institution of societies.It is the foundation on which the normative structure of society stands.It is the social institution that deals with sacred things, that lie beyond our knowledge and control. It has been exerting tremendous influence upon political and economic aspects of life.It is said that man from the earliest times has been incurably religious.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.A common characteristic found among all religions is that they represent a complex of emotional feelings and attitudes towards mysterious and perplexities of life.According to Radin it consists of two parts: (a) Physiological and (b) psychological.