Religion is one of the hardest things in the world to define. As a result, each scholar tries to provide a definition that is based on
his or her personal or professional perspective.
We understand religion in its broadest sense as a means whereby humans recognizing the limitations of phenomenal reality,
undertake specific practice to effect self transformation and community cohesion within a Cosmological context.
Religion has so many role it plays in a society or organization which human being lives and as such on this paper we shall be
looking at what religion is, by giving up to five definition of religion, the importance of religion and then finally draws up a
Definitions of religion
Religion is refers to those cosmological stories, symbol systems, ritual practices, ethical norms historical process, and
institutional structures that transmit a view of the human as embedded in a world of meaning and responsibility,
transportation and celebration . Religion connects human with a divine or luminous presence, with the human community mu
and with the broader earth community. It links humans to the larger matrix of mystery in which life arises, unfolds and of
experiencing a sustaining creative force in natural and human worlds and beyond. (Gbenda 18). For Bourchilo.
Religion normally involves a belief in powers that in some sense control the world or events in our lives. According to Plato, “it
is belief in form of the God, a divine mind and will which is central to the existence of the universe and holds moral relations
with human kind”.
religion (naija trend)
According to Ajiki, “religion is a belief, worship, adoration, feeling, attitude and conduct, for him, so power is that force in
humans that it produced a mosaic beliefs, attitudes, and practices whenever people are found from the great metropolitan cities
to the smallest villages, one can find temples, shrines, and other monuments as expressions of religious life. In fact, religious
ideas and practices orient billions of people everywhere at all times. Myths, doctrines, rituals, narratives, tales, legends, art,
music, drama, and dance all offer meaning and guidance to religious life. (Ajiki:1)”.
Religion can also be understood as regulate pattern of life of people, which reflects experiences, belief, and knowledge in man’s
conception of himself in relation to others his social world, the physical and the metaphysical world (Okwueze 32).
The term religion is derived from the Latin term ‘religio’, the etymology of which is disputed. Some scholars have tried to
connect ‘religio’ with other Latin terms, such as ‘relegare’ (to read), ‘reliinquere’ (to relinquish), and ‘religare’ (to relegate’), to
powers, has been the most common, or classical undertaking.
Importance of religion
Religion helps to order and group the human society into certain categories and organizations. Sometimes, religion even assists
to legitimize social structure that dearly has profane origin. The caste system in India is a good example. The Indian society is
grouped into hierarchical categories based on religion. At top are the Brahmins (priest). The Hindus have a religious myth of
creation to justify this social structure.
Religion is an important agent of socialization. Religion values have a high priority in almost all societies. Children are taught
religious and moral values in their prime years. Religion and moral education are very essential for the maintenance of society
in some generations to come. Religious values form the keystone of most social system.
religion (naija trend)
Morality has strong religious base in many societies. Morality is that feature or dimension of human conduct which refers to
the rightness or wrongness of human actions. In Africa societies, morality was part and parcel of life. There was no distinction
between religion and morality. Also among the Jews morality and religion formed a unity, which the whole pattern of their lives
was enveloped in the loving care of an interviewing and providing God.
Religion helps people to conform to the norms of society. That means, religion rationalizes psychologically the exercise of
power in society.
religion (naija trend)
Powerlessness: Human beings are incapable to control and affect condition of their land. The problem of humanity in the face
of suffering, decay and death reveals humanity ultimate powerlessness in social environments. Religion therefore, provides the
Human beings also live in conditions of uncertainty and therefore insecurity. Thus, religion provides the needed security.
Most definitions of religion explain it in one or more of the following terms: worship belief, adoration, feeling, attitude, and
conduct. Some definitions emphasizes the intellectual function, while others stress the emotional function. Some express the
worship function, while others relate religion to individual experience or emphasize the social or psychological function.
Though in whatever the definition may be, one thing is certain, that religion plays important role in the society and to human
being in particular as it influences our way of life.