Let's try and define religion ...

Mar 2018
41
USA
BTW, we, Eastern Orthodox, in our Pascal Hymn sing the following:

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and on those in the tombs bestowing life!
So you are EO. You have extra books in your bible and do not really put much into the book of Rev. I agree, the book of Rev almost never made it into any bible. Tell me, do you use the same spoon for communion?
 
Oct 2013
620
Russia
If we introduce the consideration that religion is a system of symbols we enter the field of semiotics and from that perspective a religion, being part of a culture, is a coded language created to manage a system of beliefs.

In good substance, in semiotics a religion is a language. With or without deities ... it's a language.
Your suggestion about semiotics is very interesting. I recall reading Umberto Eco's 'La struttura assente: La ricerca semiotica e il metodo strutturale' where he suggests the idea of self-organizing codes ( visual, cultural, aesthetic etc.) laying into basis of all communicative models. So summa summarum of such codes also could be traced in the the concept of religion.


Many ancient and contemporary religions have in their structure a certain number of various codes ( sometime encrypted as 'the sacred') that manifest themselves in all spheres of human life through many symbols and forms of communication, including language that bears a clear-cut death taboos, sacral and quasi-sacral meanings.


Language has both rational and irrational origin, or rather what Derrida suggested as an irrational origin forcibly submitted to logical laws. If language (both in direct and metaphysical sense) has dualistic origin, so does religion. In order to overcome its duality ( as only duality is a condition for self-improvement) language initiates the evolution of language i.e. finding new communicative signs to reflect ever-changing reality. Religion likewise. It couldn't be anything but an evolutionary concept ( in this regard it's important to separate 'religion' as a concept from 'cult' or 'spiritual knowledge' that may be just a set of dogmas), and it is very close to what Teilhard de Chardin decribed as evolutionary model of consciousness.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2014
557
United States
I was thinking to this just pondering how curious and odd "religion" was in Ancient Egypt [KmT]. Actually that wasn't a "religion" as we define it today:

"a system of beliefs".

No, in Ancient Egypt that was a superstition, a popular tradition ... nothing more and nothing else.

In KmT what we call "religion" was an active thing: a system of beliefs and rituals [magical rituals] to deal with deities up to be able to control them [?!? What about this! Ancient Egyptians thought that once you discovered the "hidden name" of a deity you were able to control that God].

Well, not bad.

For them a "system of beliefs" was useless if you weren't able to use it acting to control the deities to force them to listen to humans [not to say that they expected the deities no counteracting ... the deities had their "tricks" to cheat humans ...].
Do you think Christianity is a religion? Religion Vs Relationship With God: 4 Biblical Truths To Know
It’s a relationship that God desires! He doesn’t want you trying to be religious. He wants you to seek Him. Words mean nothing if the heart is not right. Are you involved in religion or are you involved in a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ? When you pray is your heart looking for Christ? What’s a relationship without intimacy? Is your prayer life boring? If it is, then that is strong evidence that you are involved in religion.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “There is no place on God’s earth more exciting than the church of the Living God when God is brooding there. And there is no place on God’s earth more boring when He isn’t.” When God is there our heart is filled with joy and excitement. The heart knows its maker. Religion or relationship! Which one describes your prayer life? Your prayer life dies when you become satisfied with religion. Stop going through the motions. You sit there in prayer and you say repetitive words and you know the heart is not right. You cheat yourself out the presence of God.
 

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