1) Belief in Super natural being/s (god/s).
2) Distinction between sacred and profane objects.
3) Ritual acts focused around sacred objects.
4) A moral code believed to be sanctioned by God
5) Arousal of religious feelings in the presence of
6) Prayers or other forms of communications with
7) A worldview; a general picture of the world and
its overall significance.
8) A more or less total organization of one’s life
based on the worldview.
9) A social organization bound together by
10) An inner peace and psychological well being.
11) A belief in Life after this life.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RELIGIONS
Originated from God
Examples; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
These religious traditions regard their sacred
scriptures as authoritative revelations of a
Commonly known as Law-giving religions
Islam claims that all previous revealed
scriptures have been corrupted by their
followers except the Quran, the Last Testament.
Hinduism; has been mistakenly categorized as
a revealed religion because of the prominent
place of the Vedas.
On the other hand, it might be considered as
an “evolved religion” because “Veda” means
“knowledge discerned by Vedic seers”.
1) Belief in Supernatural being or God as the center of faith
The god has full control over creation.
2) Having a clear concept of prophecy as the basic faith.
It also includes the belief in the revelation and the
occurrence of miracles of the messengers to
support the Divinity or as means of communication.
3) Having Divine scriptures or holy books which contain the
Divine laws and moral values.
4) Rituals as a form of worship. Religious duties are based
on the concept of obedience and devotion to God’s law.
On the other hand, human beings have no absolute right
to set the laws.
5) Belief in the coming of the judgment day and the
existence of heaven and hell.
*these characteristics are not absolute due to the corruption of some
religious teachings done by their followers.
The Characteristics of Divine Religions
Human-made religions or belief
Invented by man and not based on
The best example is Buddhism
Its followers consider Gaotama
Buddha as a guide and his sayings
were compiled as scriptures.
The Characteristics of Non-divine religions
1) Having no faith in Supernatural Being.
Normally the followers believe in superstition and
have no clear concept of God.
2) Having no communications with supernatural being
or no concept of human intermediary with God. The
purpose of performing rituals, meditations and
deeds is either to transform karma or avoid of
becoming lower being in the next life.
3) The laws and moral code sanctioned by the
founder’s thought, ideas and sayings which are
complete nor fixed.
4) Ritual acts focused on the objects, founder or
5) Do not have a clear concept of judgment day
including the existence of hell and heaven.
Obviously, they just believe in Nirvana and re-
Greek: mono ~ “one” + theos ~“god”.
Definition: The religious experience or the
philosophical perception that emphasize on the
existence of God who is one, perfect, immutable,
the Creator of the world from nothing, distinct from
the world, powerful and worthy of being
monotheism presupposes the idea of theo; a divine
being in mind, but approachable through prayer.
The God has supreme power and governing
everything according to the divine will.
Judaism: weak monotheist- believe in the jealous
God but still believe in the existence of the God of
Christianity: the concept of trinity is claimed as
monotheism, believe in one God which can be
expressed in triple forms or aspects.
Islam: absolute monotheist- kalimah “there is no
Greek: polus ~ “many” + theos ~“god”.
Definition: the religious belief or philosophical perception
tends to acknowledge and worship many gods.
believe that gods have different parts and levels.
no god has infinite power although the major deities could be
Two forms of polytheism;
a. Hard polytheism: believe that the gods are distinct and
separate beings and are happy to believe in the existence of
the God of other people.
b. soft polytheism regard their multiplicity of gods as simply
representing different aspects of a single god.
E.g. neopagan groups, Hinduism (believe in 4 major gods i.e.
Brahman, Siva, Vishnu and Devi), Japanese Shinto,
The state of being dual, or having a two fold division.
Generally it consists of any system which is founded on a
double principle, a duality.
In theology, it refers to ditheism
Definition: the belief of the existence of two basic principles,
usually personified as deities, that work in polar opposition to
The concept that the world is ruled by the antagonistic forces,
i.e. of good and evil; of material and non-material, of matter
and spirit, body and mind/soul, good and evil, or light and
Zoroastrianism: believe in two Gods opposing each other i.e.
Ahraman or Ahura mazda(God of light or good God) and
Angra Manyu (God of darkness or evil God)
Manichaniesm: had two eternal principle; light (spirit) and
the word ‘nature’ as opposite to ‘super nature’.
A philosophical position which holds that all exists is
view that all objects, truths and facts fall within the
scope of scientific inquiry.
All phenomena can be explained mechanistically in
terms of natural causes and laws without the influence of
Therefore, the concept of supernatural being might be
The naturalists believe that values have been embodied
with man since birth and not to learn it, and also action
based on natural instinct without spiritual guidance.
. Then, man is helpless to face forces beyond control
because what did happen is just by chance
Greek) a-theos ~ means ‘no god’ or “absence of god”
An atheist may view that the belief in the existence of God
to be false or irrational or meaningless.
Three forms of atheism:
1. Dogmatic rejection of specific beliefs such as theism. It is a
doctrine that strongly and officially denies the existence of
a personal God who creates the world and exists
independently of it. E.g. Marxist atheism- the strongest
2. Skepticism: denies that there are any grounds for
reasonable belief in religious matter.
3. Agnosticism: means suspending one’s judgment on the
question of the existence of divine reality. Agnostic would
not reject religion but he views that human can never be
certain in religious matter, especially when dealing with a
Skepticism& agnosticism are considered as weak atheism
because the abstinence of belief in the existence of God
due to not having sufficient evidence.
Latin: anima ~ “soul”
A belief in spiritual being thought capable of influencing human
events based on the ideas of the existence of soul or spirits that
inhabit natural phenomena.
The spiritual power may be conceived as an impersonal force
running through everything and capable of being used for good
Every object whether biologically animate such as animals, plants
or even inanimate objects has soul and is source of spiritual
Individuals may be considered as means for direct communication
with spirits, such as shamans, spirit-mediums.
View that there is no or little distinction between nature and
Animist groups have no elaborate religious organization and no
Ritual activities tend to be magical in order to control spiritual
powers for certain benefit. e.g. fasting to allow the sacral power
within to emerge.
It is a common belief of the primitive societies. E.g. Some people
believe that if someone died in their area, they must move to
another place to avoid curse from the dead man.