Common elements in definitions of
• Something beyond the ordinary – it has a
• Religion in helps in some way to map a course
Latin roots of term ‘Religion’
• Religio (latin) = Religion
Relegare = to gather up,
re-read or reflect
Religare = to bind
These words seem to show that religion involves reflection and that it
connects or binds us in some way.
Religion connects us back to what is most central in our relationships to that
which transcends human existence.
Central questions of existence
• Religion attempts to answer these questions
– Where do we come from
– Where are we going
– What we ought to live for.
Origins of religion
The human quest for meaning – understanding our
world and our experience.
The quest for purpose - the motivation to live a life
which promotes human wholeness in accordance
with the meaning discovered.
The quest for salvation – the search to be freed from
the feeling of disharmony deep within the human
Religion involves finding and then living out of a commitment
To the meaning, purpose and salvation that has been found.
Usually in the form of a religious tradition eg: -
How do religious adherents express their
A particular World View
“World View” = the way in which a society sees the world.
• Each religion promotes its own world view.
– Judaism, Christianity, Islam – Linear world view.
– Buddhism , Hinduism – Cyclical worldview.
• Transcendent - points to a divine world
beyond the Earth.
Immmanent - the presence of the divine
within human existence.
Examine picture in text pg 5. and complete
Two types of religious world views.
Belief in a divine power existing
beyond the human dimension.
Divine power dwelling within the
What religious traditions would be good examples
of the above religious worldviews?
• Characteristics of religions
– Beliefs and believers.
– Sacred texts and writings
– Rituals and ceremonies.