Religion is the study of the concept of God and its various aspects. It involves discovering and creating connections between the events and experiences of life. It also involves looking for the “big picture” or a sense of meaning in one’s life. The major religions share a few core practices. Below are some examples of these practices and beliefs.
Religion begins as an external phenomenon that focuses on the existence of a supreme being or eternal principle, and includes an agreed-upon set of beliefs. While religion is often external, spirituality is an internal process that leads to connection with others and an understanding of the world beyond our own. Throughout history, religion has been a powerful tool for spiritual growth.
While people may have beliefs about a supernatural being, they may not participate in religious practices. They may also reject religion entirely. However, the word “religious” carries strong connotations of tradition and structure. About half of Americans identify as both religious and non-religious, and a significant portion of the general public describes themselves as spiritual but not religious.
While religious participation provides good publicity for religious institutions, it often masks a distorted understanding of core tenets of the faith. This is one of the reasons why many non-religious people claim to have achieved inner peace apart from religious despotism.