Religion can be a source of comfort, guidance and moral beliefs as well as a sense of community. In some cases, it can also help people live healthier lives.
The concept of religion has a long and complicated history, and it has evolved over time to cover a range of practices and beliefs. This has led to a number of definitions of the term that are often confusing.
A rudimentary definition of religion as “the belief in spiritual beings” was introduced by Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871. He argued that narrowing the definition to mean the belief in a supreme deity or judgment after death or idolatry and so on, would exclude many peoples from the category of religious.
However, he argued that the belief in spiritual beings existed in all known societies, and that this definition of religion was a more accurate one than those that required people to believe in a divine being, or to practice rituals or to have certain beliefs.
Hence, the concept of religion has evolved to encompass a wide variety of beliefs and practices that are not necessarily in line with religious dogmas. The problem is that some of these beliefs and practices are not actually religions at all, but instead are just as much cultural traditions, social institutions or practices.
In the modern era, religion has become a major issue in political debates and has had significant implications for how governments operate. Moreover, it has been used to promote and advance specific world-views, including those that are more conservative in nature.