Religious studies is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically-based, and cross-cultural perspectives.
While theologians attempt to understand the subject matter of religion from within a particular religious tradition, scholars of religion study human religious behavior and belief from outside any particular religious viewpoint. Religious studies draws upon multiple disciplines and their methodologies including anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history of religion.
Religions studies originated in late 19th century in Europe, when scholarly and historical analysis of the Bible had flourished, and Hindu and Buddhist texts were first being translated into European languages. Early influential scholars included Friedrich Max Müller, in England, and Cornelius P. Tiele, in the Netherlands. Today religious studies is practiced by scholars worldwide.
In its early years, it was known as Comparative Religion or the Science of Religion and, in the USA, there are those who today also know the field as the History of Religion (associated with methodological traditions traced to the University of Chicago in general, and in particular Mircea Eliade, from the late 1950s through to the late 1980s). The field is known as Religionswissenschaft in Germany and Sciences de la religion in the French-speaking world.
Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one's nearness to God and the measure of one's usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.
True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and substantiated by natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable feelings of ecstasy which can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion is not the product of reason, but viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions while yet in the flesh.
Theology deals with the intellectual content of religion, metaphysics (revelation) with the philosophic aspects. Religious experience is the spiritual content of religion. Notwithstanding the mythologic vagaries and the psychologic illusions of the intellectual content of religion, the metaphysical assumptions of error and the techniques of self-deception, the political distortions and the socioeconomic perversions of the philosophic content of religion, the spiritual experience of personal religion remains genuine and valid.
Religion has to do with feeling, acting, and living, not merely with thinking. Thinking is more closely related to the material life and should be in the main, but not altogether, dominated by reason and the facts of science and, in its nonmaterial reaches toward the spirit realms, by truth. No matter how illusory and erroneous one's theology, one's religion may be wholly genuine and everlastingly true.
This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.
Pages in category "Religion"
The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 570 total.(previous page) (next page)
- A Course in Miracles
- Abrahamic philosophy
- Academic OneFile
- Adolf Harnack and the Search for Missing Christianity
- Adolf von Harnack
- African American Religious Cultures
- Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project
- Akashic Records
- Alchemy Website
- Alpha and the Omega
- Andrew, the Apostle
- Angels of progress
- Angels of the Churches
- Apostolic Party
- Astral Projection
- ATLA Religion
- Celestial Contact
- Chosen People
- Christ as Logos
- Christ's vision
- City of God
- Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
- Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
- Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative of ATLA
- Correcting Time
- Cosmic Consciousness
- David Ray Griffin
- David Zebedee
- Daynal Institute
- Death of God
- Decomposition Laya
- Dictionary of Buddhism
- Dictionary of Hinduism
- Dictionary of the Bible
- Divine feminine
- Doing the will of God
- ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online
- El Elyon
- El Shaddai
- Electronic Capito Project
- Encyclopedia of African Religion
- Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
- Encyclopedia of Judaica
- Encyclopedia of Religion
- Encyclopedia of Religion and Society
- Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture, Society, History
- Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (EBR)
- Episcopal Church in the United States of America
- Esoterica Journal
- Eternal Son