Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called "an order of existence".
A comprehensive world view or worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point of view.
Existence, in its most generic terms, comprises the state of being real and the ability to physically interact with the universe or multiverse.
Modern humans are the only extant members of Hominina clade, a branch of the taxonomical tribe Hominini belonging to the family of great apes.
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Different religions may or may not contain various elements, ranging from the "divine", "sacred things", "faith", a "supernatural being or supernatural beings" or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life."
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing that is not seen; or the observance of an obligation from loyalty; or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement; or a belief not based on proof; or it may refer to a particular system of religious belief, such as in which faith is confidence based on some degree of warrant.
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Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture.
Meditation is a practice where an individual operates or trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts, expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals to a higher purpose, in particular divine beings, as an act of propitiation or worship.
Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life.
A narrative or story is a report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images, or both.
A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship.
Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the Universe, and other things.
Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.
Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.
Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.
There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide.
About 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religions, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion.
In religious studies and folkloristics, folk religion, popular religion, or vernacular religion comprises various forms and expressions of religion that are distinct from the official doctrines and practices of organized religion.
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha.
Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who has become the central figure of Christianity.
With the onset of the modernisation of and the scientific revolution in the western world, some aspects of religion have cumulatively been criticized.
The scientific revolution was the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry transformed the views of society about nature.
Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.
Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies.
Though the religiously unaffiliated, including atheism and agnosticism, have grown globally, many of the unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities.
About 16% of the world's population is religiously unaffiliated.
The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies.
Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions.
Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion.