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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Religion mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Religion

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Re*li"gion
  1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion; revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion of idol worshipers."An orderly life so far as others are able to observe us is now and then produced by prudential motives or by dint of habit; but without seriousness there can be no religious principle at the bottom, no course of conduct from religious motives; in a word, there can be no religion." [Paley.]" Religionwas] not, as too often now, used as equivalent for godliness; but . . . it expressed the outer form and embodiment which the inward spirit of a true or a false devotion assumed." [Trench.]" Religions, by which are meant the modes of divine worship proper to different tribes, nations, or communities, and based on the belief held in common by the members of them severally. . . . There is no living religion without something like a doctrine. On the other hand, a doctrine, however elaborate, does not constitute a religion." [C. P. Tiele (Encyc. Brit.).]" Religion . . . means the conscious relation between man and God, and the expression of that relation in human conduct." [J. Köstlin (Schaff-Herzog Encyc.)]"After the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." [Acts xxvi. 5.]"The image of a brute, adorned With gay religions full of pomp and gold." [Milton.]
  2. Specifically, conformity in faith and life to the precepts inculcated in the Bible, respecting the conduct of life and duty toward God and man; the Christian faith and practice."Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." [Washington.]" Religion will attend you . . . as a pleasant and useful companion in every proper place, and every temperate occupation of life." [Buckminster.]
  3. [R. C. Ch] A monastic or religious order subject to a regulated mode of life; the religious state; as, to enter religion ."A good man was there of religion." [Chaucer.]
  4. Strictness of fidelity in conforming to any practice, as if it were an enjoined rule of conduct.(R)"Those parts of pleading which in ancient times might perhaps be material, but at this time are become only mere styles and forms, are still continued with much religion." [Sir M. Hale.]

Note: This definition is from the 1913 Webster, which was edited by Noah Porter, a theologian. His bias toward the Christion religion is evident not only in this definition, but in others as well as in the choice of quations or illustrative phrases. Caveat lector. - PJC

Note: Religion, as distinguished from theology, is subjective, designating the feelings and acts of men which relate to God; while theology is objective, and denotes those ideas which man entertains respecting the God whom he worships, especially his systematized views of God. As distinguished from morality religion denotes the influences and motives to human duty which are found in the character and will of God, while morality describes the duties to man, to which true religion always influences. As distinguished from piety religion is a high sense of moral obligation and spirit of reverence or worship which affect the heart of man with respect to the Deity, while piety, which first expressed the feelings of a child toward a parent, is used for that filial sentiment of veneration and love which we owe to the Father of all. As distinguished from sanctity religion is the means by which sanctity is achieved, sanctity denoting primarily that purity of heart and life which results from habitual communion with God, and a sense of his continual presence.

Etymology: F., from L. religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. 'ale`gein to heed, have a care. Cf. Neglect

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
  2. An institution to express belief in a divine power ("he was raised in the Baptist religion")

Borrowing from Anglo-Norman religiun, from Old French religion, from Latin religiō (“scrupulousness”, “pious misgivings”, “superstition”, “conscientiousness”, “sanctity”, “an object of veneration”, “cult-observance”, “reverence”). Most likely from the Indo-European root h₂leg with the meanings preserved in Latin "dīligěre" and "lěgěre", i.e. to read repeatedly or to have something solely in mind.

  1. (uncountable) The belief in and worship of a supernatural controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
    My brother tends to value , but my sister not as much.
  2. (countable) A particular system of faith and worship.
    Islam is a major in parts of Asia and Africa.
    Eckankar is a new but Zoroastrianism is an old .
  3. (uncountable) The way of life committed to by monks and nuns.
    The monk entered when he was 20 years of age.
  4. (countable) Any practice to which someone or some group is seriously devoted.
    At this point, Star Trek has really become a .
  5. (uncountable, obsolete) Faithfulness to a given principle; conscientiousness. [16th-17th c.]

religion was also found in the following language(s): Esperanto, French, Ladin, Middle French, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Old French, Papiamentu, and Swedish

Fun Facts about the name Religion

  • How unique is the name Religion? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Religion was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Religion: Your name in reverse order is Noigiler. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Inloigre. How do you pronounce that?

What Religions Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Religion born Feb 24, 2001

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Yugoslavia approximately on 750. Your profession was entertainer, musician, poet, and temple-dancer.

You were sane, practical person, materialist with no spiritual consciousness. Your simple wisdom helped the weak and the poor. Your lesson - to conquer jealousy and anger in yourself and then in those, who will select you as their guide. You should understand that these weaknesses are caused by fear and self-regret.

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.