The sociologist Émile Durkheim , in his seminal book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life , defined religion as a "unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things".  By sacred things he meant things "set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them". Sacred things are not, however, limited to gods or spirits. [note 1] On the contrary, a sacred thing can be "a rock, a tree, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word, anything can be sacred".  Religious beliefs, myths, dogmas and legends are the representations that express the nature of these sacred things, and the virtues and powers which are attributed to them. 
Copyright 2013-2017 · Discover the Importance of India
Nothing comes from Nothing : A broad-ranging discussion of God, Logos, Deism, Gnosticism, Evil, Physics, Energy, and the Golden Rule: (4 parts) *
Concise descriptions of the major world religions including hinduism, judaism, zoroastrianism, buddhism, shinto, confucianism, jainism, taoism ...
All contents copyright ©1997–2017 • President and Fellows of Harvard College and Diana Eck. All rights reserved.