Many psychologists say religion answers human psychological and emotional needs. Religion provides a sense of purpose and meaning. Some researchers have found that the brain has circuitry that allows people to have intense religious experiences. Other researchers think that the experience of religion can be passed down from one generation to another like genetic material. It can also be a source of spiritual inspiration.
Animism is a belief that all creatures, places, and objects have a spiritual essence. As such, all things are considered alive and animated.
Totemistic religions are based on the worship of a totem. A totem can be a tribal or family figure. Usually, members of a group are protected by the same totem. For example, Northwest Coast Indians set totem poles with stories of their family and sacred animals.
“New Age” religion is a phenomenon that has caught the attention of the general public in the United States. These “New Agers” claim to have psychic abilities and have used these skills to establish contact with preternatural and extraterrestrial entities. Some of these entities have become popular teachers and even founded organizations of their own.
The Christian religion consists of many different denominations. The largest denomination is called Catholicism. Christians may also be Protestant, Gnostic, Mormon, Anglican, Orthodox, or other. In general, they all follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Catholic church is ruled by the Pope and is comprised of around 60% of all Christians. Catholics are allowed to display statues, crosses, and other symbols of Christ or his followers. They also use pictures to portray the Virgin Mary and other Saints.
Judaism is a religion that is grounded in the belief that there is only one God. This God is the creator, revealer, and redeemer of all. This belief in a single divine being guides Jewish views of the Anthropocene and their responses to it. Without this central principle, Judaism would become a cultural expression based on identity and rituals.
Sikhism is a religion that focuses on devotion to God and non-human beings. The founder of the religion, Guru Nanak, was only 13 years old when he was called to partake in a ritual to acquire a sacred cotton thread from a Hindu priest. The Sikhs believe that this act marked the beginning of their faith, but the young Guru refused to accept the cotton thread and instead recited a poem requesting a thread of mercy, contentment, and truth. In this way, Sikhism is a universal faith that transcends the boundaries of time and space.
Evangelical Protestants are a worldwide movement within the Protestant faith. They emphasize the centrality of being born-again in Christianity.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as Orthodox Christians, is a large religion with around two hundred and twenty million members worldwide. It operates as an autocephalous communion of local synods and bishops.
Symbolic interactionist approach to religion
The symbolic interactionist approach to religion focuses on the collective interaction of participants in popular religions. It is an important social and psychological phenomenon that aims to understand the influence of symbols and meaning on human behavior. Symbolic interactionists investigate how different types of symbols and meanings shape human interaction.
Function of religion in society
Religion is an informal means of social control that defines the moral expectations of a group of people, usually by enforcing these expectations. By providing support for certain social practices, such as giving alms, religion can promote the welfare of an individual, a group, or a community. In many cases, religions have a strong influence on politics and economics.