Origins of Religion


What is Religion? Religion can be defined as an organized system of thought, feelings, and behavior. Depending on the religion, people worship something in the name of the God or object of their devotion. Religion often teaches a code of behavior and personal morality, which can help people judge the consequences of their actions. Traditionally, religion has dealt with matters of the supernatural and spiritual. But how does it differ from other forms of belief? Let’s explore this question further.


According to psychologist Matt J. Rossano, religion evolved after morality, when humans expanded the scope of social scrutiny to include supernatural agents. These agents helped prevent selfishness and build cooperative societies, and their adaptive value enhanced group survival. Ultimately, religion evolved to be a social sanction and collective belief, and not merely a personal experience. Hence, early humans may have been wrong about evil spirits approaching treetops, but right about panthers’ weight.

Origins of religion

Until relatively recently, the origins of religion have been difficult to determine. While the presence of gods is widespread and lived around elaborate rituals is universal, the origin of religion remains a hotly debated topic. Darwinian proposals fall into two broad camps. One camp focuses on the emergence of religion, while the other argues that religious practices evolved independently. It’s unclear which camp is correct. Ultimately, the question remains, “Where did religion develop?”

Origins of sects

The word sect is derived from the Latin noun secta, the feminine form of the verb sequi, meaning “way.” It has many meanings, including school, discipline, and prescribed way of life. The disparate usages of the word are partly due to confusion with the homonymous Latin word secta. Despite its numerous meanings, it remains important to differentiate it from other terms like “church” and “congregation.”

Origins of ecclesia

“Ecclesia” means church. The word is derived from Greek and mediaeval Latin. It has numerous meanings, including the assembly of believers. In the Bible, the word refers to a regular convoked assembly. The word is also a plural word, and it encompasses both churches and synagogues. Ecclesia originated in the early church, and was later adopted by Roman Catholics.

Origins of rituals

The origins of rituals in human societies are uncertain, but some theories have some consensus. Some scholars have argued that rituals first developed as part of primitive cultures, which are not far removed from today’s societies. Some have argued that sacrifice and the exchange of gifts were among the first forms of human ritual. Others believe that the development of religion evolved from totemism. While these theories may not be entirely true, they do provide a basis for the debate over the development of religion.

Functions of rituals in religion

The purpose of a ritual in a religion is to please or appease God, Goddess, or deity. They may be performed within a family or by an exogamous group called a gotra. Each caste retains a set of rituals that are specific to that group. For example, a woman may water a tulsi plant every day, light a diya lamp, or watch crows caw in her roof. The wife would then continue with the ritualistic offerings.

Functions of ecclesia

An ecclesia is a large bureaucratically organized religious organization. These institutions are organized according to a hierarchy of leaders and are not voluntary, but rather required by law. These organizations often serve as the official religion of a state and represent the faith of most or all of the citizens. Examples of such groups include the Catholic Church in the United States, the Lutheran Church in Sweden, and the Anglican Church in England.

Functions of cults in religion

A cult is an organization in which a leader is self-appointed and holds himself or herself to a special mission in life. The leader is the sole interpreter of the religion’s doctrine and policy. Cults also often lack democratic institutions, and are often totalitarian organizations where violating the rules can lead to expulsion. While there are many characteristics of cults, most end in defection or dissolution when the leader is exposed or is expelled.