What is religious belief? The emergence of religious beliefs. Religious beliefs of primitive people
Religion arose long before the appearance of society. It is part of human culture and is deeply spiritual. In this article we will touch on an important question and tell you what religious belief is.
Etymology of the term
The word "religion" is derived from the Latin religio, which means holiness, worship or conscientiousness. There are other versions of the origin. For example, in Latin, there are the concepts of religare and reeligere, which denote union or reunion. Such a brief description of the term cannot fully convey the essence and concept of religion. For hundreds of years the word has acquired the greatest meaning that is passed from generation to generation.
So what is religious belief? It is a spiritual enlightenment, a recognition of the existence of the supernatural, going beyond human perception. This is a culture that develops regularly. Scientifically speaking, religion is a set of rules and established norms that are based on the scriptures. Such laws establish the moral framework of behavior in society. Violation of these rules is punishable, not by society, but by the highest forces, which are idols. Religions and beliefs belong to a single system that is able to unite people all over the world, form the largest communities and inspire them. As a rule, the center of organized worship are the temples: churches, mosques, altars.
The history of religion: the beginning of the sacred path
Religious studies - the science that studies the formation of ancient culture. She seeks the origins, comparing all the facts, theories, fictions and various treatises. Science is closely connected with philosophy and theology, because, first of all, the history of religion began with the eternal questions: "Who am I?", "Where did I come from?", "What is my purpose?". In search of the meaning of life in society, theories began to emergewhich have acquired form and description over time.
The sacred path began with spirituality: man began to believe in the existence of the soul and its manifestations - spirits. The theory, which claims that animism was the primary source in the origin of the history of religious beliefs, suggested E. Taylor. Having chosen the hypothesis of a scientist and relying on it, L. Sternberg, J. Fraser, and L. Levy-Bruhl followed him. Together, they suggested that the emergence of religious belief can be attributed to the impotence of our consciousness. Scientists have suggested: acceptance of the existence of the supernatural is due only to the fact that man was not able to withstand either the human or the natural world.
Science suggests that the history of religion originated not only from animism, but also from mysticism. A belief appeared in the unusual, divine, supernatural more than two million years ago. This is indicated by archaeological finds: cave paintings, everyday objects of peoples and primitive people.
The Age of Animatism
The assumption that the primitive people were animistic religious belief was put forward by G. Stahl. Like Taylor in the future, he suggested that faith in souls and spirits is the beginning of the development of the whole theory of theology.Undoubtedly, animism is the most ancient religion, because the peoples were convinced that our eye is unknown to the secret and mystical world inhabited by the highest deities that possess power. The epoch of animatism also shows the origin of the concept of heaven and hell, but only in a completely different interpretation.
The reason is simple: if there is a secret world with immortal entities, and a person has a soul, then after the death of the body, this energy breaks free and goes to other spirits. These thoughts engendered belief in the non-material world and life after death.
An interesting fact, but initially the ancient peoples believed that the natural world around them was alive, has feelings and memory. The manifestation of the elements was equated with the voice of God, blessing or punishment. Everything that happened around: the change of seasons, rain and snow, floods and drought - this is not just a biological process, namely, the voice of immortal spirits. And with the development of society, in the process of evolution, people began to transmit these beliefs. Over time, the religious beliefs of primitive people strengthened so much that today it is an integral part of human culture.
Totemism is the oldest religious belief, where people were convinced that there was some kind of spiritual connection between all living and non-living creatures. A vivid example will be the ancient Indians who inhabited the northern part of America. They believed that the soul of a person could live in a tree, stone or animal, and therefore their way of life began to change dramatically. Each tribe had its own totem — a deity that could be a plant or a living being. As a rule, the Indians worshiped their totem, praying for protection and pardon. Therefore, the tribes conducted ceremonies, sacrificed, performed rituals. If you plunge into the depths of history, you can see how some nations sang their deity, others gave dances, and still others slaughtered livestock.
Totemism marked the beginning of the emergence of a set of rules and regulations. There were laws that can not be broken. For Indians, this is taboo, and for Muslims, haram. It's simple: in the oldest religious belief there is a deity that lives in a totem. Accordingly, it is forbidden to kill, to defile it. For many nations it was forbidden to copulate or show aggression in front of the totem, because it was sacred to them. We observe this behavior in the modern religious movement.For example, in the church you can not make noise, foul language, fight.
Shamanism and mysticism
During the birth of religious beliefs, two similar trends appeared - mysticism and shamanism. These trends combine in themselves both philosophical doctrine and theology. Today, such religions are considered irrational, because they are primarily based on internal sensations and perceptions of the world.
Mysticism and shamanism began their development from belief in the supernatural, and also in the fact that man is able to know this mysterious side of life. The teachings prove that we are able to grasp other realities. Thus, a new trend emerged from mysticism - magic, where the tribes came into contact with an unknown force, adopted it and manifested it in the real world. The magical Proto-Religion suggested the carrying out of mysterious rituals and rituals, which often remind us of another trend - shamanism.
Shamanism is the oldest religion, which also believes in spirits and deities. According to their ideas, our world is divided into two parts: the spiritual (mystical) and the real (material). Shamans in the religious movement are guides, so they can simultaneously be in the world of souls, and among us.They perform magical rituals, make sacrifices using tools and other mysterious equipment.
Fetishism as a mysterious religious movement
Another branch of the ancient religion. In fetishism, people believe that the surrounding objects are endowed with mysterious power. To prove this, peoples and tribes were looking for things with a special mark. For example, a crescent-shaped stone. Often in fetishism, talismans were created by the hand of man, which would symbolize the elements, desires, spirituality.
Do not confuse religious fetishism with sexual. The name comes from the French fétichisme, which means idolism. Such a course suggests that people worshiped inanimate objects, which were often simply called fetish. They were totems and talismans that looked like small amulets. The tribes believed that such things, even if it was an ordinary stone, could help people survive in a cruel world, reward them with food and warmth.
The main feature of all religious beliefs is their vitality. The same shamanism is still present in our world, but in a completely different guise.People still worship idols and totems, believe in the spiritual world and in life after death. Now you know how primitive people had religious beliefs, so let's look at how their development took place and in what form they appear before us today.
Paganism as a pre-Christian era
The religious beliefs of the Eastern Slavs are similar to the trends and beliefs of other ancient peoples. Like many tribes, the Slavs survived only through farming, hunting and fishing. Their harvest, extraction, feeding of domestic animals was entirely dependent on nature, which people could not act on their own. In order for their lives to have an abundance of everything necessary for successful activity, they began to turn to spirits. The ancient Slavs believed that they were protected by the gods, and for this reason they should be protected, pleased and thanked.
The East Slavic tribes were pagans, and they adhered to simple truth: a person’s religious belief means an inner conviction that they are surrounded by entities that surpass earthly inhabitants in strength and intelligence. That is how deity began to be born in paganism.For example, Veles was asked to protect the cattle from predators, Yarilo - to give sunlight and heat, Perun - to have mercy on them and not to punish them with lightning. Slavic peoples believed that everything around was inhabited by spirits, which could be angry. Therefore, traditions began to appear in them: in the spring, to welcome Rod and ask him to give life to all living things, and by going into the forest, people needed to receive the blessing of the devotee.
It may be noted surprising course of paganism. Gradually, people turned to monotheism, believing that people could not have a few patrons. Today, paganism is not the main religious belief, but the worldview and attitude that our ancestors worshiped has reached our generation. We still celebrate pagan holidays, such as Shrovetide or the day of Ivan Kupala.
Eastern beliefs: Buddhism, Hinduism
These two practices are closely intertwined with each other, despite the fact that they developed among different nations. Let's start with Hinduism - modern religious belief, which originated over 4,000 years ago. Its essence is simple: there is a physical world in which man dwells, and there is an eternal world beyond perception. The latter is called the Universe, where both gods, and spirits, and souls live.People are part of it, and our energy is imprisoned in the physical body. When a person dies, the soul is released, and it can choose its own way: either start a new life in any physical body, or leave our planet. The ability to move is given only to those who have lived their physical life correctly. In this case, all the bad deeds leave a mark on karma, and in the end it will show whether a person is rewarded with a rebirth or the gods must punish him. In Hinduism there are such deities as Vishnu and his incarnations (Krishna and Rama), Shiva and Brahma.
Buddhism, like Hinduism, is a world religious movement. Both religions began to be practiced in ancient India. The development of Buddhism began with the fact that one young man decided to find the truth and the meaning of life. He wandered the earth, talked to the wise men, and asked them a single question. He not only traveled, but actively meditated and was in meditations, practiced yoga and sought enlightenment. As the scriptures say, he comprehended it and began to preach the truth to people. Buddhism says that if a person can abandon worldly goods and reflect on being, then he will learn to control his own consciousness.Meditation, yoga, mantra reading and self-immersion allow you to develop spirituality by grasping nirvana.
Christianity, Islam and Catholicism
Christianity began to develop in the Roman Empire, and later transferred to Greece, Palestine and Israel. Until now, scholars have been debating the emergence of religious beliefs. At the same time, Christianity is currently a world religion and adheres to monotheism, which appears before us in three guises: in the form of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This current tells of the Messiah, who was the son of God. He traveled the world and preached the truth. In Christianity, there is the concept of hell and heaven, God and the Devil. Those who follow religious beliefs must comply with a set of rules and laws, for example, "do not sin," "do not kill," "do not steal" and others. The commandments of God carry kindness, simplicity, love and light into our society. Christianity, like many other faiths, seeks to eradicate malice.
Catholicism is one of the directions of Christianity, which adheres to the same rules and principles. In this current, there is also Jesus Christ, and the church is also a place of worship.The reason why in the world people believe the same God and keep his commandments, but belong to different religions is simple: in the beginning of the 11th century the church split. The peoples who once lived in the territory of Eastern Europe profess Orthodoxy. In Western Europe, Catholicism spread, from which Protestantism subsequently separated.
Islam is in some way similar to Christianity, because this stream also worships a single deity - Allah. However, Muslims have their own idea of God. The preacher of this religion was the prophet Muhammad, who once heard the voice of Allah. Muslims worship in their own spiritual center - the mosque. According to the canons, they should pray, pray, help the needy. As in many beliefs, Muslims need to keep the commandments and not violate them.
Newest religious trends
What is religious belief? This current, which is in constant development. To replace the old religions come new concepts that are completely different from the old trends. To date, there are more than 10 neoreligies.As a rule, they are created on the basis of old currents, but with a change in canons, commandments and names. Occult groups, mystical, phenomenal, and psychological began to appear. For example, one young man believes in Pasta Monster, he wears a colander and worships him. Over the past few years, his religion has gathered thousands of people around the world, began to produce analogues of the Bible and other scriptures.
Now you know what a religious belief is. The history of each flow began with a simple step: faith in the soul and spirits. Then all the directions went their own way and were distorted, modified, supplemented with the development of the people.
Religion is a reflection of human nature. For the most part, it is necessary in order to maintain the foundations and norms of our society. In the modern world there is a debate about the importance of religion: some argue that this is a great way to manage people, bringing them together with a single goal; others believe that deities exist, and we only learn about it on our deathbed.
It doesn't matter what god you worship, because all trends are called to rally the nations, get rid of hatred and wars, make our race happy, friendly and good-natured.