the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
a. The belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers, regarded as creating and governing the universe: respect for religion.
b. A particular variety of such belief, especially when organized into a system of doctrine and practice: the world's many religions.
c. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order: a widow who went into religion and became a nun.
3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion: a person for whom art became a religion.
1. To become religious or devout.
2. To resolve to end one's immoral behavior.
[Middle English religioun, from Old French religion, from Latin religiō, religiōn-, perhaps from religāre, to tie fast; see rely.]
1. belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny
2. any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief: the Christian religion.
3. the attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or powers
4. (Roman Catholic Church) chieflyRC Church the way of life determined by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience entered upon by monks, friars, and nuns: to enter religion.
5. something of overwhelming importance to a person: football is his religion.
a. the practice of sacred ritual observances
b. sacred rites and ceremonies
[C12: via Old French from Latin religiō fear of the supernatural, piety, probably from religāre to tie up, from re- + ligāre to bind]
re•li•gion (rɪˈlɪdʒ ən)
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usu. involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code for the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something a person believes in and follows devotedly.
7. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion.
a. to become religious; acquire religious convictions.
b. to resolve to mend one's errant ways.
[1150–1200; religioun < Latin religiō conscientiousness, piety <religāre to tie, fasten (re-re- + ligāre to bind, tie; compare ligament)]
nullifidian - Someone having no faith or religion; a disbeliever.
apostasy - Abandonment or renunciation of one's religion or morals.
renegade - First referred to a person who abandons one religion for another.
secular - Has a root meaning of "temporal"—opposed to the eternity of the church—and means "not connected to a religion."
the principles of those who oppose the with-drawal of the recognition or support of the state from an established church, usually used in referring to the Anglican church in the 19th century in England.
Theology. 1. any doctrine concerning the end of the temporal world, especially one based on the Revelations of St. John the Divine.
2. the millennial doctrine of the Second Advent and the reign of Jesus Christ on earth. — apocalyptic, apocalyptical, adj.
the doctrines and practices of a sect growing out of Babism and reflecting some attitudes of the Islamic Shi’a sect, but with an emphasis on tolerance and the essential worth of all religions. — Baha’i, n., adj. — Baha’ist, n., adj.
Theology. 1. the doctrine of two independent divine beings or eternal principles, one good and the other evil.
2. the belief that man embodies two parts, as body or soul. — dualist, n. — dualistic, adj.
the principles that distinguish the Anglican church from the Calvinist and Protestant Nonconformist churches, especially deference to the authority and claims of the Episcopate and the priesthood and belief in the saving grace of the sacraments. — High Churchist, High Churchite, n.
the principle that the Church of England is really little different from the Protestant Nonconformist churches in England and thus that the authority of the Episcopate and the priesthood, as well as the sacraments, are of comparatively minor importance. — Low Churchman,n.
1. the doctrine that an immediate spiritual intuition of truth or an intimate spiritual union of the soul with God can be achieved through contemplation and spiritual exercises.
2. the beliefs, ideas, or practices of mystics.
Philosophy. the doctrine that the human intellect has as its proper object the knowledge of God, that this knowledge is immediate and intu-itive, and that all other knowledge must be built on this base. — ontologist, n. — ontologistic, adj.
the doctrines and beliefs of certain Gnostic sects that worshiped serpents as the symbol of the hidden divine wisdom and as having benefited Adam and Eve by encouraging them to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Also Ophitism. — Ophite, n. — Ophitic, adj.
the religion of the Orphic mysteries, a cult of Dionysus (Bacchus) ascribed to Orpheus as its founder, especially its rites of initiation and doctrines of original sin, salvation, and purification through reincarnations. Also Orphicism. — Orphic, n., adj.
1. the belief that identifies God with the universe.
2. the belief that God is the only reality, transcending all, and that the universe and everything in it are mere manifestations of Him. — pantheist, n., adj. — pantheistic, adj.
the religious beliefs of a West Indian sect who worship the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (given name: Ras Tafari), and who believe that black people are the chosen of God, and that their promised land is Africa. Their use of marijuana in rituals was widely publicized.
resistance to authority or refusal to conform, especially in religious matters, used of English Catholics who refuse to attend the services of the Church of England. Also called recusance. — recusant, n., adj.
the religious system of the Sabians, a group, according to the Koran, entitled to Muslim religious toleration. They have been associated with the Mandeans, who claim direct descent from the followers of John the Baptist. See also astronomy.
the doctrines and beliefs of a religious movement founded in the mid-20th century by L. Ron Hubbard, especially an emphasis upon man’s immortal spirit, reincarnation, and an extrascientific method of psychotherapy (dianetics). — Scientologist, n., adj.
1. a view that religion and religious considerations should be ignored or excluded from social and political matters.
2. an ethical system asserting that moral judgments should be made without reference to religious doctrine, as reward or punishment in an afterlife. — secularist, n., adj. — secularistic, adj.
1. the tenets of the primitive religion of northern Asia, especially a belief in powerful spirits who can be influenced only by shamans in their double capacity of priest and doctor.
2. any similar religion, as among American Indians. — shamanist, n. — shamanistic, adj.
1. a philosophical system evolved by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, especially its advocacy of a simple and natural life and of noninterference with the course of natural events in order to have a happy existence in harmony with the Tao.
2. a popular Chinese religion, purporting to be based on the principles of Lao-tzu, but actually an eclectic polytheism characterized by superstition, alchemy, divination, and magic. Also called Hsüan Chiao.
the doctrines or tenets of a deistic society in post-Revolutionary Paris that hoped to replace the outlawed Christian religion with a new religion based on belief in God, the immortality of the soul, and personal virtue. — theophilanthropist, n. — theophilanthropic, adj.
the doctrines and practices of a dualistic Iranian religion, especially the existence of a supreme deity, Ahura Mazda, and belief in a cosmic struggle between a spirit of good and light and a spirit of evil and darkness. Also called Zoroastrism, Zarathustrism, Mazdaism. — Zoroastrian, n., adj.
As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect —Ralph Waldo Emerson
As religious as any man who prays daily and hangs a rabbit’s foot on his windshield —Harry Prince
Beautiful women without religion are like flowers without perfume —Heinrich Heine
Catholicism’s a little too much like the gold standard: a fixed weight of piety translatable into a fixed exchange rate of grace —Michael M. Thomas
The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly he bends his head —Thomas Guthrie
Christianity is like electricity. It cannot enter a person unless it can pass through —Bishop Richard C. Raines
The church is a sort of hospital for men’s souls, and as full of quackery as the hospitals for those bodies —Henry David Thoreau
A consistently godless world is like a picture without perspective —Franz Werfel
Faith … a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible —E. M. Forster
Faith is like love: it cannot be forced —Arthur Schopenhauer
Faith without works is like a bird without wings —Francis Beaumont
Folded into his religion like a razor into its case —Anon
God’s like a kid with too many toys to take care of —Sharon Sheehe Stark
People are born churchy or unchurchy, just as they are born with a tendency to arteriosclerosis, cancer or consumption —Anatole France
In religion, as in friendship, they who profess most are the least sincere —Richard Brinsley Sheridan
In religion as in politics it so happens that we have less charity for those who believe half our creed than for those who deny the whole of it —Charles Caleb Colton
Living without faith is like driving in a fog —Anon
The majority takes the creed [Calvinism] as a horse takes his collar; it slips by his ears, over his neck, he hardly knows how, but he finds himself in harness and jogs along as his fathers and forefathers before him —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
A man who writes of himself without speaking of God is like one who identifies himself without giving his address —Ben Hecht
Men’s anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady they neither of them care for —Lord Halifax
Our faith … runs as fast as feeling to embrace —William Alfred
Our faith is too often like the mercury in the weather-glass; it gets up high in fine weather; in rough weather it sinks proportionally low —Anon
Piety, like aristocracy, has its nobility —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Prayed like an orphan —Wendell Berry
Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity —Alexis Carrel
Priestly mannerisms clung to him like the smell of candle-wax and incense —Peter Kemp
Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis —Sigmund Freud
Religion is like love; it plays the devil with clear thinking —Rose Macaulay
Religion is like the breath of heaven; if it goes abroad in the open air, it scatters and dissolves —Jeremy Taylor
Religion, like water, may be free, but when they pipe it to you, you’ve got to help pay for the piping. And the piper —Muriel Spark
Religious as a lizard on a rock —Anon
Religious sense is like an esthetic sense. You’re born with it or you aren’t —P. D. James, New York Times Magazine, October 5, 1986
Sects and creeds of religion are like pocket compasses, good enough to point you in the direction, but the nearer the pole you get the worse they work —Josh Billings
In Billings’ phonetic dialect: “Sekts and creeds of religion are like pocket compesses, good enuff tu point you inte the right direction, but the nearer the pole yu git the wuss tha wurk.”
She fought off God like an unwelcome suitor —Nancy Evans about Emily Dickinson, “First Editions”/WNYC February 18, 1987
Some Christians are like soiled bank notes: while we acknowledge their value we wish them changed —William Lewis
Sometimes the curse of God comes like the caress of a woman’s hand, and sometimes His blessing comes like a knife in the flesh —Amos Oz
The soul united to God is like a leaf united to the tree —Ignazio Silone
They treated their God like a desk clerk with whom they lodged requests and complaints —Helen Hudson
Without dogma a religion is like a body without skeleton. It can’t stand —James G. Huneker