Religion - a special form of awareness of the world, due to belief in the supernatural , including a set of moral norms and types of behavior, rituals , religious actions and the unification of people in organizations ( church , religious community )  .
In antiquity, there were several points of view on the origin of the word "religion" ( lat. Religio - "conscience, piety, piety, an object of worship"  ). So, the famous Roman orator, writer and politician of the 1st century. BC e. Cicero believed that it was derived from the Latin verb relegere ( to reassemble, discuss again, ponder, put aside for a special use ), which in a figurative sense means "reverence" or "treating anything with special attention, reverence." Hence, the very essence of religion, Cicero saw in awe of the higher powers, the Divine    . The well-known Western Christian writer and speaker Lactantius believed that the term "religion" comes from the Latin verb religare (to bind, bind), so he defined religion as the union of man with God    . In a similar way, the essence of religion was understood by Blessed Augustine , although he believed that the word “religion” came from the verb religare , that is, reunite , and religion itself means reunion, the restoration of the once lost union between man and God  . Modern scholars often agree with the point of view on the origin of the word "religion" from the verb religare   .
The rise of religion
Religion studies are primarily concerned with the issue of religion, which began to take shape in an independent field of knowledge since the 19th century at the intersection of social philosophy , history of philosophy , sociology , anthropology , psychology , general history , ethnology , archeology and other sciences.
There are several points of view on the problem of the emergence of religion  :
- religious : man was created by God, and before the fall he communicated with him directly. After the fall, communication with God was broken, but God revealed himself in revelations , through angels, prophets, and in the epiphany. Man, in turn, has the opportunity to turn to the invisible God (in prayer ) both directly and through intermediaries. Polytheism is seen as the result of a gradual departure from the original monotheism.
- intermediate , on the one hand based on modern scientific knowledge and public sentiment, on the other hand based on the main tenet of religion about the creation of the world and man by God, after which (most often as a result of the fall) a person completely forgot about communication with him and even his existence. He is forced to search again for the path to God, and therefore every religion is a way of seeking a return to God. This view corresponded to the concept of pramonotheism , according to which religion has always existed in human society, and besides, it originally had the form of monotheism, which was subsequently lost among many peoples, degenerating into totemism, paganism, and other non-monotheistic forms of religion. The concept of pramonotheism was formulated by the Scottish scientist and writer E. Lang, subsequently developed in the 12-volume work of the Catholic priest, anthropologist and linguist W. Schmidt, “The Origin of the Idea of God”  . However, later it was criticized    . In the opinion of I.A. Kryverev, there are errors in the composition of Wilhelm Schmidt, and after Schmidt’s death, his students, grouping around the Anthropos magazine , undertook an audit of his work and actually abandoned it, postulating as a primary form of religion not pramonotheism, but prateism [ 11] .
- evolutionary : religion arises at a certain level of development of consciousness due to the inability to rationally explain the observed natural phenomena. Primitive man defined all phenomena as certain rational actions, explaining the manifestation of natural forces by the will of the spirit, a rational principle, much more powerful than man. Human emotions and actions were attributed to the higher power, and the model of relations between these forces was copied from the corresponding organization of human society. According to this approach, religion progressed from simplest forms to more complex ones: first there was preanimism, then animism , totemism , polytheism and finally monotheism (see Anthropology of Religion )  .
The idea of a consistent complication of religious beliefs was first proposed by E. Taylor , who hypothesized that animism was the original form of religion. Subsequently, the ideas of Taylor were developed in the works of J. Fraser ( magic as the initial form of religion), R. Marett, L. Ya. Sternberg (the era of animatism , the revitalization of all nature), and L. Levy-Bruhl (primitive dologic mysticism ).
The founders of Marxism also developed a concept according to which the root of religion is the real practical impotence of a person, first before natural, then before social phenomena, manifested in his daily life, expressed in the fact that he cannot independently ensure the success of his activities  . Also widely known is the expression " religion is the opium of the people "  .
According to current information about the Paleolithic period , at least towards the end of this era, ancient people developed what we could call religion or spiritual relations. This is indicated by the customs of ritual burial that they had at that time and rock paintings in caves. People probably believed that the natural world was inhabited by gods or deities, or even that various objects and places, such as stones or groves, were themselves alive. Religious beliefs and practices - as we could imagine them - formed a social structure, as if linking communities and increasing the effectiveness of their activities     .
Some of the researchers completely reject the idea of the existence of a pre-religious period, and as a justification for their view, they argue that "modern ethnography is not known to any people, not a single tribe that does not have a religious tradition, pre-religious"  .
However, other researchers believe that all allegations that religion was originally inherent in man do not hold water  . In their opinion, the pre-religious period lasted a very long time, right up to the formation of the Neanderthal man . Some of them also believe that the signs indicating the presence of religious beliefs and rites become really numerous and convincing only for the Upper Paleolithic period (about 40-18 thousand years ago)  . The determination of the difference and distinction between primitive “forming people” ( archanthropes and paleoanthropes ) and primitive people of the modern physical type ( Neoanthropes , Homo sapiens ), to which the Upper Paleolithic people usually referred to as Cro-Magnons , is closely connected with determining the time of the emergence of religious customs.
The emergence of religions according to the Vedas
In the Mahabharata (Aranyaka-parva (third book), Chapter 146) Hanuman tells Bhima that “During the Treta-yuga , sacrifices and differences in dharmas and sacrificial rites arise that are diligently performed and bear the fruits of gifts and sacrifices.” Dharma in this text is understood by the adherents of the Vedas as the word "religion", that is, "differences in religions appeared in the Treta Yuga." Prior to that (in Satya Yuga, the "golden age"), in their opinion, there was only the Vedic religion on Earth.
In the Laws of Manu (the first person on Earth, according to the Vedas - analogous to Adam in the Abrahamic religions) it is said: "Vedo Akhilo dharma mula" - "The Vedas are the source of all dharmas" (that is, all religions). In particular, Zoroastrianism is the connecting link between the religion (s) of the Vedas and the Abrahamic religions.
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- in Russian
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- in other languages
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- Bowker, John Westerdale, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (2007) excerpt and text search 1126pp
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