The Fundamental Elements of Religion


Religion is a human endeavor that strives to reconcile disparate realms. It may be a personal effort or a communal ritual. In either case, the ultimate goal is to bring peace and harmony to all of creation. The following paragraphs explore some of the fundamental elements of religion. These concepts may help you decide whether or not religion is for you.

Religious movements

The term “religious movements” describes a broad range of non-mainstream religious groups. Many of these groups are marginal or alternative to mainline religions, and some are even cults. They can be recent or ancient, and many are not religious in the traditional sense, incorporating technologies, therapy, economic enterprise, and other non-religious activities. Others have anomalous profiles that defy categorization. Nevertheless, these groups often seek administrative or legal legitimacy.

The study of religious movements has stimulated enormous volumes of sociological inquiry. In the 1970s and 1980s, studies of “new religious movements” dominated the social science study of religion. These studies sought to understand the institutional development of new religious groups, the structural dynamics of affiliation and disaffiliation, and the conflict between new and traditional religions.


The term super-group describes the combination of members from different groups to create a larger group. In the field of music, super-groups are often composed of musicians from different genres, such as rock or pop. Some examples of super-groups include the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Bad Company.

As the population of modern societies becomes increasingly diverse, religion’s ability to provide a shared belief system will diminish. Hence, religion must provide an inclusive belief system.

Conscientious repetitive action

In order to answer the question of whether conscientious objection is a legitimate political or religious action, we must first define what conscientious objection means. This term is often used to describe the right to abstain from participation in a particular religious activity. It is an action that does not violate any rule of conduct, such as the Ten Commandments, but which a person takes exception to based on moral principles. This definition is not exhaustive and is not the end-all, be-all and end-all of conscientious objection.

The concept of religious conscientious objection has a long history. One of the earliest records of this type of action comes from the Medieval Orkneyinga Saga. The saga details the story of Magnus Erlendsson, the future Saint Magnus, who refused to fight in a Viking raid on the island of Anglesey. Instead, he stayed on board the ship and sung psalms.

Belief in a supreme deity

Belief in a supreme deities is a common feature of many world religions. These deities are generally transcendent spiritual powers. They appear in a wide variety of religious systems, and their symbols have similar meanings. This article examines the common features of these divinities and summarizes the history of their scholarly interpretation.

Most supreme beings are portrayed in a passive manner, avoiding dramatic action. In some religions, the supreme being takes the form of deus otiosus, a retired deity who no longer commands the religious imagination, but nevertheless embodies all possibilities. For instance, the Witoto people believe in a supreme being called Moma, who resides in a remote, dark land and rules the cycles of life and death. The supreme being is said to be the creator of all things, including people.

Religious abstractions

Religious abstractions are a fundamentally social and political construct. They function as a reaction to a particular society and its social logic. The moment the actual relations between humans and nature are transparent and free of the fetishistic features of society, the religious abstractions vanish as a result. This paradox is common to all religions, but it is most visible in monotheistic religions, such as Christianity.

Marx, however, did not eschew religion in favor of socialism. Instead, his approach to religion reflected the historical-materialist study of abstractions. He also argued that all religions are ultimately unified in that they reveal a common pattern of evolution and spiritual life. But, while this approach homogenizes the great religions of humanity, it also hides their contradictory features and discrepancies.