Religiosity refers to a strong feeling or belief about religion. Religiosity became appreciated as a way that we humans connect with our spiritual selves and the spiritual world or what we would call the spirit world. Through the evolution of man and through epigenetics and other forms of passing on characteristics, we have learned to be religious. We have evolved to seek more from the spiritual realm. That is, we have evolved to become more in touch with the spiritual spectrum of living and the universe. Religion got practiced for millennia, and till today, a majority of all humans still practice one religion or the other.
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Religion is a blanket term that entails diverse worldviews, including the Christian, Islam, Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhism, Jewish, Traditional African, and Hindu worldviews, among others. A worldview is a concept of how life should be and how people should lead their lives. It is an idea of what an ideal life looks like and how several aspects of living should interact with each other to ensure that human life prospers. All religions are equal, and all people are equal. All religions recognize a Supreme Being who is seen as the origin of all life and all of the universe. The variations in religions are only on the worldviews and doctrines of each religion and what it prioritizes or perceives as acceptable or unacceptable. Religion is part of human nature and human expression.
Christianity recognizes God and His son, Jesus Christ. God gave the world His only son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save all humankind, and He died for our sins. Islam recognizes Allah. He sends the prophet Muhammad as a messenger to the world. Buddhism recognizes Buddha, who was a philosopher who lived and taught in Ancient India. Buddha became seen to live among the people, and no one knows the human form of Buddha. As such, everyone gets taught to treat each other well as the person next to you could be Buddha. In Hinduism, several gods and goddesses are deities. Tibetan Buddhism gets led by a spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The Jewish religion recognizes the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who redeemed Jews from slavery in Egypt. Traditional African religion recognized spirits and ancestors and several gods with different ranks.
Religion is a complicated thing and is part of human society. It is at the very core of the societal fabric of daily living. As Africans, we practiced traditional African religion in pre-colonial times, and this religion included various derivations. There were beliefs of a supreme being in some cases, and the veneration of the dead. These included ancestors who were those who passed on before our births and the living dead who were those who passed on after we were born. Traditional African religion also recognized spirits and utilized traditional medicine, and to some extent, magic. All these beliefs were like all other beliefs and could not get scientifically exhibited. As a rule of thumb, science and religion are opposites, and we do not need to go into that argument. Let us take religion as it is, as pure fact and as a spiritual part of our lives and the universe. Paganism is the opposite of religion and entails being unreligious.
Religion has helped the human species become civilized, and a good example, Christianity, was used as a way for western culture to spread all over the world. I say this recognizing that the explorers and missionaries paved the way for colonialism through visiting exotic places to spread the gospel. These are matters of centuries passed, and I may not get all the facts right. Please bear with me. A lot of what we appreciate as religion today has evolved from what was preached or accepted as the spiritual configuration of several religions. Christianity, for instance, is based on the coming of Christ and His death on the cross. As such, these events had to have happened for Christianity to become what it is today.
On the other hand, in Buddhism, Buddha had to have died for Buddhism to become a religion based on his teachings. As such, religion evolves, and even as this evolution does not change its doctrines a lot, it still changes how we as humans relate to religion. Through faith and belief, we can express our faiths and our spiritualselves.
Islam, like all other religions, is appreciated as a very committed religion and one that requires dedication and fervent prayer. There is fasting as in other religions, and part of worship gets appreciated as fasting. Fasting is a way to give oneself to God and not to rely on food for sustenance for some time. In a way, it directs our hunger to God. We can seek God and His grace more sufficiently when we fast. I will not go into detail because I have not theologized what fasting means. Fasting is an example or religious practices that hold specific meaning and meaningfulness to the followers of a particular religion. Religion relies on these practices and its doctrines to allow us, humans, to lead more spiritual and meaningful lives. Fasting is appreciated as a form of living with less.
Almost all religions hold a promise of a better state after death. In traditional African society, when one died, they would join the living dead and later the ancestors. In Christianity, there is the promise of eternal life. Buddhism refers to Nirvana as the state after the human state of suffering. All religions hold a promise for a life after death in another realm or the spirit world. Some religions believe in reincarnation, which is the return of departed souls in other forms or as different creatures. Religion tries to give meaning to what we as humans do not know or what we do not understand.
All religions hold meaning to life, and if you study the texts of numerous religions, there is a lot of light and beauty within these texts. There is also darkness or punishment when one does not follow what gets required of them or when they go against the teachings of the supreme being. In Christianity, this is seen in the book of revelation and the return of Christ. Several religions believe that life as we know it will come to an end in an apocalyptic set of events. The apocalypse is very much a part of faith, as it is part of science fiction. My beliefs on what will or could happen are insignificant, and I will not delve into that. Religion has always been a source of strength and a pursuit of knowledge and idealism in human life. We all need to get in touch with our spiritual selves to live as whole beings or to be whole. Religion, therefore, ties together what human life is and what life after death may be. It joins what we know and what we don’t know. Religiosity is a part of human nature, and without religion, there would be too many unknowns. We live to serve God by serving others. Religion gives us a purpose and something to look forward to after we leave this world. Valhalla.