Webster 1913 Edition
[F., from L.
religenspious, revering the gods, Gr.
ἀλέγεινto heed, have a care. Cf.
The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety;
religionof the Jews; the
religionof idol worshipers
An orderly life so far as others are able to observe us is now and then produced by prudential motives or by dint of habit; but without seriousness there can be no religious principle at the bottom, no course of conduct from religious motives; in a word, there can be no
Religion[was] not, as too often now, used as equivalent for godliness; but . . . it expressed the outer form and embodiment which the inward spirit of a true or a false devotion assumed.
Religions, by which are meant the modes of divine worship proper to different tribes, nations, or communities, and based on the belief held in common by the members of them severally. . . . There is no living
religionwithout something like a doctrine. On the other hand, a doctrine, however elaborate, does not constitute a
C. P. Tiele (Encyc. Brit.).
Religion. . . means the conscious relation between man and God, and the expression of that relation in human conduct.
J. Köstlin (Schaff-Herzog Encyc.)
After the most straitest sect of our
religionI lived a Pharisee.
Acts xxvi. 5.
The image of a brute, adorned
religionsfull of pomp and gold.
Specifically, conformity in faith and life to the precepts inculcated in the Bible, respecting the conduct of life and duty toward God and man; the Christian faith and practice.
This definition is from the 1913 Webster, which was edited by Noah Porter, a theologian. His bias toward the Christion religion is evident not only in this definition, but in others as well as in the choice of quations or illustrative phrases. Caveat lector. - PJC
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without
Religionwill attend you . . . as a pleasant and useful companion in every proper place, and every temperate occupation of life.
(R. C. Ch.)
A monastic or religious order subject to a regulated mode of life; the religious state;
as, to enter.
A good man was there of
Strictness of fidelity in conforming to any practice, as if it were an enjoined rule of conduct.
Those parts of pleading which in ancient times might perhaps be material, but at this time are become only mere styles and forms, are still continued with much
Sir M. Hale.
☞ Religion, as distinguished from theology, is subjective, designating the feelings and acts of men which relate to God; while theology is objective, and denotes those ideas which man entertains respecting the God whom he worships, especially his systematized views of God. As distinguished from morality, religion denotes the influences and motives to human duty which are found in the character and will of God, while morality describes the duties to man, to which true religion always influences. As distinguished from piety, religion is a high sense of moral obligation and spirit of reverence or worship which affect the heart of man with respect to the Deity, while piety, which first expressed the feelings of a child toward a parent, is used for that filial sentiment of veneration and love which we owe to the Father of all. As distinguished from sanctity, religion is the means by which sanctity is achieved, sanctity denoting primarily that purity of heart and life which results from habitual communion with God, and a sense of his continual presence.
a religion based upon the evidences of a God and his qualities, which is supplied by natural phenomena. See–
Natural theology, under
Religion of humanity,
a name sometimes given to a religion founded upon positivism as a philosophical basis.–
that which is based upon direct communication of God’s will to mankind; especially, the Christian religion, based on the revelations recorded in the Old and New Testaments.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man's obligation to obey his commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety; for the practice of moral duties without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to his will or commands, is not religion.
2.Religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law. James 1.
3.Religion, as distinct from virtue, or morality, consists in the performance of the duties we owe directly to God, from a principle of obedience to his will. Hence we often speak of religion and virtue, as different branches of one system, or the duties of the first and second tables of the law.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.
4.Any system of faith and worship. In this sense, religion comprehends the belief and worship of pagans and Mohammedans, as well as of christians; any religion consisting in the belief of a superior power or powers governing the world, and in the worship of such power or powers. Thus we speak of the religion of the Turks, of the Hindoos, of the Indians, &c. as well as of the christian religion. We speak of false religion, as well as of true religion.
5.The rites of religion; in the plural.