What is religion? According to an Oxford dictionary, religion is the belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and the controller of the universe, who has given to man a spiritual nature, which continues to exist after the death of the body. Religion appears to be a simple idea on the surface, but in reality it is a very complex system.
No doubt religion means much or little according to the stage of development that has been reached, but, in its earliest as in its latest form. The whole being of the religious man is filled with the divine as it appears to him, and therefore in religion he feels that he is in perfect unity with himself and the deeper nature of the universe. The possibility of religion is bound up with the essential nature of man as a rational and spiritual being, and rationality or spirituality presupposes as its primary condition the consciousness of a unity, which embraces all distinctions of the world and the self. Now, when man, as a rational subject, finds, or believes that he finds, the world to be a cosmos and human life intelligible, and refers both object and subject to a supreme principle, he adopts the attitude of religion. Thus religion is not one sphere alongside of others, but the single all embracing sphere alongside in which all distinctions are all but elements that have no reality or meaning when they are severed from the single principle upon which they depend. Religion cannot be subordinated to any higher form of consciousness; it is not a means to something else, but all else is a means to it. No doubt there are various forms of religion, but all of them man has the consciousness of having grasped the inner truth of things and attained to the completion of his being. Whether the divine is believed to be immediately present or be far off, there is never any doubt of its absolute reality.
Religion, then in all its forms implies a belief in some power higher than man, the source of all that is best and noblest in his life, and the object of his reverence and worship.