Cicero, for example, thought that religio derived from the verb relegere in its sense of “to re-read or go over a text,” religion being a body of custom and law that demands study and transmission. Copyright ©2020The Forward Association, Inc.All rights reserved. If Darwin is right and we’re here by chance, then when we die, we’ll go into the ground and become fertilizer. © 2014. I love my family and love life in general. Think about this logically. The verb for what Abraham did to Isaac, on the other hand, is akad, which generally refers to the trussing of an animal prior to its being slaughtered, sheared, neutered, etc. Could it be, I reasoned, that Abraham is the founder of biblical faith because he sets a model that is binding for our own conduct, i.e., being willing to sacrifice our own ambitions for what is ordained by God? I found this interesting, not only because of the tradition of laying tefillin, but also because of the story of the binding of Isaac. People define religion as a set of beliefs, and then atheists assume that because a set of beliefs has become corrupt, then all religion is corrupt. Success seems to find them and their lives are much happier. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. I have witnessed those that have dedicated their lives to re-connecting with God, become infinitely happier than those that fight against God, or even the idea of a God or an intelligent designer. Live your religion tenaciously and  “re-bind” yourself to a God who cares about you and wants you back. UPDATE – I recently wrote a book based on this blog post in case you are interested: You can find The Cultural Evolution Inside of…. Religion is not a bad word. They cite massacres that have taken place in the name of religion such as the crusades or the inquisition but fail to recognize the exponentially worse atrocities that have taken place at the hands of Godless nations and leaders. The media and entertainment outlets nowadays are notorious for this. Probably this was because, precisely since religion was everywhere in the ancient world and no activity was divorced from it, it never struck anyone as a distinct aspect of life calling for a name of its own. It will in no way hurt a person to seek after and follow God. Religion does not encourage people to “stop thinking”. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. The definition of religion in and of itself denotes peace and reconciliation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I do believe that. What we learned was for nothing. Religio was, Cicero wrote, cultus deorum, “the worship of the gods.” Whether he was also right about where the word came from would appear to be anyone’s guess. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. They fail to see that the most enlightened people and nations have come as a result of intense religious activity. Adding the “re” before “ligare” causes the word to mean “Re-Bind” or “Re-Connect.”. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. Bill Maher sums up the atheistic movement to rid the world of any mention of God with comments like this; We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. People’s unhappiness seems like it always stems from a feeling of disconnection, worthlessness, and confusion. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason. On the other hand, the Christian writer Lactantius, writing in the early fourth century, opted for religare, a verb meaning “to fasten or bind.” “We are,” he said in his book “Divinae Institutiones,” “tied to God and bound to him [religati] by the bond of piety, and it is from this, and not, as Cicero holds, from careful study [relegendo], that religion has received its name.” Lactantius’s greater contemporary, Augustine, preferred this etymology to Cicero’s while suggesting yet another possibility: re-eligere, “to choose again,” religion being the recovery of the link with God that sin has sundered. This is not, of course, the case when it comes to English, which clearly inherited the word from Latin religio. In any case, however, the “binding” of tefillin on an observant Jew’s arm and the “binding” of Isaac in Abraham’s aborted sacrifice of his son on Mount Moriah have never been, to the best of my knowledge, closely associated with each other in Judaism. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. We’ll email you whenever we publish another article by J.J Goldberg. How Our Society’s Biggest Problems Can Be Solved, The Most Dangerous Temptation That Faces Our Youth, What An Orange County Family Law Attorney Wants You To Know About Avoiding Divorce, The Rise or Fall of The Young Men of the Church, Having a Beard Doesn’t Make You Evil, Unworthy, or Rebellious, Seriously… It’s Alright For You To Stay Home From Church When You’re Sick, How I Fixed My Son’s Obsession With Video Games, Going To Church and Confessing Christ Isn’t What Makes You A Christian, The Coming Revolution Inside of Mormonism, The Sign God Gave Me After Serving A Two Year Mission, The Effects of Anger and Negativity On Your Health. The classical explanation of the word, traced to Cicero himself, derives it from re- (again) + lego in the sense of "choose", "go over again" or "consider carefully". re- (again) + ligare or "to reconnect," which was made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation of Lactantius. I think religion stops people from thinking. It’s like they can’t leave it alone. Does that mean that all my fine sentiments about the word’s significance are worthless?”. I think it justified crazies. We need more people to understand the correct definition of religion and the ultimate meaning of the word religion. Nor do they share the same word. The word religion comes from the latin word ligare: to join, or link, classically understood to mean the linking of human and divine.What constitutes a religion is subject to much dispute in the field of theology and among ordinary people. The word religion comes from the Latin and while there are a few different translations, the most prevalent roots take you back to the Latin word “Re-Ligare”. Since unlike the practice of Judaism, the Christian religion, as they saw it, was a matter of binding faith and commitment rather than of accumulated knowledge, the religare etymology may have appealed to them for the opposite reason than that proposed by Rappaport: as a way of distancing Christianity from Jewish concepts rather than of adopting them.