On Religion

Christian Smith

in Moral, Believing Animals

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195162028
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849673 | DOI:
On Religion

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What is religion? Why are so many people in the world religious? Why do they take seriously realities that are unseen? What induces people to give away time and money and perhaps much more for intangible things which are in the spiritual realm? This chapter engages in looking at some basic questions about religion and its continuing presence in modern life. Religion concerns a superempirical order, an ordered reality that is not normally observable with the five human senses. Religion affirms that such an order is real and consequential, even though it normally cannot be directly seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted. This approach intentionally emphasizes the superempirical rather than the more commonly referenced supernatural. This is because supernatural implies that the unseen order is not a part of nature, and that nature consists only of physical matter.

Keywords: religion; superempirical order; ordered reality; human senses; spiritual

Chapter.  11293 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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