This article defines and discusses the concept of religion, polytheism, monotheism, and theology.
The term ‘theology’ literally refers to ‘thinking about God’. One of the classic definitions of the term theology is “faith seeking understanding”.
As an academic discipline, theology refers to a field of systematic study of the divine and different religious beliefs.
The term ‘religion’ refers to a set of organized beliefs related to supernatural power e.g. God, deities, spirits, angels, etc. giving birth to organized practices and societal systems.
In other words, religion is the connection of human beings with spiritual, sacred, holy, divine things with which they relate the life in this world and hereafter.
American cultural anthropologist, Clifford Geertz, religion defines religion as a system of symbols on basis of which strong and long-term human moods and motivations develop among followers as they formulate conceptions of a general order of existence. According to him, these conceptions with such an aura of factuality develop the moods and motivations that seem uniquely realistic.
Types of religions
Different types of religions exist in the world. Some of them are widely known such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. Similarly, there are also a number of lesser-known religions such as the Aetherius Society. The followers of the Aetherius Society believe in the concept of spiritual energy which is a must for an orderly life in the world. A deficit of this energy is the root cause of all unrest in the world.
There are two main types of religion i.e. monotheist and polytheist.
In monotheist religions, the followers believe that there is only one God who controls everything in the world and beyond. He only is the sustainer and creator. All powers belong to him. Some of the well-known monotheist religions are as follows along with the number of their followers.
1. Buddhism -360 million (polytheism)
2. Hinduism – 900 million (polytheism)
3. Zoroastrianism – 150 thousand (polytheism)
The followers of monotheist religions believe in more than one supernatural power that controls the lives of people. Some of the well-known polytheist religions are as follows along with the number of their followers.
1. Christianity- 2 billion
2. Islam – 1.3 billion
3. Judaism – 14 million
4. Sikhism – 23 million