Religion provides the ultimate shield, the sacred canopy that protects our humanity and cultural order. It fixes this order in place by reference to a divinity external to us. Religion also gives social order legitimacy. However, religion also creates a mode of forgetfulness and alienation. By requiring humans to forget how they created it, religion forces us to forget that we are the creators of the world we live in.
Animism is a religion that believes that humans are spiritual beings, and therefore, are related to the world around them. In this religion, the human spirit is often identified with the shadow or breath. This belief has become common in places such as Australia, Tasmania, North America, and South America, as well as classical Europe.
The theory of totemism is an ancient spiritual tradition that involves passing on a guardian spirit to a descendant. In North America, Totemism is associated with Native American tribes. It is based on the fact that the ancestor’s guardian spirit is transmitted from generation to generation in real time, and that the child’s totem is a representation of his clan’s manitou. In French West Africa, Totemism is more closely associated with familial relationships than with tribes.
Henotheism is the belief that there is only one god in the universe. This belief is different from polytheism, which assigns responsibility for reality to multiple gods. Henotheism claims that the only god exists and that he is all-knowing and unchangeable. It is commonly found in cultures with centralized monarchy, such as Babylonia and Egypt.
Theism is a belief in a God or several gods. Typically, people believe in one God, but non-theistic religions are also very common. The word “theistic” comes from the Greek word “theos,” meaning “god”. Monotheistic religions are based on the belief that there is only one God. These religions include Christianity and Islam.
Cults are social groups that hold unusual religious, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs. These groups usually have some common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.