Religion Within the Context of Human Development

Subject: Religion
Pages: 2
Words: 679
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Today, there are approximately 21 major religions, and billions of people all over the world are committed to them. The term “religion” describes “various systems of belief and practice concerning what people determine to be sacred or spiritual” (Little, 2016, p. 624). This phenomenon is important for sociology and psychology in terms of people’s development because it has always been part of all human societies, which is proven by numerous archaeological findings of ritual artifacts. Religion is one of the ways of searching and understanding the meaning of life which differentiates people from animals. Therefore, it is one of the factors having a direct impact on human life and has an important influence on spiritual development. However, there have also been numerous critiques of religions as they lead to conflicts between people, and even countries, and tend to lose significance in the modern world.

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Religion has played an important role in the development of humanity, as it is recognized by scientists as a social institution. Experts believe that it “exists as an organized and integrated set of beliefs, behaviors, and norms centered on basic social needs and values” (Little, 2016, p. 644). Moreover, it is a universal concept, which has influenced many areas, including culture, health care, and education. Religions are indivisible from the history of their cultures and societies as they have been helping people develop and grow as individuals, influencing all the spheres of human life, including art, literature, law, politics, and economics. For example, “the traditions and practices that have grown out of the Christian experience have left a permanent impress not only on the development of purely religious interest but of virtually the total endeavor of man” (Ugorie, 2017, p. 397). Therefore, religion is recognized by most sociologists and psychologists as an important aspect of human history and development.

However, the phenomenon of religion has also given rise to multiple disputes and assumptions about the world being a more peaceful place without it. It is connected with numerous disputes throughout history, caused by religious motives. Among the example of such conflicts are the Crusades, the Inquisition, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to the research held in Great Britain, almost half of the adult population in the country believes that the world would be a better place without religion (Mbakwe, 2018). Recent research shows that experts believe that in the future religion may even disappear as today it begins to play a less important role in humanity’s development (Bullard, 2016). Therefore, the meaning of religion in the modern world has significantly lowered in most Western countries. It allows making a conclusion that modern people can live without religion and have fewer conflicts, making the world more peaceful.

However, religion continues to help many people to develop their spirituality and supports them in difficult life situations, when nothing else can help. For a large part of humanity, especially for the adult population, it represents a source of strength and gives comfort and hope. Moreover, it helps to obtain the feeling of being part of the community. Religion serves as a useful tool when coping with health and mental problems and aging challenges. The development of spirituality implies acquiring important skills such as forgiveness, patience, and gratitude, thus, helping a person grow as an individual. Therefore, religion can be a source of help and support in various life challenges.

In conclusion, religion is important for the history of humanity, and impacts its development, by influencing almost all the spheres of human life, including education, culture, and medicine. However, it is considered a source of worry to humanity due to numerous misconceptions and conflicts, caused by them. Many experts are debating about the necessity of religion for modern society, as its role is considerably decreasing. Many experts even suggest that in the future this phenomenon may disappear as it no longer has an impact on the development of humanity. Nevertheless, religion continues to exist and appears as a source of support for those, who are committed to it.


Bullard, G. (2016). The world’s newest major religion: No religion. National Geographic. Web.

Little, W. (2016). Introduction to sociology (2nd ed.). BCcampus.

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Mbakwe, T. (2018). Half of Brits think the world would be a better place without religion. Christian News. Web.

Ugorie, U. M. (2017). The role of religion in human development. UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities, 18(2), 389–405. Web.