© 2003Leuba divided all his rich collection of definitions into twogroups, to which he added his own third one:1.
Those definitions that treat religion as “the
recognition of a mystery pressing for in
Those definitions which adopt
view that religion is “a feeling of absolutedependence on God.”
Leuba‟s definition that “religion is the
of powers which are believed todirect and control the course of nature and
The above classification cannot be regarded as final,
since newer definitions like Leuba‟s easily arise. The
definitions seem to be descriptions that, arising throughinduction, are not always comprehensive. The variety ofpsychological perspectives and definitions are also anissue of philosophical investigation.
As early as 1916, Professor C.C.J. Webb had said that “I
do not believe that religion
be defined.” This does
not, however, mean that the psychological definitions ofreligion are of no practical value. We must distinguishbetween definitions and descriptions. While definitionsgive essential meanings, descriptions state the externalappearances. Obviously, the attempts to define religionare not merely attempts to describe but attempts topoint out the essence of religion. Psychologyunderstands the various rites, beliefs, and expressions ofreligions as reflective of a religious consciousness which ittries to investigate. The psychological definitions ofreligion do try to locate the essence of religion in the
consciousness and not in the external “symbols”, which
are only interesting as long as they lead to anunderstanding of religious consciousness. It is the