Role of religion and philosophies in the ancient world

Role of religion and philosophies in the ancient world

Religion is a Latin word Religionem meaning show respect for the sacred. Therefore, religion is an organization of believers and has similar practices that rotate around as well as leading to a spiritual experience. Some religion was practiced by all cultures in human history. Though during the ancient times, it was considered as a myth and consisted of regular rituals. These rituals were based on beliefs in higher supernatural entities that created as well as maintaining the status quo in the world. The supernatural entities were anthropomorphic, and their behavior represented either the values in a culture or time and again involved themselves in acts that are antithetical to the values they uphold. The earliest evidence of religious aspects was recorded several thousand years of the middle as well as lower Paleolithic periods. To have a great understanding of the role of religion, we shall look at the nature and role of religion in the ancient times.

Many archeology studies agree that organized religion came into being as a way of enhancing social and economic standards to the society through several ways that include: justification of the center of authority that leads to the right of the state to collect taxes with the view of providing security services to the people. In Egypt Theocracy and Mesopotamia kings, emperor and Chiefs played a double role in politics and as spiritual leaders (Heine & Prebish, 2003, p. 36). Similarly, all states societies had political structures that were enshrined with divine sanction all over the world.

Peace between individuals with no relationship was perceived to be an aftermath of organized religion. Consider that tribes consist of related individuals but in small numbers. However, nations were composed of unrelated individuals in large numbers. Some researchers claim that organized religion was a sign of unity among unrelated individuals that were prone to war. They also add that death among hunters and gatherers was caused by murder (Keller, Ruether, & Cantlon, 2006, p.45).

In conclusion, it is evident that religion played a significant role in creating harmony among the societies that lived in the ancient time. Besides, it was a symbol of leadership among the old community.


Heine, S., & Prebish, C. S. (2003). Buddhism in the modern world: Adaptations of an ancient tradition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Keller, R. S., Ruether, R. R., & Cantlon, M. (2006). Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.



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