Religion is the belief in one or more gods. Religious beliefs and practices are also the basis for many moral codes, and religious institutions have played a major role in founding educational institutions, hospitals, and charitable organizations. Some researchers argue that religion can be a powerful force for social good, and religion has been linked to reductions in the incidence of domestic violence, out-of-wedlock births, drug abuse, prejudice, anxiety, and other health problems. Religious people also have a strong sense of belonging and purpose.
Ages Seven to Eight
If you have made it clear that you are open to discussing faith with your kids, they will probably bring up the topic on their own at some point. They may ask questions about how the world was created, or wonder why some people believe in one thing and others in another. You can help them understand that the differences are based on personal choices and not a lack of evidence.
Talking about religion with kids is a big challenge, as most people have very strong opinions on the subject. Regardless of your beliefs, it is important to listen respectfully and to let children express their own feelings.
Many attempts to define religion follow a classical model, whereby the concept names a set of structural properties that all members must possess. More recent approaches, called polythetic, move away from this approach and treat the concept as a “family-resemblance” idea that is able to accommodate a stunning range of practices.