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Ron Robinson

REL 100



The four different definitions of writing that will be analyzed in this paper come from the

writings of Marx, Freud, Otto, and Tillich. This paper will include a summarized description of

their concepts in religion. Also this paper will show which definition and the aspects of their

thoughts that are closely relevant to my beliefs or as close to my own understanding of religion,

and which definition is furthest from my understanding. And finally what is my personal

definition of religion at this point from religious learning experience.

Summarizing Marx’s definition of religion in my own words can be simply stated as man

has made religion and that religion does not make man. It seems that he believes that religious

people are lost and just haven’t found themselves yet, and that some people are addicted to

religious practices.

The summary of Freud’s definition of religion can best be described in my own terms as

a defense to life or being helpless in situations that life throws at a person. He seems to think that

it’s a drug or a crutch that mankind made up to cope with the world and dangers.

Otto’s definition of religion seems to be more of a feeling or reaction that a person gets

when they experience a “holy” feeling. It’s a human emotional experience of encountering the

“holy” and is unique to each individual. Otto in his writing tries to bring out the definition or the

common concepts of religion.

Tillich’s definition seems to be that a person must make religion or something higher in

their life, and they have to put in to get something out of it. There are many rewards for meeting

a certain criteria of demands. It can be what someone values, what their life is centered around,

or driving force.

My views of which definition fit closely to my personal beliefs or understanding would

be Tillich’s definition of religion. I think that sacrificing to religion because a person wants

fulfillment in their life is a very common practice to many people. Another reason that I feel this

way is because if you put all your high priorities or things you value first then a person will

usually make the correct decision and if there is a higher being then they will be put on the path

of that calling.

The theory that I disagree with the most would be the definition of Marx. His idea that

God is made up for man to have something to rely on seems wrong. Many people don’t throw

problems on religion but they do rely on it to get them through the tough and good times in their


My definition of religion is a confusing state of not having enough knowledge combined

with other people’s views. I believe that there is a God and a place where you go when u leave

this world. I think some of the things wrote historically may have been wrote to scare people into

certain situation or to do better for themselves. It may be written into history to place guidelines

onto humans. This world is too complex for humans and other creatures to come from nothing.

And there people that do abuse religion and rely on it to define who they are of ask for it to solve

their problems.