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Organized religion (or organised religion—see spelling differences), also known as institutional religion, is
religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in religion, ...
in which belief systems and
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rit ...

ritual
s are systematically arranged and formally established. Organized religion is typically characterised by an official doctrine (or dogma), a hierarchical or bureaucratic
leadership Leadership is both a research area, and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organization to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. Often viewed as a contested term, speciali ...
structure, and a codification of rules and practices.


Definition

Organized religion is distinguished from the broader idea of
religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in religion, ...
especially in
anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, and society, societies, in both the present and past, including Homo, past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of ...
,
sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empirical method, empirical investig ...
and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such ques ...
. American philosopher William James considered organized religion to be distinct from and secondary to religion in and of itself, stating that "out of religion in the sense in which we take it, theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organisations may secondarily grow". James further comments that the essential elements of "institutional religion" are "
worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informa ...
and sacrifice, procedures for working on the dispositions of the deity .e.
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the uni ...
, and ceremony and Clergy, ecclesiastical organisation". Organised religion seems to have gained prevalence since the Neolithic, Neolithic era with the rise of wide-scale civilization and History of agriculture, agriculture. Organized religions may include a state religion, state's official religion, or state church. However, most political states have any number of organized religions practiced within their jurisdiction. Due to their structured, standardized, and easily proliferated form, organized religions comprise many of the world's major religious groups. The Abrahamic religions are all largely considered organised (including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the Baháʼí Faith), as well as some schools of thought within Indian religions (for example, Sikhism and Buddhism). Religions that are not considered organised religions, or only loosely so, include many indigenous religion, indigenous and folk religions, such as traditional African religions, Native American religions and prehistoric religions, as well as Hinduism.


Modern views

In the modern era, the definition of the term 'religion' is becoming increasingly opaque, making the task of defining 'organised religion' difficult. Anthropologist, Anthropologists, Theology, theologians and scholars have thus attempt to embed the idea of an 'organisation' into the definition of religion itself. Some examples of this are found in the definition provided by Clifford Geertz, who defines religion as a "Cultural system." Furthermore, Max Weber's prominent definition of a religion includes the idea of a 'Classifications_of_religious_movements#Church_and_ecclesia, Church', not necessarily in the Christianity, Christian formulation, but insisting on the notion of an organised hierarchy constituting a palpable religious body. Therefore, it becomes apparent that 'organised religion' has also been considered as part of the definition of religion itself, which in the modern era has caused a degree of controversy with the prominence of aforementioned personalized faith systems.


References

Sociology of religion {{religion-stub