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Faith and Health

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CHAPTER I Introduction: Religion is rightly claimed to be an essential part of the public and private life of the individuals belonging to various cultures and civilizations since the known history of the globe (Lowe 533). It is partly because of man’s developing strong belief in the metaphysical objects and supernatural powers existing in the universe, with which man has developed an unflinching emotional and sentimental association since ever (Ember & Ember 393). These conceptualized paranormal powers are considered to be strongly influencing the destiny and activities of the people by dint of their control over the universal phenomena in general.

Not only this that these powers are considered to be in a position of providing the humans with emotional and financial support in multiple ways, but also they are regarded to be the forces that play decisive role in protecting them from all internal setbacks, external threats and natural calamities as well (Kroeber 82-3). In addition, these forces are thought to be having the power to inflict woes, worries and pains upon the humans on the one side, as well as liberating them from the clutches of these calamities on the other.

The humans seek the support of supernatural forces at the moment of finding themselves entirely powerless in respect of settling their problems and getting rid of their woes and sufferings altogether out of their own (Ember & Ember 395). In other terms, supernatural forces were (and still are) considered to be maintaining absolute control over the fate and fortune of humans in all respects, where the humans as well as all other living organisms co-existing with them in the same environment, are entirely reliant upon the supernatural forces in all matters and activities at large.

As a result, primitive man had actually established his belief in these powers in order to escape pains and sufferings of different kinds, and for obtaining all comforts and joys life offered to him, along with attaining pelf, power and possession that could earn dominant place for him in comparison to the ones possessed by the fellow-humans. It simply conveys that lust for dominating over the fellow-humans as well as the rest of the creatures, and desire to lead a lavish, comfortable and tranquil life lead the ancient era humans to developing belief the supernatural forces and worshipping them according to the methods and manners decided and determined by their religious and spiritual leaders (Durkheim 22).

Hence, a religion is, according to Durkheim, a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, including set apart and forbidden beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them (Breaux 1).

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