WHAT HAS RELIGION DONE FOR MANKIND?
investigating the question, What has religion done for mankind? We must be honest with ourselves and courageously face the facts . The truth may hurt but will be beneficial. The grand climax of testing is certain to come shortly, and only the truth will endure . s This word "religion" has a broad meaning . There is much that is called by this name, and we want to know whether the truth, the pure, absolute truth, is associated with religion . So it becomes necessary for us at the start to set out the meaning of the term as here used, in order to understand what we are talking about and to come to right conclusions . In various languages this word has some equivalent . The word the Hebrews used for it literally meant "service" . The Germans have long called it "Gottesdienst", which means "service of God" . The Russian Communists, following the German Socialist Karl Marx, call it "the opium of the people" . But the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians, whose languages are drawn largely from the Latin of the Roman empire, use the term "religion" . In Latin it is religio . This word, says the great Roman orator and author Cicero, is made up of two words re and legere, which, together, mean "to read over again", to reflect upon or to study the sacred books in which religion is delivered .* So he called it the "pious worship of God" . But according to a later Latin author Lactantius it * De Divinatione, Book 4, by Cicero. 3 . From what comes the word "religion", and how has it been defined?