IX. Abstract Definitions

If religions are to be accorded parity by the state, it becomes necessary to adopt abstract definitive terms to encompass the diversity of religious phenomena. Such a use of abstract language, which may be regarded as “clinical” in the sense of not being contaminated by the particular traditions and preconceptions of any one religion, will necessarily fail to capture all the intrinsic qualities of any specific faith. It will exhaust neither the cognitive nor the emotional aspects of belief, ritual, symbolism and institutions. This social scientific approach makes possible objective comparison, analysis, and explanation, but it does not, and does not pretend to, convey the whole substance of the inner meaning or emotional appeal that a religion has for its own adherents.

X. The Constituent Elements of Modern Definitions