What is it: religare (latin) to tie/bind it ; to join/reconnect , can"t tie definition to god, western phenomenon, sacred text bible/ religion needs it. w. c. smith challenges the notion of some essence" of religion. Faith & traditions : can believers recognize themselves in your description, people form countries, different views, believers don"t know their religion as well. Ninian smarts: 7 characteristics of religion: ritual , mythical creation, stories, doctrinal teaching, written down, ethical right/wrong, rules, social highly organized, experiential personal experience, material build and create, monuments, physical sight. Ritual: connection to, participating in, honouring the sacred. [bc (before christ)/ ad (after death)] / [bce (before common era)/ ce (common. Era): first major monotheistic (one god) religion, range of belief/practice from ultra-orthodox to secular jews, ethnic religion, shema (devt. 6:4) ( hear! ) hear, o israel, the lord our god, the lord is one. Judaism is quintessentially a historical religion : the myth (idea) of history begins with judaism!