In commenting on Ethics, Religion and the Secular, Ian Packer notes:
“It is important to recognise from the outset that there is no single, clear identifiable thing called ‘religion’. The various communities around our world with distinctive convictions, worldviews, practices, rituals, pieties and spiritualities are not all variations of one underlying common genus. When we use the word ‘religion’, we are using a term somewhat like the word ‘game’: and as Wittgenstein suggested, it is difficult to come up with a definition that can incorporate everything from chess, professional tennis, ‘catch’, hide and seek, solitaire and so on. So too, to organise Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other ‘religions’ under a rigid definitional scheme is highly problematic. And yet this mistake is commonplace.”
So if someone said to you, “All games are the same,” or “All games lead to the same goal,” would you warmly celebrate the statement as profound and insightful? Or yawn? Can you think of a definition of religion that encompasses both western and eastern religions?