Some scholars have not defined religion as a singular concept but by the characteristics of ultimate meaning produced by human intentionality.  Religion is not just a belief in god, but rather a belief in a supreme good (atheists and Buddhists are therefore religious).  Religion tends to define what is sacred ( or rational ) and what is profane ( or irrational ), and then promotes moral directives, policies, and rituals which reinforce the sacred ideal.

Whatever the academic wrangling, the promotion of the human life into a “divine” realm is a world wide phenomenon.  Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all other religious forms, past and present, attest to the multi-faceted and ubiquitous need for the human psyche to transcend the mundane.

The human being is and always will be a religious being.  The study of religion is not just the study of self or the study of culture, but ultimately the study of being.