Religious belief is a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. Such a state may relate to the existence, characteristics, and worship of a deity or deities; divine intervention in the universe and human life; or values and practices centered on the teachings of a spiritual leader. In contrast to other belief systems, religious beliefs are usually codified.
Belief and Superstition: a Matter of Perspective
Religious adherents often distinguish their own religious beliefs from superstition. Both superstition and many traditional religions are non-materialistic, do not see the world as being subject to laws of cause and effect, and presume that there are immaterial forces influencing our lives. Both religion and superstition seek meaning in otherwise random and chaotic events. However, the term "superstition" refers to what the speaker sees as excessive or false religious behavior as opposed to belief or behavior within a proper or accepted religious standard.
Categories of Belief
People with pluralist beliefs make no distinction between faith systems, viewing each one as valid within a particular culture. People with syncretistic views blend the views of a variety of different religions or traditional beliefs into a unique fusion which suits their particular experience and context. Adherents of particular religions deal with the differing doctrines and practices espoused by other religions in a variety ways.
People with exclusivist beliefs typically explain other religions as either in error, or as corruptions or counterfeits of the true faith. Throughout history, various groups of people have considered themselves as chosen by a deity for a purpose, such as to act as the deity's agent on earth. In monotheistic faiths, like Abrahamic religions, references to God are often used in constructs such as "God's Chosen People.” By contrast, people with inclusivist beliefs recognize some truth in all faith systems, highlighting agreements and minimizing differences, but often see their own faith as in some way ultimate.