Related apparently to ‘Religare’ to ‘tie back or recapture’ in Latin, man’s efforts to recapture the gods that seem to have deserted him are the subject of religion. Plato would place religion prior to the ethics of politics, believing that without a sense of the sacred there can be no basis for people to live together. Aristotle places this in the realm of formation that must come before cultivation of the virtues.
Some place religion in the realm of the sense of transcendence.
Society is impossible without inequality, inequality intolerable without a code of morality, and a code of morality unacceptable without religion — Napoleon Bonaparte
The modes of worship in Rome were considered equally true by the people, equally false by the philosopher, and equally useful by the magistrate — Edward Gibbon