Religion is commonly viewed through the lens of the world's religious traditions, stressing the differences, and often the conflicts, among them. The author of this book instead presents religion as a common and universal human phenomenon, based deeply in a human nature shared by all. In this view, the underlining and unifying principle of religion is a particular affirmative attitude toward life, which he presents as the Ultimate Value, and as such the key cultural constituent and defining factor of all religion. This Ultimate Value finds its expressions in various civilizations, and results in a variety of forms; these are what we know as the world's religious traditions. By analyzing the roles of both culture and civilization in their attitudes toward life, the author places religion beyond religious traditions, and shows how the latter, regardless of whether they are theistic or atheistic, draw their principles from the former, mainly by promoting the Golden Rule in its applications.