Sociological perspective on religion essay

More specifically, sociological perspective is the point of view that examines how institutions such as the government or mass media, cultural norms and beliefs, and social hierarchies such as race or ethnicity influence the lives of individuals Mills While some people think of religion as something individual because religious beliefs can be highly personal, religion is also a social institution.

sociological theories of religion pdf

As an institution, religion persists over time and has an organizational structure into which members are socialized.

If we wish to define religion as social, [] then we need merely qualify this by saying that when a group is actuated by this emotional apprehension of the supernatural, there we have religion.

Sociology of religion topics

For example, after the September 11, , terrorist attacks in the United States, it became important in North America for teachers, church leaders, and the media to educate citizens about Islam to prevent stereotyping and to promote religious tolerance. But what would happen if religion were to decline? To interactionists, beliefs and experiences are not sacred unless individuals in a society regard them as sacred. Fasching, Darrel, and Dell deChant. Goldenweiser A. Sacred rituals and ceremonies are especially important for marking occasions such as births, marriages, times of crisis, and deaths. Chapter It follows, too, that this concept varies with the culture of the group and of the individual. On the other hand, Berger also notes that secularization may be indeed have taken hold in Europe, while the United States and other regions have continued to remain religious despite the increased modernity. Why should there be in every age and clime the religious consciousness at all? The interaction between religious leaders and practitioners, the role of religion in the banal components of everyday life, and the ways people express religious values in social interactions—all might be topics of study to an interactionist.

Such a perspective does not easily lend itself to making and spending money. There is nothing mystic in the way Frazer anticipated the findings of later field workers. We suddenly stand an historical development on its head and wonder how such a substantial base could ever have been built and balanced on such a slender apex!

Wilson [14] insists that non-scientific systems — and religious ones in particular — have experienced an irreversible decline in influence. One widely accepted categorization that helps people understand different belief systems considers what or who people worship if anything.

Critical Sociology Critical theorists view religion as an institution that helps maintain patterns of social inequality.

Sociology of religion notes pdf

Durkheim predicted that religion's influence would decrease as society modernizes. This is because, for Gellner, such alternatives to science are profoundly insignificant since they are technically impotent, as opposed to science. Unlike the Eastern religions' passive approach, salvation religions like Christianity are active, demanding continuous struggles against sin and the negative aspects of society. Religion performs the key function of providing social solidarity in a society. Marx considered religion inseparable from the economy and the worker. Paris, RCT is widely used in economics and to a lesser extent in criminal justice, but the application of RCT in explaining the religious beliefs and behaviors of people and societies is still being debated in sociology today. Marx, Karl. He also acknowledges that other forms of belief and meaning, such as those provided by art, music, literature, popular culture a specifically modern phenomenon , drug taking, political protest, and so on are important for many people. Possibly more important than any of the foregoing, however, is the spirit of the attempt, the motive principle of the method [] of interpretation rather than its formal aspect. Hence, the supernatural as above defined is relative to the experience and intellectual achievement of the group or individual in question.

The sitter in the seat of the scornful who made this comparison might well have reflected that it would be as silly for sign-posts to act like travelers as for travelers to act like sign-posts.

Much social conflict and even wars have resulted from religious disputes.

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Sociological Theories of Religion