Neo-functionalism and Religion

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  • Neo-functionalism and Religion
    • Bellah
      • Civil religion integrates society in way churches can't
      • Civil religion = widespread loyalty to nation, although not always involve supernatural beliefs, Bellah argues it does
      • Expressed in symbols, rituals and beliefs eg. natural anthem
      • Makes American way of life sacred brings Americans from different backgrounds together
      • Sacred objects include flag
    • Evaluation
      • Gets around plurality of religions in today's society by providing unity based on patriotic notions
      • Not always seen as religion figures e.g. John F Kennedy can't be compared to things such as saints of Catholic Church
    • Conclusion
      • Beckford
        • Occasions bring nations together e.g. Princess Diana
      • However, don't compensate for social divisions and high religious diversity


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