Marxism and Religion

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  • Marxism
    • Assumptions.
      • Religion from the alienation of the lower classes to ease their suffering.
      • It is the opiate of the masses. It eases pain and keeps the working class Falsely class conscious
      • Suffering, deprivation and poverty are viewed as justice.
      • Religion is used to reproduce, legitimize and maintain class inequality.
      • It is an instrument of oppression. Acts as a mechanism of social control.
      • It cushions the effects of oppression.
    • Supports Marxist view.
      • Halevy
        • The methodist church stopped a w/c revolution and instead there was a spiritual revolution.
      • Leach
        • 80% of bishops U/C and oxbridge educated.
    • Criticisms.
      • Weber.
        • Criticised Marx on the grounds of economic determinism. He believes Rel can influence the powerful.
      • Feminists criticise Marx for ignoring Gender inequalities in Rel.
      • Fails to take into account Religion as a force for social change.
    • Compared to Functionalists.
      • Similarities
        • Both see it as a conservative force.
        • Both exaggerate the importance of Religion.
      • Differences.
        • Marx is a conflict theorist. Func is consensus
        • Marx - how R control Society. Func - How its functional for society.


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