Perspectives of religion

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  • Perspectives of religion
    • Feminists
      • Marxist
        • De Beauvoir - religion reinforces the needs of capitalism and the housewife role in women. Women cushion the effects of capitalism g for men as religion cushions its effect for women
          • Religion provides for women in a housewife role e.g crèche and mum and baby groups
          • Women are represented as mothers and carers in holy texts
          • The Year of the Madonna
        • Religion provides ways for women to cope with their lives and compensates them spiritually for their suffering
      • Radical
        • El Sadaawi - religion upholds patriarchy and is oppressive due to interpretation by men
          • Men have more power in Quran and do not equal consequences for the same crime
          • Eve seen as a negative evil influence
        • Daly - women suffer at the hands of religion due to feminine evil and thoughts about women’s rights e.g abortion
        • Women are not able to fully engage with religion e.g not being able to be priests; cannot enter temple when menstruating
        • Monotheism led to the death of the goddess and subsequently led to oppression through religion
      • Liberal
        • Religion socialises women and men differently which maintains  gender inequalities
    • Marxists (Marx and Lenin)
      • Religion creates + controls false class consciousness
        • Suffering is made virtuous and is seen as a test from god. Suggests that suffering is good and improves faith
        • Religion justifies hierarchy and normalises inequalities in society
        • Offering hope of supernatural intervention through faith and prayer
        • Promises life after death - suggesting that suffering now will lead to rewards in heaven
      • Religion is a ‘spiritual gin’ / ‘opium of the masses’ due to its mind-altering effect on people, preventing them from seeing the truth and keeping them in their place and not revolting
    • Functionalists
      • Malinowski
        • Religion reinforces social values
        • Provides us with meaning and support in life crises or uncertainty
          • Religious support of rites of passage e.g bar/bat mitzvah
        • Trobriand islanders performed religious rituals which ‘determined the success’ of an event
      • Parsons
        • Religion provides guidelines for behaviour and standards of how behaviours should be judged
        • It maintains value consensus in society
        • It helps people manage in life crises
      • Bellah
        • Civil religion is when sacred qualities are attached to a society or nation
          • Unites all regardless of religion or denomination and sacralises the way of life
            • E.g America has a civil religion as it praises ‘Americanism’
      • Durkheim
        • Stability and cohesion to integrate and unite believers
        • Social identity us given to believers and also unites them
        • Collective conscience  dictates the sense of morality
        • Social control teaches reward and punishment in religion
        • Meaning and purpose are given to the lives of believers
        • Socialisation into norms and values


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