Religion as a conservative force

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  • Religion as a conservative force
    • Religion can be seen as a conservative force in 2 different senses.
      • Conservative in the sense of traditional eg) defending traditional customs, institutions or moral views.
      • Conservative because it functions to conserve or preserve things as they are maintaining the status quo.
    • Most religions have traditional conservative beliefs about moral issues and oppose change that allow individuals more freedom.
      • The Catholic church forbids divorce, abortion and artificial contraception.
      • Most religions uphold 'family values' supporting a traditional patriarchal domestic division of labour.
        • Hinduism endorses the practice of arranged marriage.
    • Religion is also conservative in the second sense of the world - functioning to conserve or preserve things as they are.
      • Functionalists see religion as a conservative force because it functions to maintain social stability and prevent society from disintegrating.
      • Marxist see religion as a conservative ideology that prevents social change by disguising exploitation and inequality.
      • Feminist see religion as a conservative force because it acts as an ideology that legitimates patriarchal power.

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