Religion, Social Change and Conflict

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  • Created on: 28-05-14 11:19
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  • Religion, Social Change and Conflict
    • Example of religion causing social change
      • G.K Nelson argues where religion has promoted change
        • The USA in the 60's Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Counsil supported the civil rights movement and resulted in the legislation to reduce racial discrimination
        • The 9/11 attack on America by Al Qaeda resulted in massive changes to American policy + the invasion of Afghanistan, and changed the regime in these countries
        • In south Africa, Archbishop Tutu was an opponent of the apartheid and helped bring it's end
      • Religion can be seen to cause social change, however, this may lead to said religions becoming a radical force.
        • McGuire says there are factors that decide whether the social change is caused by a radical force or not
          • Religions with strong moral codes may have disaporvals with society and so become more eager for change
          • Societies where religious beliefs are central to the culture (America) will have more opportunity for people to use religion as a way to cause social change
          • Where religious organisations are central to economic and political structure in society means they will have more of a chance to cause change
    • Religion as a force for change is closely linked to whether it causes conflicts
      • Functionalists claim religion prevents conflicts by creating harmony through shared values
      • Marxism and feminism say religion prevents conflicts by reinforcing control of the dominant groups
      • Weber recognises religion is a cause of conflict as well as a way to keep harmony
      • EXAMPLE:: Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Muslim Palestinians and Jewish Israelis in the Middle East etc.
      • Conflicts aren't just based on religious organisations, the Northern Ireland conflict was also political (who cotrolled the north, the UK or Southern Ireland)
    • Findamentalism
      • Self-styled religious believers attempt to stop the erosion of religious identity and create alternatives to secular behaviours
      • Fundamentalism may cause conflicts to other religions who see them as a threat.
      • Fundamentalists want to reverse changes made by secularisation and so tends to be seen as a conservative force for wanting to preserve traditions and values BUT can be seen as radical as the seek social change
      • EXAMPLE:: Al Qaeda are respionsible for the 9?11 attack on America


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