WHAT IS RELIGION

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  • What is Religion?
    • Substantive definitions.
      • Focus on the content or substance of religious belief, such as a belief in god or the supernatural.
      • Max Weber(1905)- defines religion as a belief in the superior or supernatural powers above that cannot be explained scientifically.
      • To be a religion, a set of beliefs must include the belief in god or supernatural.
      • Conform to widespread view of religion.
      • However, defining religion in this way leaves no room for beliefs or practices that do not involve a belief in god.
      • Accused of western bias as they exclude religions such as buddhism who do not include the western idea of god.
    • Functional Definitions.
      • Functional definitions are inclusive and therefore allow us to include a whole range of beliefs and practices that religion perform functions such as integration.
      • Milton Yinger(1970)- identifies functions that religion performs for individuals. such as answering 'ultimate questions' about life.
      • Emile Durkheim (1915)- defines religion in terms of the contribution it makes to social integration.
      • Functional definitions define it in terms of the social or psychological functions it performs for society or individuals.
      • Rather than defining religion in terms of specific kinds of belief belief.
      • They do not specify belief in god or supernatural so do not express western bias
      • It can be described as negative as just because an institution helps with social integration.
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  • Functional Definitions.
    • Functional definitions are inclusive and therefore allow us to include a whole range of beliefs and practices that religion perform functions such as integration.
    • Milton Yinger(1970)- identifies functions that religion performs for individuals. such as answering 'ultimate questions' about life.
    • Emile Durkheim (1915)- defines religion in terms of the contribution it makes to social integration.
    • Functional definitions define it in terms of the social or psychological functions it performs for society or individuals.
    • Rather than defining religion in terms of specific kinds of belief belief.
    • They do not specify belief in god or supernatural so do not express western bias
    • It can be described as negative as just because an institution helps with social integration.

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