Why do some religions encourage social change?

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  • Factors that determine whether or not religion promotes change. MacGuire (1981) and Thompson (1986)
    • Beliefs
      • Religions that emphasize strong moral codes are more likely to produce members who will be critical of, and challenge, social injustice.
      • Religion with 'other-worldly' beliefs are less likely to promote change than those with 'this worldly' beliefs.
    • Culture
      • Where religion is central to the culture of a society, then anyone wishing to change that society is more likely to use religion to help them bring about change.
    • Social location
      • Where a religious organization plays a major role in political or economic life, there is a wide scope for it to influence social change.
    • Internal and external orgnization
      • Religions with a strong centralized source of authority have more chance of affecting events.


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