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Definitions

Weber:
Weber defines religion in terms of the religious belief in supernatural power or superior power
that is above nature and cannot be explained scientifically. Substantive definitions are exclusive-
so there is a clear line between religious beliefs and non-religious beliefs. Some sociologists argue
that this definition is Western…

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death and it helps with uncertain and uncontrollable events. Neglects the negative aspects of
religion such as oppression of women and poor.

Parsons:
Parsons argues that religion sacralises norms and values, meaning individuals accept society's
goals as their own. Religion also is the primary source of meaning for people in…

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El Saadawi:
El Saadawi argues religion is not the direct cause of women subordination rather that it's
the way men have reinterpreted and favoured certain bits of the sacred texts which have
lead to patriarchy. El Saadawi ignores the fact that stories in religious sacred texts often
reflect anti-female stereotypes.…

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Marxism, religion and change
Engels:
Engels argues that religion is a dual character. It can inhibit social change by disguising
inequality for example its an opium which dull the pain of oppression so working class do
not feel the pain of their suffering but it can also challenge the status…

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Explanations of secularisation

Weber:
Weber argues that people now have rational ways of thinking and acting these have
replaces the religious ones. This is known as rationalisation. Rationalisation has led to the
disenchantment of religion where the magic and mystery of the world had been unveiled
and the natural order…

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argues that religious diversity can cause individuals to question or abandon their religious
beliefs but this is not inevitable.

Bruce:
Bruce criticises secularisation theory and found two counter trends that go against the
secularisation theory. Cultural defence is where religion provides a focal point for the
defence of nation, ethnic…

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people with images and messages from around the globe, giving everyone instant access to
ideas and beliefs of previously remote religions. Religion becomes de-institutionalised
where its sings and images become detached from their religious institution, floating and
multiplying on TV and in cyber-space, its become a cultural resource that individuals…

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Nanda:
Globalisation has led to the rapid economic development in India, it has created a wealthy
new middle class who are educated and working in industries such a IT and biotechnology.
These groups according to secularisation theory are generally the least religious due to
rationalisation. But Nanda has found that…

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Huntington:
Huntington identifies seven civilisations these include Western, Latin and Islamic
civilisations. These civilisations have religious differences that have created a new set of
hostile us and them relationships. This has led to global conflicts such as the terrorist attacks
in 9/11 in U.S. However Casonova argues that's Huntington ignores…

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Weber argues that those people that are marginalised in society are more likely to join sects. The
marginalisation comes in different forms such as income marginalisation or working class
marginalisation etc. Sects offer its members theodicy of disprivilege where the sect provides
religious explanations for their situations and their suffering…

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