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RELIGION ­ Defining it, and characteristics.
Functional and inclusivist- Durkheim: Religion is a "unified set of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things,
things which are set apart and forbidden". Contrasted with the profane: the everyday, mundane world.
- Broad definition which covers a wide range of beliefs
-Does not…

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PLURALIST -Sees the exercise of power in society as reflecting a broad
range of social interest.
-No-one has a single monopoly of power, a wide range of interest
groups and individuals that live alongside each other compete for it.
-There is no single dominant ideology that reflects the interests…

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-Science and religion are often seen as competing ways of explaining the world
-Science aspires to objectivity and value-freedom based on research methods producing explanations based on
empirical evidence.
-Science may in some respects be an ideology as it is subjective to social pressures and prejudices

Popper- Scientific method involves:…

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-Funding, and location may influence what and how research is carried out
- Science has not displaced religion as of yet, many millions identify themselves with the major religions of the world,
and show loyalty in extremes such as People's Temple, where 913 committed suicide, and terrorist attacks in the…

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social change in order to return to traditional values and ways of life that are at risk of disappearing.

Force for change- Concerned with how religious beliefs and organisations can change society and move it forward.

-There is a danger of overstating the importance of religion in either context, as…

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- Religion is part of the way of life of society, and it helps to maintain cultural traditions and establish the basic rules of
social life.

Durkheim- social order and stability can only exist if people are integrated into society by a value consensus. Religion
is an important element in…

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- According to Marx, religion is "the sign of the oppressed creature, the
heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions"
-Religion is part of the dominant ideology
-Althusser: religion is an ideological state apparatus, which spreads
Gramsci's view of hegemony
-Religion has two…

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control, purpose and meaning in their lives.
-Religion promises an eventual escape from suffering and oppression in this life with promises of an ecstatic future in
life after death, making a virtue of poverty and suffering. ­ If people believe that what happens to them is God's will,
and a…

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meaningless and pointlessness of life by helping them to interpret and make sense of the world and their position in

-By providing things that help make sense of the world such as Universes of meaning and theodicies, religion is
contributing to the maintenance of social stability.

-Berger argues that…

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-To understand human behaviour it is necessary to examine the
meanings people give to events and ideas, which can have important
consequences for the way they think and act ­ religion is an important
component of this.
-The evolution of new religious idea can stimulate social…




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