Beliefs in Society Keywords

All the words you need to know for the 'Beliefs in Society' exam!

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  • Created by: Abigail
  • Created on: 30-04-12 06:40
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Animism: belief in ghosts or spirits
Enlightenment: period associated with the 18th century when reason became to be seen as a guiding
Functional definitions: attempting to explain the function of religion in society
Ideology: set of ideas that legitimate the power of a particular group
Profane: ordinary, unreligious aspects of life
Sacred: regarded with awe and reverence
Substantive definitions: attempting to explain what religion actually is
Totems: objects such as animals or plant that are believed to have supernatural powers
Anomie: a state of confusion and normlessness
Civil religion: events or activities that involve ritualistic patterns and generate collective sentiments
usually associated with established religions
Collective conscience: beliefs and values shared by members of society that are essential for social
Communism: political philosophy originated by Marx that advocates common ownership and
Consensus: shared agreement on norms and values
Conservative: supporting things staying as they are
Ideological apparatus: agencies that transmit RCI to persuade subordinate groups that inequality is
natural and normal
Totemism: a primitive religion involving the worship or certain objects seen to have a widespread
influence over tribal life
Ascetic: self-denying
Calvinists: 17th century Protestant sect based on the thinking of John Calvin
Charismatic leader: leader with power and magnetic personality
Fundamentalist religion: belief systems that argue the need to return to traditional values and
Hegemony: dominance of the RC, manipulates beliefs causing WC to believe that it is societal norm
Liberation theology: a fusion of Christianity and Marxism that has been influential in Central and
South America
Predestination: belief that an individuals' destiny is fixed before their birth
Relative autonomy: degree of freedom that state institutions have from the direct control of the R/C
Religiosity: importance of religion in a person's life
Status quo: current state of affairs
Theodicy: religious ideas that explain fundamental questions about the nature of existence
Bureaucratic: centralised form of organisation run by official representatives

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Globalisation: process whereby social and economic activity spans many nations with little regard
for national boarders
Meta-narratives: `grand' explanations provided by religion, politics and science
Monopoly of truth: view that only the viewpoint of the holder can be accepted as true
Religious pluralism: where a verity of religions co-exists, all of which are considered to have equal
Spiritual shoppers: postmodern idea that people consume religion in much the same way as any
other product
Holistic milieu: range of activities involving the mind, body and…read more

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Religious compensators: aspects of religion that provide temporary answers to fundamental
queries about the nature of existence and satisfy universal needs
Religious pluralism: where a variety of religious beliefs co-exists, all are considered to have equal
Secularisation: process in society where religious beliefs and practices lose their social significance
Secularisation thesis: belief in the declining influence of religion in society
Vicarious religion: religious practices of a socially approved of minority who symbolically represent
the religious adherence of the majority…read more


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