‘Religion today is more about believing than belonging.’

33 mark question with examiners pointers on how to achieve the high grades

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`Religion today is more about believing than belonging.'
To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view of the
relationship between religious beliefs, religious organisations and social groups in
society today? (33 mark)
Candidates may consider the changing nature of religious belief and affiliation, the difficulties
of measuring these and the changing nature of society today.
Issues and concepts that may be considered will include statistical evidence, religiosity,
individuation and privatised religion, religious pluralism, structural and social differentiation,
disenchantment, the different roles played by religion in the lives of and meeting the needs
of different groups, the growth of NRMs.
The theoretical backdrop to answers may consider a range of perspectives on the role of
religion, including functionalist, Marxist, feminist and postmodernist.
In considering these issues the following sources or other suitable alternative ones may be
used: Smith, Barker, Herberg, Ash & Goodchild, Beyer, Huntingdon, Armstrong, Shils &
Young, Bruce, Davie, Modood, Hennels, Bauman, Giddens, Heelas.


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