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RELIGION AND SOCIAL CHANGE SUMMARY

Religion can be seen as a conservative force in two difference senses.
1. Preventing social change.
2. Preserving traditional values & beliefs.

Characteristics usually go together. E.g. leaders of Roman Catholic Church supported traditional sexual principle that
opposes sex outside marriage and abortion. By supporting…

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Evaluation of Weber

Work often described as a `debate with Marx's ghost' because marx: economic & material factors drive
change. Weber: material factors alone are not enough.
Karl Kautsky (1927) ­ Weber overestimates role of Calvinism & underestimates economic factors in
bringing capitalism. Argues that Calvinism followed capitalism. Religion reflects,…

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Contemporary examples: Religion and Social Protest




However, the following examples show how religion can influence reactionary, backwards-looking social
change.

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Marxism: Religion can be a duel character ­ a force for change and as well as stability. Recognises that religion
can have relative autonomy (partly independent of the economic base of society) ­ duel character as result.
Marx does not see religion in entirely negative terms - he describes it…

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· However hegemony is never guaranteed. ­ Refer to liberation theology & Engles.
· Billings (1990) ­ takes Gramsci's ideas in study comparing a class struggle in two communities during 20s-30s.
The three ways in which religion either supported or challenged employers' hegemony were; leadership,
organisation and support. Religion was…

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