Religion as social change

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Religion is a force of social change
Max Weber (Action Theorist)
· Argues that a Calvinist belief which is a form of Protestantism (founded by John
Calvin) helped bring social change to Capitalist system in Northern European.
· Weber points out that the past capitalist system was linked to greed of wealth
which they spent on luxury consumption.
· This contrast with modern capitalism which is unique and based on Rational pursuit
of profit rather than luxury consumption, which Weber calls ` Spirit of Capitalism'
· Calvinism has several distinctive beliefs :
· However the beliefs created a psychological problem for Calvinist, so to solve these
problems, they developed a set of values which promoted and encouraged hard
work, thrift and assimilation of wealth this lead to the development of `Protestant
Religion is a force of social change part 2
Otto Manduro = A Neo Marxist (subset of Marxism) holds the view that religion can
be a revolutionary force that can spark social change , to support this view he looks at
Latin America in the 1970's , LA was predominantly Catholic, however this was
becoming under threat by emerging military coup. Priest and bishops argued it was there
`gods given gift' to liberate the oppressed and with the teaching of Christ and Marxism
they formed the `Liberation Theology'.
Steve Bruce= Like Weber, Bruce looks at the relationship between religion and social
change. Using case studies he looks at how religion can becoming involved with a
secular issue, with this he looks into the Civil Right movement (CRM) in America during
the 1950& 60s
· The Black churches was the backbone towards providing structure during the
movement as this was the place that African American didn't have to face
discrimination and held a meeting place.
· Bruce sees religion in terms of the CRM as an Ideological resource= which refers to
beliefs and practice rooted from there Christian beliefs that world motivate

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Religion as a Conservative Force
· Functionalist see religion as a CF as its apart of the social institution within society to
`keep it alive'.
· Religions function is to serve the purpose of social stability and prevent society
disintegrating in events which could disrupt the life of society i.e. Funerals.
· Religious rituals sets a common ground between individuals realising ``Collective
security `= shared values, norms and beliefs.…read more


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