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Radical force- Weber
Religion is a force for social change by the early religious Calvinist ideas
eventually leading to the capitalist society we live in today.
Weber: `the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism' study
researches into this area. Calvinist beliefs involve an ascetic lifestyle
where there is little indulgence in luxuries and working hard in order to
produce high rewards, for example in business and work, that will be
reinvested.
These ideas have progressed in modern society where people are
increasingly concerned with rewards and profitable businesses that the
introduction of exploitation occurred and certain groups in society
became disadvantaged.
Criticism:
may be that capitalism led to Calvinism, thus undermining the fact that
religion caused any social change.
Capitalism didn't exist in every country where there was Calvinist
beliefs, for example Scotland…read more

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Radical force ­ Black civil rights
Religion is seen as a radical force in terms of the black civil rights
movements. Bruce believes the movements were religiously
inspired protest movements that motivated social change.
This is where Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat and as
a consequence of number of protests/boycotts/ demonstrations
took place in order to eradicate racial segregation. With the
further influence of Martin Luther King there was huge change in
societies views and the treatment of black people.
Religion had a key roe in this social change as churches
provided places of sanctuary and a source of unity against
oppression. It also supported protests via the use of religious
moral beliefs `love thy neighbour' and black churches actively
campaigned support across the USA successfully, thus
contributing to social change.…read more

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Liberation Theory
Neo-Marxist views of Gramsci and Maduro where
they use the concept of the liberation theory to
explain Marx was incorrect in his view that religion
is a conservative force on inequality. Religion can
and should be a force for social change
This is where churches actively helping the
oppressed individuals to resist exploitation and
gain a better standard of living. Modern day
examples of this action can be seen in church
fetes and fundraisers. A key example is within
Latin America where well known catholic priests
broke away from the church to actively help the
poor.…read more

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Post modernists
Postmodernists argue that in today's society
religion has undergone relativity and thus
caused social change in terms of individual
beliefs. There is now the presence of
numerous religions and the introduction of a
religious `market'. Individuals now chose `pick
and mix' which beliefs they follow according
to their individual needs.…read more

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Conservative force - functionalists
Functionalists believe that religion is a conservative force and benefits
society. Religion is a key institution that promotes a value consensus
and social integration.
It functions to maintain social stability and prevent society from
disintegrating. Through the collective worship of religion there is the
production of a collective conscience and social solidarity, thus reducing
the likelihood of society collapsing due to individuals pursuing their own
selfish interests at the expense of others.
In addition religion holds psychological functions to help deal with
stresses and anxieties and answer `ultimate questions' that may have
otherwise disrupted the life of society.
Evaluation: an example of this can be seen in the high participation in
the Methodist movement during the 18th century. In this era the
industrial revolution was taking place and society was undergoing major
social change, durkheim states this brought about anomie,
normlessness and so people turned to religion for certainty and stability
in this uncertain time.…read more

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