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Definitions of Religion:
1) Substantive: Focus of the content or substance of religious belief as a belief in God or the
supernatural. Weber defines religion as a belief in a superior or supernatural power that is above nature
and cannot be explained scientifically.
2) Functional: Social or psychological functions that…

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Religion also provides core values and norms, which it sacralises and legitimises. Parsons argues
that values derived from and sacralised by, Protestantism in USA, such as democracy,
selfdiscipline and upward mobility. Religion also sacralises and supports the norms like universal
access to legal rights and life changes and the formal…

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spiritual alternatives.
Criticisms: Ignores aspects of religion (like meanings of suffering, life and death) to oversimplify a
complex phenomenon. Ideological manipulation can only explain why it takes certain emphasis
and interpretations. It isn't a comprehensive analysis of religion.

Tend to agree with Marxists that religion is a force preventing…

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its members. He was aware that churches were supporting ruling class interests but didn't believe it
was inevitable. He saw religious beliefs/practices could develop that would guide challenges to
the ruling class as the church is not being directly under their control. The working class could
challenge the dominant class…

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Pattern of religious militancy by which selfstyled true believers attempt to arrest the erosion of
religious identity and create viable alternatives to secular institutions and behaviour.
Fundamentalists often return to the beliefs of an original text which their religion is based on,
claiming that other followers have strayed away…

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Liberation Description of religion being used as a The movement since then lost influence
Theology revolutionary force. Catholic priests' since 1980's. Casanova: liberation theology
stood up against ruling class to help played an important role in resting terror
the poor in countries and bringing about democracy in Latin
Growth of…

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Secularisation: Process of becoming less religious. Secularisation thesis: claim that social change
(industrialisation/scientific knowledge) would lead to the weakening/disappearance of religion.
Comte 3 stages of human history, each characterised by intellectual beliefs: 1) Theological religious
beliefs were dominant in society 2) Metaphysical emphasis on the importance of philosophy 3)…

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But religious enthusiasm is a blip in the overall events.
trend to secularisation. Secularisation theorists tend to focus on
Changes in Society: In the last decade we are mainstream religion (churches and
able to buy things like alcohol on Sunday was denominations). They ignore newer religions
inconceivable in the 19th…

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different patterns of religion.
Criticisms: Voas and Crockett: surveys from 19832000 show both church attendance/belief in God are
declining, it should have shown high levels of belief. Bruce: if people don't invest time in church
then this reflects their declining strength in beliefs.
Spiritual Shopping: HervieuLegar> cultural amnesia (loss of…

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as statistics show diversity has been accompanied by religious decline in Europe and America.
Norris and Inglehart found high levels of participation in catholic countries but low in countries of
religious pluralism. Beckford sees this theory as unsociological as it assumes people are
`naturally' religious and fails to explain the…




really helpful resource, easy to read and simple but effective layout. would recommend to anyone studying sociology!



Very usesful notes, thanks alot!




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