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Topic 2: Religion and Social change

Religion as a conservative force
Religion is traditional, upholding traditional beliefs about society
Functions to conserve things as they are

Religion's conservative beliefs
Many religions oppose changes that would allow more freedom
Catholic Church: Opposes divorce, abortion and gay marriage. Upholds family values, favouring…

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Topic 2: Religion and Social change

Not ascetic


Marxism: Overestimates the role of ideas and underestimates economic factors
Tawney: Technological changes caused capitalism
Capitalism didn't occur in every country where there was Calvinism

Religion and social protest
The American Civil Rights Movement

Churches provided sanctuary and support

Page 3

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Topic 2: Religion and Social change

Marx: `The soul of the soulless' and `The heart of the heartless world'
Engels: Religion inhibits change by disguising inequality but it can also challenge the status quo

The principle of hope

Religion may inspire protest and revolution
Religion is an expression of…


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