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Theories of science, religion
and ideology
Key questions Key information
Theories of Religion:
What is the role and Functionalism - Durkheim, Malinowski, Parsons and
purpose of religion? Marxism & Neo- Marxism ­ Gramsci & Maduro
What are other Characteristics of science, Ideology and religion
Karl popper ­ Falsification theory
beliefs systems - Thomas Kuhn ­ Scientific revolutions
Science and ideology.…read more

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Substantive Functional Emile Durkheim
Sacred and profane
definition definition (1912)
Durkheim found tribes treated most
To be a religion To be a religion it Did a study of
things as ordinary (profane) but some
it must have a must have a social the Arunta
things were set apart as forbidden and
belief in god or or psychological aboriginal
inspire awe (Sacred). Durkheim argued
the function for its tribes in
these special things represent something
supernatural, believers or Australia.…read more

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Marxism Exploitation · From the product:
We put out blood sweat
A Structuralist theory Religion is a tool used by the
and tears into things
which says religion is Bourgeoisie to convince them to then they are taken
bad because it is used accept low paid jobs. away from us.
by the Bourgeoisie to · From our species: The
exploit the proletariat division of labour
and create false class Workers are alienated from the divides workers from
consciousness. products they produce, other managers.…read more

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Neo-Marxism Karl Marx
A Structuralist theory Marx believe religion
inspired by Marxism could never be used by
which updates these the working class to
ideas for the modern change society. It is
day part of the system which
distorts reality
Liberation Theology
Created in the 50's and 60's as Theories of
a religious justification for
the liberation of oppressed religion Neo-Marxist response
people.…read more

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Feminism Patriarchy
Evidence of Patriarchy
A Structuralist theory The dominance
which says religion is of men over Religious Places of
bad because it is a women in all organisations worship
patriarchal institution aspects of
that reflects and society Men hold all position of Women often
continues the inequality power in religious excluded from
organisations. Women places of
between men and often not allowed to be
women. worship in
priests in Judaism and
Catholic church.…read more

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Features of science Features of religion
Subjective (based on
Karl popper (1959)
Objective (free from bias)
feelings and emotions) Popper says science is so great
Based on reason
Based on faith because it is an open belief
Theories are tested by system that can be criticised.
systematic observation Theories are untested but Also science works by
thought to be true falsifying theories.
Looking for patterns to
explain behaviour God's existence explains the
Theories abandoned if Theory of falsification
found to be untrue.…read more

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Two main problems
Thomas Kuhn (1970)
Disagrees with Popper
Scientific knowledge If Scientific and
both about how
never really religious knowledge
valuable scientific
progresses or cannot be compared with
knowledge is and how
develops it just each other how can we
it is gained
changes. say one is better than
the other?
How do we get scientific
1. A paradigm is set with Theories of A set of assumptions
shared assumptions.
Science shared by a community of
2. The paradigm is people
unquestioned.…read more

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How do we get scientific Flat earth theory vs.
knowledge? Round earth theory
1. A paradigm is set with 1. The earth is flat.
shared assumptions. 2. Investigations into the
2. The paradigm is edge of the world.
unquestioned. 3. Explorers travel to the
3. Contradictory evidence edge of the world and
is found. don't fall off.
4. Rival paradigms are 4. Scientists suggest the
formulated. earth must be round.
5. Of the two paradigms 5.…read more

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Definition Marxism
All ideologies have the following
A worldview or set of ideas The problem is
and values about how the ruling class
1. They think society has a world works. Often the term ideology creates
central problem. is associated with distortion false class
and biased ideas but it doesn't consciousness. The
2. There ideas are based
have to be. solution is
around evidence to convince
us. Communism.
3. They offer a solution to the
problem. Theories of
Real world: Russian
4.…read more


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