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` BELIEFS IN SOCIETY



TOPIC 1 : THEORIES OF RELIGION

TOPIC 2: RELIGION & SOCIAL CHANGE


TOPIC 3: SECULARISATION

TOPIC 4: RELIGION, RENEWAL & CHOICE

TOPIC 5: RELIGION IN GLOBAL CONTEXT

TOPIC 6: ORGANISATIONS, MOVEMENTS AND MEMBERS

TOPIC 7: IDEOLOGY & SCIENCE

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THEORIES OF RELIGION

What is Religion ­ Definitions


Substantive Definition

- Belief in a God or supernatural
- WEBER ­ Has to believe in something above natural

- Buddhism doesn't believe in a God, But it's a religion?



Functional Definition

- Social or Psychological function to the individual
- DURKHEIM…

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Functionalist View of Religion

Key ideas:
- Society is a system
- Social Order + Solidarity
- Religion keeps social norms + values




Durkheim On Religion

- Maintains Value Consensus + Solidarity

The Sacred & Profane

Durkheim:
- Religions not about a God
- It's about Profane + Sacred

Sacred:…

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The Collective Conscience

Daily Rituals = Collective Conscience
Share set of norms and values

-Regular rituals reinforce collective conscience
-Maintains social integration
-Binds people together
-Single morals communities

- Makes us feel part of something.


Cognitive Functions Of Religion

- Intellectual + Cognitive Capacities
- Ability to think + reason…

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Malinowski: Agrees with Durkheim
Religion promotes solidarity


Religion Performs psychological functions for individuals
Helps them cope with stress


Malinoski: Identifies two types of situations that it helps


Where the outcome is important but unpredictable:

Lagoon Fishing when in safe lagoons they're normal
When having to fish in uncertain dangerous ocean…

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2 Main Functions
- It creates and legitimates values and norms
- It is a primary source of information


- Legitimates societies basics norms and values by making them sacred

- Primary sources of knowledge
- Makes life feel meaningful
- Suffering = Reward in after life
- Answers questions…

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Society divides class
Exploits Labour
Makes working class conscious of inequality




Religion as an Ideology

- Ideology is a belief system that distorts
- Legitimates Inequality

- Religion operates ideological weapons ­ Legitimates suffering

- Religion misleads poor to believe suffering is favoured by god in afterlife

- Creates false…

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- Workers are manipulated
- No freedom
- Under control by capitalists
- Huge division of labour

Religion therefore:
- Opiates the dull experience
- Masks, covers what's happening
- Promises positive afterlife

Marx's see's religion as:
- Product of alienation
- Gets rid of suffering so they continue with…

Page 9

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Religions Organisations
- Male Dominant
- Catholicism

Place Of Worship
- Segregates sexes ­ Seating women at the back
- Women cannot read specific sacred books
- Not allowed in when menstrual or pregnant

Sacred Texts
- Male Gods
- Anti Female stereotypes (EVE)

Religion Laws + Customs
- Many…

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