Religion and beliefs

A basic understanding of functionalism and consrvative forces

Topic 1

19th century- Golden age of religion

'Weber' sunstansive religion- belief in the supernatural or God

Social constructionists- believe that there cannot be one universal definition of religion because there is such a diversity of beliefs, religions means different things

'Durkheim'- religion is the origin of human thought,reason and science

Functionalism- ignores dysfunctional aspects of religion

Maliowski- Life crises- religion performs psychological functions- emotional stress- marriage, divorce and birth etc

Parsons- sense of identity- reinforcing position in society- group solidarity

Explains suffering as a test of faith which will be rewarded in heaven

'Bellah'- collective worship- reinforcing shared values- Americans pledge allegiance to the USA flag

Nazi germany has political ideas on how they would sought to unite society

'Marx- religion is a product of alienation under capitalism- false consciousness

functionalists see society: unifying force, marxists see it as a class divided society

Religion is ideological weapon used by ruling class to legitimate suffering of poor 

Hindu caste system- Karma- if you do well in this world you will be reincarnated in heaven

Religion consoles people with the promise of life after death so they put up with suffering on earth

Religion is a conservative force- prevents revolution- keep lower class in position

Feminists- see religion as patrichal- male dominated

women have fewer rights than men- no sccess to divorce etc

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Topic 2

Religion is a consevative force- sense of being traditional

Oppose change- catholic church- forbids abortion and divorve

Hinduism endorses domestic authority over women

'weber' calvanist belief system- Pre destination: Self discipline-

Gods decision is made and cannot be altered- out life is pre destined

divine transcendance- god was so far and beyond this world- no human could know his will

Asceticism- refers to self discipline: monks refrain from materialism

Idea of a vocation- calling from God- we put on earth to glorify the work of God

'Weber'- Hinduism: aesthetic religion- favouring renunciation from materialism

Orientation directed its followers away from amterial world and towards siritual, modern capitalism emerged

Best way to serve God is to work hard

'Bruce'- civil rights movement to end racial segrgation- mass racist violence against blacks

Black people were denied civil rights in many southern states

MLK- performed rituals in prayer as a sense of unity of oppression and support

Civil rights movement- helped bring about change- principle of equality

New christian right- conservative group- believe in tradtion- truth of scripture

makes abortion and divorce illegal

liberation theology- emerged with catholic church; strong commitment to the poor

Human rights abuses follwing false imprisonment

Millenarian movements; desire for hope for a better world in after life

christ would come again for the second time

Appeal largley to the poor because they promise improvement- life free from sin

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