Religion as a force for social change - Contemporary Examples

More recent examples of how religion can cause social change

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Liberation Theology

Otto Maduro

  • Liberation theology encouraged people to actively change society in Central America 
  • It states that the poor should organise and overthrow the regimes that exploit them 

This is an example of counter-hegemony (Gramsci) as it shows that the ruling class can be challenged by presenting the oppressed with a vision of an alternative. 

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Afghanistan and the Taliban

Religion can also influence backwards looking social change..

The Taliban set up a regime during the 1990's based on a harsh interpretation of the Koran. e.g.

  • Women had to dress head to foot to hide identity
  • Men forced to grow beards
  • Children not allowed to fly kites
  • Music banned
  • Harsh punishment (amputation, beating, execution) 
  • Girls not allowed education over the age of 8
  • Women not allowed employment (even widows) 
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