Religious belief system and definitions of religion

  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 08-01-14 17:47

Belief System

Belief system: Intergrated set of ideas, which influences the way that people see the world. Can take several forms: religious, political and scientific.

Religious beleif system: A belief in the existence of a supernatural entity or other foces. May or may not claim the existence of a supreme God/ several gods.

Monotheistic- Belief in single god- Christianit

Polythesitic- Belief in several gods- Hinduism

Spiritual religion without belief in god- Budahism

Cult with supernatural beliefs but no concept of god- Heaven's Gate cult

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3 Definitions of religion

1) Substantive definitions

- Attempts to explain what religion is, concerned with the CONTENT of religion

-Yinger 1961- defined religion as a 'System of beliefs & practices by means of which a group of people struggle with the ultimate problems of human life.'

- Taylor 1903- defined religion as 'Belief in Spiritual beings

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2) Functional Definitions

- Defines religion in terms of how its used and purpose to society, functions it performs for society

- Durkheim 1961- defined religion in terms of distinction between profane an dsacred

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3) Polythetic definitions

- Define it by creating list of possible characteristics that make up a religion but accept that no one example can share them all

- Identifies no of overlapping

-Southwold 1978- suggested list of factors- concern of the sacred, godlike beings and human relationships with them

-Marx 1844- described religion as ideological, used by ruling class to deceive the masses into accepting social inequalities. Ideology is a negative term

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