topic 2. Religion as a conservative force.

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Religion as a conservative force.

Religion as a conservative force.
conservative as it defends traditional customes + morale views.
It functions to conserve + preserve things to stabilise society.

Religious conservative beliefs.  
Most religions oppose changes that give freedom.
Eg catholics - divorce/ sex/abortion/ gays.  
Traditional values -> men are head of the family.
Brides vows -> 'to love honour and obey' (Brides can now drop this.)  
Arranged marriages.

-> religion + consensus- maintains social solidarity.( creates value consensus.) 
-> religion + patriarchy- feminists see religion as ideology that legitimates patriarchy. 
-> religion + capitalism- prevents social change by legitimating exploitation. creates false consciousness.  

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Weber: Religion as a force for change.

Weber wrote 'the protestant ethic+ the spirit of capitalism'.
Calvanism (protestantism) had religious beliefs that brought social change.

Weber noticed old capitalism was about greed + wealth which was spend on luxuries.

-> now capitalism is based on efficiency of workforces to generate more profit.
'Persuit of profit' -> spirit of capitalism -> elective affinity.  

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Calvinist beliefs.

Pre-destination -> god pre-determines 'the elect' who would be saved.

Divine transcendence-> salvation panics. ( suggested by calvanists) No one would know if they are saved or not. Couldnt do anything to change gods choice. 

Asceticism -> avoiding excess in order to dovote one to god.

The idea of vocation or calling-> other worldly asceticism. Calvanist idea of shunning luxury, working long hours as idleness being a sin.
Making people more wealthy. -> supposedly a sign of Gods good favour that they will be saved.
Salvation panics- which is contradictory to not knowing gods will.

People then reinvested in their businesses which grew -> The new spirit of capitalism.  

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Evaluation of Calvinist beliefs

Tawney argues there has been a technological change, not religious ideas that has caused to birth of capitalism. 

Weber has been criticised as capitalism didnt develop in every country that were calvanist. 
Eg Scotland.  

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Religion and social protest.

American civil rights movement.  
Bruce - used case studies!

Blacks had no political/ legal rights. 
Black clergy gave support + moral legitimacy to civil rights- they shamed the white clergy because of shared christian values of equality.
Churches were meeting places - a sanctuary of threat from violence.  
Rituals were a source of unity in the face of oppression.

Religion provides motivation + support.
* taking morale high ground 'love thy neighbour'
Challenging dissent eg Martin Luther Kings funeral.
Acting as honest broker- Churches gave respect to both sides. Religion stands above conflict. * Mobilising public opinion - Campaigning as a minority creating a majority.

Bruce sees civil rights movement as religion helping social change.
Achieved change by shared valued.
Shamming those in power.  

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The new christian right.

Pollitically + morally conservative protestant fundamentalist movement. 
They seek nothing less than ' to take America back to god.'
-> makes abortion/ homosexuality + divorce illegal.
Campaigns for teachings of 'creationism'.
Recruit by televangilism -> largely unsuccessful.
-campaigners find it difficult to co-operate with others with different beliefs.
Failed due to the diversity of society.

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Marxism, religion and change

Marxism, religion and change.  
Religious ideas can have relative autonomy. -force for change/ force for stability.  

Marx says religion is heart of the heartless world.
Block -> principle of hope. / Religion can inhibit change + conflict.  
Religion recognises positive + negative influences of social change.  

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Liberation theory

Liberation theory: 

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Milinarium movements + Gramsci religion and hegemo

Milinarium movements. - christ will come to earth a second time for a thousand years before judgement day. 
Mainly poor people follow this as promised imediate improvement.
Melanesia - cargo cults / islanders felt wrongly deprived.

Gramsci = religion and hegemony  
Hegemony is the way the ruling class use ideas such as religion to maintain social control.
-> ideological demonation of society.
Counter hegemony -> the way poor people see society should be organised.

Gramsci- says religion can challenge + support ruling class.
* religion can help workers see through hegemony to offer a better worlds. ( clergy acting as trade unions)  

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