Beliefs in Society
These are concerned with what religion IS rather than what religion does for its members. They get at the ‘inner core’ & essence of religion
These usually define religion in a very limited way referring to beliefs, actions and institutions orientated towards supernatural beings/ powers
These definitions define religion in terms of its uses and purposes (social & psychological) for society and the individual, and the social effects it has on members.
These usually define religion in a very broad way whereby several ideologies not usually considered as a religion are included. They believe religion can therefore take many forms e.g. foodies!
These definitions claim that religion needs to have a set of beliefs which exhibit a number of factors but not necessarily all of them
Southwold suggests the following factors:-
• Concern with godlike beings
• Concern with sacred