Beliefs In society introduction

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 06-02-12 10:45

Beliefs in Society


Substantive definitions

These are concerned with what religion IS rather than what religion does for its members. They get at the ‘inner core’ & essence of religion

Exclusivist definitions

These usually define religion in a very limited way referring to beliefs, actions and institutions orientated towards supernatural beings/ powers

Functional Definitions

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.

Inclusive definitions

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!


Polythetic Definitions

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



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