Unit 3: Ethnicity and Faith (Summary)

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  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 06-04-13 18:24

In a multi-faith society religion can serve several functions:

- A support mechanism for those with a shared culture

- A means of assimilation into society

- Cultural identity preserving value commitments and a sense of belonging.

X - Much of early sociology of religion concentrated on Christian faith, so can be accused of ethnocentrism. Western societies have become increasingly multi-faith.

Christianity and ethnicity:

- Membership of Baptist and Pentecostal churches mainly African or Afro-Caribbean.

- Evangelical churches are among the fastest growing denominations which have opened 1900 churches since 1980. Baptists have opened 439 and Pentecostalists 419. Unclear how many of these are ethnic minority churches.

Non-Christian Religions:

1) Judaism:

- Dates from 1000BC in the Middle-East.

- Monotheistic and demands strict adherence to moral code.

- In 1948 State of Israel declared, Judaism became official faith.

- Holy Book is Torah which is interpreted by the Rabbi or religious leader.

- Sabbath is kept holy.

- In 1996 there were 350 synagogues in Britain, over half in London.

- Population has remained fairly static since 1960s.

2) Sikhism:

- Sikh community well established by 1970.

- Many Sikhs came from the Punjab, East Africa and other British colonies.

- Approximately 400,00 Sikhs in UK.

- Sikhs have ten spiritual masters led by Guru Nanak Dev.

- Monotheistic, but one god…


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