Defining Religion

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 16-09-14 15:11
Which three broad catergories can religion be divided into?
1) Substantive Definitions 2)Functional Definitions 3) Polythetic Definitions
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What is the Substantive definition of religion?
Try to get at the 'inner core' of religion and try to express the essence of religion e.g. belief in God and other supernatural beings
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Criticism of the substantive definition
There is a problem with which religions should be included as religious e.g is the belief in magic religious or shold magic be a seperate catergory
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What is the functional definition of religion?
Focus on what religion actually does and the functions it provides. The assumption here is that religion is a product of society, it needs to be defined in terms of its contribution to society.
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Criticism of the functional definition
They are too broad and tend to include many things that some would ot regard as religious. They also assume that religion plays a useful role in society
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What is the inclusivist definition?
Tend to leave the definition of religion broad so that some ideologies that are not generally seen as a 'religion' can be included
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What is the exclusivist definition?
Tend to offer restrictive definitions, it narrows it down to the specifically religious
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What is Giddens' definition of religion?
'Religions involve a set of symbols, invoking feelings of reverence or awe, and are linked to rituals or cerimonies engaged in by a community of believers'
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What are the three catergories that religions can be placed into?
Totemism, Animism and Theistic
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What is TOTEMISM?
These religions are associated with tribal societies and smaller cultures. Totems are animals or plants that are believed to possess supernatural powers of some kind. Ritual activities are associated with a particular totem
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What is ANIMALISM?
Refers to a belief in ghosts or spirits. Spirits may be forces for good or evil ancd can have a huge influence on human behaviour. e.g. causing illness, accidents or even death.
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What are THEISTIC religions?
Centre around the belief in a sacred, higher and controlling power. This power is a source of moral codes and is worth of great reverence.
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What are the two types of THEISTIC religions?
1) Monotheistic 2)Polytheistic
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What is a MONOTHEISTIC religion?
They believe in ONE divine power. e.g. Christianity and Islam
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What is a POLYTHEISTIC religion?
Focus on a number of spererate gods. e.g. The religions of the ancient Greek or Hinduism
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Card 2

Front

What is the Substantive definition of religion?

Back

Try to get at the 'inner core' of religion and try to express the essence of religion e.g. belief in God and other supernatural beings

Card 3

Front

Criticism of the substantive definition

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the functional definition of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Criticism of the functional definition

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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