Key Concepts of Religion

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 21-06-15 15:54
What are the 3 different types of definitions of religion?
-Substantive Definitions, -Functional Definitons, -Social Constructionist Definitions,
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What sociologist argues in favour of substantive definitions?
Stark and Bainbridge
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What kind of definition of religion do substantive definitions argue for?
Exclusivist Definitions
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What are substantive definitions of religion?
They argue in favour of exclusivist definitions of religion that requires a supernatural elements such as God to be present in an organisation for it to be considered religious and can't be explained scientifically,
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What is a disadvantage of this definition?
They potentially mean Buddhism is not classed as a religion as it has no god,
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What sociologist argues in favour of functional definitions?
Durkheim
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What kind of definition of religion do functional definitions argue for?
Inclusivist definitions
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What are functional definitions of religion?
They argue in favour of inclusivist definitions of religion so rather than the belief in God (or the supernatural), religion is defined in terms of the contribution it makes to social intergration e.g.feelings of awe, having rituals etc.
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What is a disadvantage of this definiton?
The definition is perhaps too inclusive with psychoanalysis and following a football team potentially classed as religions,
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What are the social constructionist definitions of religion?
They believe it isnt possible to have a universal definition of religion as it means something different to different individuals. Instead they consider how definitions of religion are constructed, challened and fought over,
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What is the definition of religious beliefs?
Ideas that a person accepts to be true to be part of a religious organisation or religion,
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Give an example?
Christians believe that there is one God who is seen in trinity; the father, the son and the holy ghost or Hindus believe in Karma meaning every action has a consequence,
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What is the definition of religious practices?
The actions that a person must undertake to be considered part of a religious organisation or religion,
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Give an example?
Muslims are expected to pray 5 times a day or Orthodox Sikhs are required to wear the 5 Ks about their person,
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What is meant by the term religiosity?
The extent that an individual is religious.
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What is a person's religiosity connected to?
The amount of religious beliefs they have internally, how much religious belief they exhibit to others and how frequently they partake in religious beliefs,
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What is one reason why it is difficult to measure a persons religiosity based on how private people are?
Belief is a private matter and some people dont wish to discuss their faith,
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What is another reason why based on the data available?
Secondary data on religion is notoriously unreliable and oftens lacks validity,
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What is another reason why it is difficult to measure based on a problem?
Methodological Problems- How might a sociologist find out about such a private issue such as faith,
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What is another reason why based on membership?
The membership of a religious organisation might no signify belief rather duty (what's expected of them)
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What is another reason why it is difficult to measure based on the definition?
There is no offical definiton of what a religious belief is. For example, could your horoscope ot believing in UFOs be considered a religious belief,
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What is the last reason why it is difficult to measure religiosity based on the size of a group?
Smaller relgious groups are difficult to track,
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What do Functionalists believe is the role of religion and an example sociologist?
-Parsons, -They argue that a religion's ethical code provides social control for society and helps individuals intergrate into society by giving them a set of rules to follow,
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What is the definiton of ideology?
Ideology means a set of ideas put forward by a group powerful enough to get their ideas heard.
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What is the opposite of ideology?
Truth- so a set of ideas that are true regardless of the power attached to the people suggesting them,
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Do Christians believe religion is ideological and why?
No they would argue its true- the Christian faith reinforces norms and values suggested in the Bible which is the word of God.
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Do Marxists believe religion is ideological and why?
Yes as the norms and values from religious texts aren't true rather constructions of the ruling class,
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What is the definition of fundamentalism?
A desire for society to return to follow the basic text of a religious order,
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Give an example of Islamic Fundamentalists such as the Taleban?
They outlawed Western music and stopped girls being educated beyond the age of 12 based on their interpretation of the Qur'an.
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Give an example of the New Christian Right in America?
They oppose abortion and same sex marriages in line with their view of Chrisrian scripture,
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What is the definition of secularisation?
Process in which religious belief, practice and organisations lost their importance in society,
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Give an example?
The decline of church attendances is often used by sociologist to suggest that people are no longer religious,
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What is the definition of globalisation?
People and cultures around the world being in almost unavoidable contact with each other i.e. more closely connected.
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Why can globalisation be a negative for religion?
It might lead to an increase in religious conflict as religions have to battle to protect their understanding of the world.
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Why can globalisation be a positive for religion?
It might reduce conflict by leading to a greater understanding between religions that were previously unknown to one another,
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Card 2

Front

What sociologist argues in favour of substantive definitions?

Back

Stark and Bainbridge

Card 3

Front

What kind of definition of religion do substantive definitions argue for?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are substantive definitions of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is a disadvantage of this definition?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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