Religion and social change

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  • Created by: ncs1997
  • Created on: 03-06-15 13:13
In what 2 ways can religion be seen as a conservative force?
It is often seen as being traditional, with traditional customs, institutions, moral views, roles etc. Additionally it functions to conserve or preserve things as they are and so stabilises society and maintains the status quo.
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What are religion's conservative beliefs?
Many of them have traditional conservative beliefs and oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom. Similarly most uphold 'family values' and favour patriarchal division of labour.
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What are religion's conservative functions?
Functionalists see religion as a conservative force because it prevents society from disintegrating. Marxists see religion as conservative ideology that prevents social change. Feminists see religion as conservative because it legitimates patriarchy.
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How does Weber describe the spirit of capitalism?
Modern capitalism is based on the systematic, efficient, rational pursuit of profit for its own sake, rather than consumption. It has an unconscious similarity to the Calvinists' beliefs.
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What are 4 of the Calvinist beliefs?
Predestination - God has already decided who will be saved. Divine transcendence - God is far above the world. Asceticism - abstinence,self-discipline and self-denial. The idea of a vocation or calling - constant, methodical work in an occupation.
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How did this affect their life and contribute to capitalism?
Calvinists shun all luxury and work long hours. Thus they built up wealth. They took this as a sign of God's favour and their salvation. Driven by their work ethic they accumulated wealth and then reinvested it in businesses producing further profit.
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What 2 other things does Weber note in relation to Calvinism and capitalism?
Calvinist beliefs aren't the only cause of modern capitalism, it's just one of the causes. He also notes that there have been other societies that have had a higher development than Northern Europe but have failed to develop modern capitalism.
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How does Weber argue Hinduism and Confucianism discouraged capitalism?
Hinduism's orientation is other-worldly and so directed its members' concerns away from the material world. Confucianism wasn't ascetic and so lacked the drive to accumulate wealth.
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What are 4 criticisms of Weber?
Kautsky - overestimates role of ideas and underestimates economic factors. Tawney - technological change caused capitalism. Capitalism didn't develop in all countries with Calvinists. Calvinists were the first capitalists, but not because of beliefs.
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How does Bruce link the American civil rights movement and religion?
The black clergy was the backbone of it and was led by Martin Luther King. Churches provided meeting places & sanctuary and rituals were sources of unity. They were able to shame whites into changing law by appealing to Christian values of equality.
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In what 4 ways are religious organisations well equipped to support protests and contribute to social change?
Taking the moral high ground. Channeling political dissent. Acting as a honest broker because they are respected in both sides of a conflict. Mobilising public opinion.
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What is the New Christian Right?
A politically and morally conservative, Protestant fundamentalist movement. They believe strongly in traditional values (e.g. gender roles, making abortion and homosexuality illegal etc.) It also campaigns for the teaching of creationism.
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For what 3 reasons does Bruce argue why they have been largely unsuccessful?
The 'Moral Majority' was never a majority, 15% at best. They find it difficult to cooperate with other groups even when campaigning for the same issue. It lacks widespread support and has met strong opposition.
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Why does Bruce describe the New Christian Right as a failed movement for change?
It hasn't achieved its aim of taking America 'back to God' as most Americans believe in separation of religion and state. Most Americans are okay legalising things they believe are wrong & are unwilling to accept other people telling them how to live
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What is relative autonomy?
Marxists recognise ideas, including religious ideas, can have this. They can be partly independent of the economic base of society. As a result religion can have a dual character and be a force for change as well as stability.
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How does Engels argue in favour of this dual character?
Although religion inhibits change by disguising inequality, it can also challenge the status quo and encourage social change.
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Ernst Bloch and the principle of hope.
Also sees religion as having a dual character. He believes religion is an expression of 'the principle of hope' (dreams of utopia). This can sometimes deceive people with promises, but can also show us what needs to be changed.
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What is the liberation theology?
A movement that emerged within the Catholic church in Latin America at the end of the 1960s, with a strong commitment to the poor and opposition to military dictatorships.
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What are 3 factors that led to the emergence of the liberation theology?
Deepening rural poverty and growth of urban slums. Human rights abuses following military take overs. The growing commitment among Catholic priests to an ideology that supported the poor and opposed violations of human rights.
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How dis the liberation theology help bring about change?
During 1970s, Catholic priests resisted state terror in Latin America. But, it was condemned by the Pope as Marxism. But it helped bring democracy in Latin America and neo-Marxists believe it shows religion as being force for change.
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What is the millenarian movement?
A group of Christians who have a desire to change this here and now. They believe that Christ will come to Earth again and rule for 1000 years before the Day of Judgement, creating a collective heaven on Earth for everyone.
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Which millenarian movements did Worsley study?
Cargo cults in the Western Pacific as the islanders felt deprived when cargo came for the colonists, and cargo cults emerged that suggested the unjust social order was going to be overturned. They combined traditional beliefs and Christianity.
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What does Gramsci mean by hegemony and how does he relate it to religion?
It's the way that the ruling class are able to use ideas to maintain control. When this is established, there will be popular consent to their rule. However, this is never guaranteed, and sometimes religion can challenge the ruling class.
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In which 3 ways does Billings identify religion as either supporting or challenging an employer's hegemony in relation to miners or textile workers?
Leadership - miners had leadership of unions, textile workers didn't. Organisation - miners could use churches for meetings, textile workers lack space. Support - church kept miner's morale high, but textile workers met opposition within church.
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Card 2

Front

Many of them have traditional conservative beliefs and oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom. Similarly most uphold 'family values' and favour patriarchal division of labour.

Back

What are religion's conservative beliefs?

Card 3

Front

Functionalists see religion as a conservative force because it prevents society from disintegrating. Marxists see religion as conservative ideology that prevents social change. Feminists see religion as conservative because it legitimates patriarchy.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Modern capitalism is based on the systematic, efficient, rational pursuit of profit for its own sake, rather than consumption. It has an unconscious similarity to the Calvinists' beliefs.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Predestination - God has already decided who will be saved. Divine transcendence - God is far above the world. Asceticism - abstinence,self-discipline and self-denial. The idea of a vocation or calling - constant, methodical work in an occupation.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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