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Every culture across the world & throughout history has developed ways of dealing with the 'Big Questions'.
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Science reflects the interests of groups, such as companies & feminists. Suggest science reflects male assumptions & understanding of the world.
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Believed that the growth of scientific explanations would cause religion to disappear.
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Bilton et al
"It was during the enlightenment that humans crossed the great divide & moved from ignorance, guesswork & faith to certainty & truth."
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Suggests that religions involve a set of symbols, invoking feelings of reverence or awe, & are linked to rituals or ceremonies engaged in by a community of believers.
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Functional definitions of religion are too broad. They allow any kind of ethusiastic purpose or strong loyalty, provided it is shared by a group, to count as religion.
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Religion is 'belief in spiritual beings'.
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Religion is a system of beliefs & practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life.
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Religion, he said, is: a unified system of beliefs & practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart & forbidden-beliefs & practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church all those who adhere to them.
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Concluded totemism is the most elementary form of religion.
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Religion is the distinction between the sacred & the profane.
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Malowinski & Parsons
Religion functions to relieve the stress & anxiety caused by life crises, such as birth, puberty, marriage & death. (Functions of religion-Coming to terms with life changing events)
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"Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world.... The soul of soulness conditions. It is the opium of the people."
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Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human shape & their claims to any decent life.
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Marx & Engels
Religion is seen as ideological by Marx in 3 ways; legitimising social inequality, disguising the true nature of exploitation, keeping WC passive & resigned to their fate
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Methodism played a key part in preventing WC revolution in 19th C England.
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The vatican's stance on contraception is causing problems in less developed areas (evidence to support Marxist views)
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O' Toole
Marxists have undoubtedly recognised the active role that may be played by religion in effecting revolutionary social change.
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Believed in the 1920s & 30s that religious beliefs & practices could develop that would support & guide challenges to the RC, because the church, like other cultural institutions, was not directly under their control.
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Macguire & Thompson
There are a number of factors which determine whether a religion promotes change; Beliefs, culture, social location, & internal & external organisation
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Religious organisations with a less obvious hierarchal structure are better equipped to frustrate state control as removal of the leader makes little difference.
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Some revolutionary movements have deliberately used religion, as in Central & South American countries where religion is the only remaining outlet for dissent.
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Weber & Troeltsch
Distinction between churches & sects; Church= large (100-1000+) well established body, Sect= smaller (300-) organised group of religious believers.
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A denomination is a sect that has 'cooled' down & become an institutionalised body rather than an active protest group.
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Suggests that sects rarely last more than a generation, as when the leader dies that gradually evolve into more tolerant off-shoots of the main religion (denominations, e.g. methodists)
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Terms NRM & NAM used to describe new forms of religious organisation as the term 'cult' or 'sect' can cause moral panic.
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Post-modern society is characterised by a lack of confidence in meta-narratives-traditional stories.
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Said their 'truths' have not been forthcoming & has led to a crisis of meaning.
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Some established religions have tried to respond to the increase in NRMs & NAMs by undergoing a process of internal secularisation.
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Fundamentalist tendencies may articulate the experience of people on the receiving end of globalisation.
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Criticises the post-modern view & comments that factors, such as class, gender & ethnicity, continue to influence spiritual life courses.
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NRM is a more neutral term than cult or sect, which seem to have negative connotations.
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3 types of NRM; world affirming groups, world rejecting groups, world accommodating groups.
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Identifies the following kinds of cultish behaviour; authoritarianism, infallibility, programming, shunning, secret doctrines, promised ones, fire & brimstone.
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Haddon & Long
Cult apologists who argue for more religious tolerance.
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Suggests there are 2 types of cult; audience cults & client cults
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Suggests modern western societies are turning against institutions & belief systems, blaming them for multiple problems, e.g. wars, superbugs, etc.
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Those marginalised by society, e.g. ethnic minorities or 'young social drop outs', may join world rejecting groups as a way of funding status or legitimising their status.
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World rejecting movements appeal to young unattached people, in the gap between childhood & adulthood.
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Suggested that the kind of people who become Moonies were looking for a kind of surrogate family.
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Mary Daly
Suggests Christianity itself is a patriarchal myth. She argues that Christianity is rooted in male 'sado-rituals' with its 'torture cross symbols' & that is embodies 'women hating'.
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Simone De Beauvoir
Saw religion in a similar way to Marx, though oppressive to women in particular.
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El Sadaawi
A Muslim feminist-does not blame religion for the oppression, but the patriarchal domination of religion that came with the development of mono-theistic religions.
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There are positive aspects of Islam, such as women being able to keep their own family name when they marry.
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Suggests the Muslim veil is a means by which women can become involved in modern society while maintaining a sense of modesty & correctness.
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Miller & Hoffmann
Report that women are more likely to; express a greater interest in religion, have stronger religious commitment, & attend church more often.
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In the last 20 years, women have begun to leave the church at a faster rate than men. Between 1989 & 1998 65,000 women were lost from churches each year, 57% of all those who left the church.
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Aune et al
Suggests women left churches because; fertility levels, feminist values, paid employment, family diversity, & sexuality.
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Suggests the reason women are more religious then men is because they are ultimately more caring, as before having children the levels of religiosity are about equal.
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Miller & Hoffmann
Identify two main reasons for gender differences; differential socialisation & differential roles.
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Divides contemporary women into 3 groups; home centred women-traditional christianity, Jugglers-alternative spiritual religions, Work centred women-more secular outlook.
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Women participate in sects more than men, with the female to male ratio being similar to mainstream religions at about 2:1.
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They may not have the economic & social standings of other in society, but sect members have the promise of salvation & the knowledge that they are enlightened.
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Glock & Stark
Identified a no. of different types of deprivation, & suggest people who join sects have experienced 1 or more of these; social deprivation, organismic deprivation, & ethical deprivation.
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Confirms MC women subscribe to alternative therapies associated with NAMs, such as Yoga & meditation, while younger WC women more often believe in astrology & fortune telling.
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Cohen & Kennedy
The desire to restore fundamental religious values&social practices is associated with the fear that any real increase in women's freedom of choice will undermine the foundations of traditions, religion, morality,&it could be argued, male controlled.
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When asked what they considered important to their identity, white Christians placed religion tenth, behind things like family, work, age, interests & education.
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People had higher levels of belief before migration & being members of socially deprived groups they tend to be more religious anyway (immigrants).
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Religion helps to bond new communities.
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While the Roman Catholic Church lost the greatest number & proportion of members of any denomination from 1998-2005, there has been a growth in some inner city communities as a result of migration from Eastern Europe.
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For African Caribbean people, pentecostalism has played a dual role-helped them cope with racism, encourages hard work & sexual morality.
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Modood et al
For young people of all ethnic groups, the importance of religion is in decline.
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There is a general dislike of church in its institutional form with 87% of 10-14 yr olds saying it was boring.
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Vocas & Crockett
Younger generations are becoming less & less religious.
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"Believing without belonging"
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Mayo, Smith & Rankin
Suggests young people are interested in spiritual matters, but with a different meaning to the word 'spiritual'.
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Suggests that as identification with Bangladesh & Pakistan becomes less significant, the Muslim identity becomes more important.
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Suggests strong Muslim identity provides an alternative to the gang & drug cultures of the streets.
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The radicalisation of young Muslims is due to lack of religious education.
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Hopkins & Kahani-Hopkins
Suggest that it is the more religiously inclined & academically astute who are likely to be radicalised becasue they suffer a sense of blocked social mobility due to their religion.
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Signs of 'British Muslim' identity which is receptive to western influences & demonstrates a desire to take part in full western society.
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'Cultural hybridity' in young Muslim women.
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Suggest many Muslim women form a distinction between religion & culture.
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"Muslim chic"- Muslim women have developed 'a careful & often lavish attention to style, mixed with a very deliberate nod to faith'
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Has advocated the removal of the word secularisation from sociological vocabulary, instead looking at the ways in which the roles of religion has changed.
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Suggests the UK popul. in the 21st C is no longer guided by the kinds of moral codes & community emphasises once promoted by the church, Sunday schools & voluntary youth organisations.
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The church is losing it's key business-to 'hatch, match & dispatch'
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Weddings only make up 40% of marriages, compared to 75% 30 years ago.
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Wilson, Bruce & Wallis
Argue secularisation is a development rooted in modernity & focus on 3 key processes: Rationalisation, Disengagement, Religious pluralism
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Saw desacriusation as the 'disenchantment of the world'-the world is losing it's magic & mystery.
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Suggests that Christianity has been it's own grave digger as protestantism focussed attention on this life, work, & the pursuit of prosperity rather than on the demain of God & the afterlife.
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See's secularisation as: The process by which religious thinking, practices, & institutions lose social significance.
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Points out that the notion of the age of faith in the past was based on the religious behaviour of the elite.
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Glock & Stark
Argue that not enough attention has been paid to the detail of defining religion & religiosity, & that, because of this, the secularisation thesis cannot be accurately tested.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Science reflects the interests of groups, such as companies & feminists. Suggest science reflects male assumptions & understanding of the world.



Card 3


Believed that the growth of scientific explanations would cause religion to disappear.


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Card 4


"It was during the enlightenment that humans crossed the great divide & moved from ignorance, guesswork & faith to certainty & truth."


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Suggests that religions involve a set of symbols, invoking feelings of reverence or awe, & are linked to rituals or ceremonies engaged in by a community of believers.


Preview of the back of card 5
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