Theories of religion

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  • Created by: Kathryn
  • Created on: 23-05-14 10:08
What's a substantive definition of religion?
To be a religion there must be a belief in god or the supernatural (Exclusivist) - Often accused of western bias as it excludes religions such as Buddhism
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What's a functional definition of religion?
To be a religion it must have a social or psychological function for its believers or society (Inclusivist)
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What was Emilie Durkheims study (1912) about and what did he find?
Conducted a study of the Arunta aboriginal tribes in Australia - found that religion has social functions for its members as he believes that the essence of all religion could be found by studying its simplest form, in the simplest type of society
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What did Durkheim mean by sacred and profane?
Durkheim found that tribes treated most things as ordinary (profane) but that some things were set apart as forbidden& inspired awe (sacred)
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What did Durkheim state the key feature of religion is?
A clear distinction between the sacred and profane - durkheim argued these special things represent something of great power & his view this can only be society - worshipping society (totemism)
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What's collective consciousness?
Taking part in rituals reaffirms our commitment to shared ideas, goals & aims & allows us to work as a group, society couldn't survive. Attending rituals allows us to bond with others & strengthens social solidarity
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What did Malinowski (1954) argue religions functions were?
Provides psychological support during times of emotional stress that might otherwise threaten social life - e/g brith & death - & helps with uncertain and uncontrollable events (lagoon fishing/ocean fishing) trobriand islanders
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Card 2

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What's a functional definition of religion?

Back

To be a religion it must have a social or psychological function for its believers or society (Inclusivist)

Card 3

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What was Emilie Durkheims study (1912) about and what did he find?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did Durkheim mean by sacred and profane?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Durkheim state the key feature of religion is?

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