Religion - a Opium of the people b Legitimates social...

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Religion I. What is religion? a. Durkheim: “A religion is a unified system or beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which united into one single moral community called a church, all those that adhere to them.” b. For Durkheim a religion is defined by three elements: 1. Beliefs that some things are sacred (forbidden, seat apart from the profane) 2. Practices (rituals) centering on the things considered sacred 3. A moral community (a church) resulting from a group’s beliefs and practices II. Functionalist view on religion: a. It meets basic human needs 1. Questions about ultimate meaning 2. Emotional comfort 3. Social solidarity 4. Guidelines for everyday life 5. Social control 6. Supports government 7. Social change b. Dysfunctions of religion 1. Justification for persecution 2. War and terrorism III. Conflict perspective
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Unformatted text preview: a. Opium of the people b. Legitimates social inequalities c. But, it can also be a strong mechanism for change IV. Symbolic interactionsm a. Focus on religious symbols b. Rituals c. Beliefs d. Meaning V. The importance of religion a. Social control vs. social change b. Weber’s protestant ethic thesis VI. Non-offical religious beliefs and practices a. Nde (moody-life after life (1975) 1. A sense of being dead 2. Peace and painlessness 3. Out-of-body experiences 4. The tunnel experience 5. People of the lights 6. The being of light 7. The life review 8. Reluctance to return b. Reincarnation (Ian Stephenson) c. After-dead communication (Gary Schwartz) d. Angels and demons VII. Religion and politics a. Conservative? b. Radical? VIII. Religion and science a. The antrophic principle b. The power of prayer IX. The future of religion X....
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2009 for the course SOCI 101 taught by Professor Rosenblaum during the Spring '08 term at George Mason.

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Religion - a Opium of the people b Legitimates social...

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