ss14 - Religion as defined by sociologists has three key...

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Religion as defined by sociologists has three key elements: it is a form of culture; it involves beliefs that take the form of ritualized practice; it provides a sense of purpose. Sociologists are not concerned with whether religious beliefs are true or false, but with how they are organized and what they do within a society. Marx saw religion as a false belief system in which societies attributed to a divine power characteristics that in fact are part of human beings and societies. Religion frequently acts to support the position of the powerful within society, whilst providing some comfort to the powerless. Durkheim studied religions in some detail, especially in small-scale societies. Religion provides an ordering system in society built around the division between the sacred and the profane. That which is sacred actually stands for the core values of the society itself. Collective rituals help to ensure social solidarity. Weber particularly studied the relationship between religion and social change. Whilst Eastern religions promote values that do not sit easily with capitalism, Protestant and particularly Calvinist beliefs and values fit well with the drive and investment patterns that enable its development. Smaller cultures often have beliefs based around totemism and animism.
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Sociology taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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ss14 - Religion as defined by sociologists has three key...

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