SOC101 New Society Chapter 13 Religion

SOC101 New Society Chapter 13 Religion - New Society...

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New Society; Chapter Thirteen: Religion - Religion’s presence and importance is blatant in the conflict, terrorism and peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. - Apart from its links to global issues, religion in America is pervasive. - Spirituality has joined religion in going public and become part of so-called pop culture. - Many early scientists convinced that religion’s days were numbered. Would be just a short time before it was discarded in favour of science. - Through 1990s, widespread consensus that religion’s influence was declining and that Canadians and people in most other technologically advanced countries were leaving religion behind. - Observers were wrong. In the early years of 21 st century, religion lives on. Embraced by large numbers of people in virtually all cultures however “advanced” or “nonadvanced”. - Interest in religion and spirituality is actually on the upswing in many parts of the world including NA, Russia and Asia. - Islamic countries, importance of religion has never been in doubt. Today, religion is frequently associated with conflict and division. Continues to bring meaning, sustenance and hope to billions. Sociology and Religion - A basic rule of science is that “what counts” as real is what we can detect through our senses EMPIRCAL knowledge. Proponents of religion have traditionally asserted that the world we know through the sense is only part of a greater reality that because of the limitations of sense perception can only be known through faith. - Religion cannot overrule science in refuting basic evolutionary claims or dismissing sound medical diagnoses. Science is limited to conclusions about the observable, it too can only go so far. - Sociology consequently suffers from one serious methodological limitation in studying religion: it cannot probe the supernatural claims that religion is often about. Sociologists nonetheless can offer insight into “the observable part” of religion: - 1) who tends to think they have experienced god - 2) who believes in life after death and what individuals think will happen when they die - 3) the extent to which people have spiritual needs, what they mean by “spirituality” - 4) how many and what kinds of people are involved in religious groups
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- 5) impact that religious involvement has on individuals and societies. - Can address much, without getting caught up in the issue of religion’s ultimate truth or falsity. - Whether or not religious ideas are true is not important as the fact they are believed to be true. - Fact that religious ideas are held means they potentially can have important impacts on individuals and social life. Theoretical Traditions Marx and Conflict - Marx believed that religion is human creation. “man makes religion. Religion does not make man” - Man has “found only his own reflection in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a supernatural being” and that being religious characterized “the self consciousness and self esteem of a man who has either not yet gained himself or has lost
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SOC101 New Society Chapter 13 Religion - New Society...

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