chapter14 - Chapter14 Religion ChapterOutline...

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Chapter 14 Religion
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Chapter Outline Religion, Science, and Sociology Theoretical Perspectives Religion: Structure and Practice Religion in the United States
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Science and Religion Religion involves matters beyond human  observation. Science focuses on observation. Science and religion can therefore conflict due  to these at times opposing perspectives; for  instance,  creationism  versus  evolution . Earliest evidence of religion has been traced to  50,000 B.C. 
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Religion Religion  - system of beliefs and practices about sacred  things found in nearly all societies. Sacred  – entities that are set apart and given a special  meaning that transcends immediate human existence. Profane  – nonsacred aspects of life (not referring to  that which is unholy, but that    which is commonplace. Transcendent reality  – a set of meanings attached to a  world beyond human observation.
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Division of World Population by  Religions
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Functionalism and Religion Based on Durkheim’s belief that the essential  function of religion was to provide a mirror for  members of society to see themselves, through  sacred symbols, sociologists identified the following  functions of religion 1. Legitimates social arrangements 2. Encourage a sense of social unity 3. Provides a sense of meaning 4. Promote a sense of belonging
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Functionalism and Religion 1. Legitimate social arrangements Legitimation justifies and explains the status  quo. It tells us why some people have power  and others do not, etc. Through this process of explaining     why  society is or should be the way it is, there is a  justification of social arrangements that exist.
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Functionalism and Religion 1. Encourages social unity Religion is a  glue  that holds society  together. Without religion society would       be  chaotic.
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Functionalism and Religion 1. Provides a sense of meaning. Religion provides a meaning for people  that transcends their day-to-day life. Religious ceremonies are used to give  believers a cosmic significance and  eternal significance to an uncertain  earthly existence.
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Functionalism and Religion 1. Promote a sense of belonging. Opportunities are provided for people to  share commonalities: ideas, a way of  life. Membership may provide a sense of  community.
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Conflict Theory and Religion Marx believed that once people create a unified  system of sacred beliefs and practices, they act  as if it were something beyond their control. Marx stated that religion is used by            the 
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chapter14 - Chapter14 Religion ChapterOutline...

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