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Unformatted text preview: Religion Religion is a unified system of beliefs, rituals, and practices that typically involve a broader community of believers who share common definitions of the sacred and the profane. Sacred is the supernatural, divine, awe inspiring, and spiritually significant aspects of our existence. Profane is that which is part of the regular everyday life experience. The definitions originated from Durkheim's studies of religion (see 1947 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Glencoe Press reprint of 1912). For you, religion might be a personal definition of how you feel about your place in the universe. It may also reflect how you understand categories of people who share a common system of beliefs that differ from your own (Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc.). For sociologists, religion is typically studied in two typically approaches: first, a cultural approach that evaluates the religious aspects of the culture shared by followers of a certain religion; second, a theoretical approach to religion including its symbols, functions, exchange-...
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- Fall '10