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five-functions-of-religion[1] - HISTORY 4 UCLA Prof S Scott...

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HISTORY 4, UCLA Prof. S. Scott Bartchy THE FIVE POSSIBLE FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION AS IT RELATES THE INDIVIDUAL TO SOCIETY & CULTURE. 1. Domestication 2. Personalization 3. Compensation 4. Alienation 5. Innovation Domestication. In this case religion functions to integrate the individual into the dominant society’s cultural values and behavioral codes. 1. Emil Durkheim focuses on this function in his very influential book, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. 2. Examples: Circumcision of baby boys in Judaism. Infant baptism in Christianity. Initiation of teenagers in tribal societies. Being raised in Hindu culture and Confucian culture. Personalization. . In this case the individual voluntarily takes as his or her own the values and practices of the dominant religion – either in the culture in which he or she was raised or in a new culture. 1. Peter Berger, distinguished sociologist of religion at Boston University, focuses on this function in a number of his books.
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