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RELIGION. What do the theorists say?. FUNCTIONALISM. OBJECTIVE. Understand religion from a Functionalist Perspective. CAN YOU ANSWER ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS. What functions does religion perform to help maintain social stability?. 1. Does religion impede or encourage social change?. 2.

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Religion

RELIGION

What do the theorists say?



Objective
OBJECTIVE

Understand religion from a Functionalist Perspective


Can you answer any of these questions
CAN YOU ANSWER ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS

  • What functions does religion perform to help maintain social stability?

1

  • Does religion impede or encourage social change?

2

  • Is the role of religion in society changing?

3

4


Functionalism and religion
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • For Functionalists religion is an organ in the organism, a sub-system within the system, an interlocking and necessary institution which plays a role in the creation and maintenance of the value consensus.


Functionalism and religion1
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • In short, religion acts as a conservative force within society, a brake upon social change.

  • It ensures that any social change that occurs is slow, part of social evolution, rather than rapid with disturbing structural changes which threaten cohesion and stability.


Functionalism and religion2
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Durkheim further explains that religion has a role to play in maintaining mechanical solidarity, where law is automatic and final i.e. ‘the law of the gods is absolute’


Functionalism and religion3
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Thus through religion, sacred objects were created in society in such a way that society itself became sacred. This explains the ‘collective conscience’ or value system which underpins law and order in large complex societies.


Functionalism and religion4
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Durkheim extrapolates his analysis further by arguing that religion is a disguised way for people to worship the society itself.


Functionalism and religion5
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • The sacred objects found in religion come to represent the value system which is all powerful and immortal – it becomes a social fact - existing before you were born and continuing to exist after your death.


Functionalism and religion6
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Other functionalists have chosen to focus in religious rituals and ceremonies to see their significance for individuals.

  • Acts of collective worship e.g. Christenings, weddings and funerals, serve to reinforce social values.


Functionalism and religion7
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Those in attendance are unexpectedly taking part in a ritual ceremony which serves to integrate them into a community of moral values and beliefs.


Functionalism and religion8
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • However critics of the functionalist theory argue that just like any other organ the church may loose its power and therefore function in modern industrial societies for the following reasons:


Functionalism and religion9
FUNCTIONALISM AND RELIGION

  • Societies are today more multicultural bringing into conflict the moral codes of different religions

  • Modern industrial societies are such that success in financial terms could be said to be the main value aspired to by all

  • Participants in religion are today passive followers and religious rites have simply become societal rites e.g. marriages, baptisms etc.



Objective1
OBJECTIVE

Understand religion from a Marxist Perspective


“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”

Karl Marx


Marxism and religion
MARXISM AND RELIGION sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”

  • Marxist views on religion place it in the ideological and legal superstructure of society. For Marxists, religion assists the ruling class ideology by helping to keep the workers in a state of false consciousness, preventing them from realizing that they are being exploited.


Marxism and religion1
MARXISM AND RELIGION sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”

  • In short, religion stops the development of the proletariat as a ‘class for itself’ since revolutionary class consciousness is kept at bay by the laws and promises of religion.



Marxism and religion2
MARXISM AND RELIGION think may achieve this?

  • Karl Marx tries to show how religion muffles and deadens the harsh experiences of working class life, and makes it slightly more bearable. This has the long-term effect of preventing social change, putting a stop to revolutionary activity.


There are numerous examples of situations where the church has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?


Weberianism

WEBERIANISM has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?


Understand religion from a Weberian Perspective has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?


Weberianism and religion
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • Weber through his social action theory which allows him a more flexible view of the role of religion, argues that each society has to be looked at as a unique entity, with a history and a social structure which has developed due to a special set of circumstances.


Weberianism and religion1
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • He argues that indeed in some circumstances, religion may promote and encourage social change rather than oppose it.

  • It may at times reinforce the values which promote and encourage new forms of production in society.


Weberianism and religion2
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • In his ‘Protestant Ethic’ Thesis, Weber argues that the regime imposed by Calvinistic Puritanism ensured hard work, thrift, sobriety and the accumulation of wealth.


Weberianism and religion3
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • He gives examples of Germany, Britain and the USA as societies that were developed through this underlying ideology.


Weberianism and religion4
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • Weber however did not claim that Calvinism caused capitalism or the other way around, what he simply wanted to demonstrate was the elective affinity between the two ideas - a partnership of values and guides to existence.


Weberianism and religion5
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • Weber’s analysis shows that the socio - economic structure of society often coincides with the deeply felt beliefs and meanings which individuals hold about their experiences.


Weberianism and religion6
WEBERIANISM AND RELIGION has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

  • In others however, he adds that it can still act as conservative force holding back change.


The end

THE END has benefited capitalism. Can you think of any?

ANY QUESTIONS


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