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Chapter 11:. Religion. What to Expect in This Chapter. Defining Religion Elements of Religion Religion vs. Magic Major Types of Religions Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives Types of Religious Organization Aspects of American Religion Major Religions in the United States

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chapter 11

Chapter 11:


what to expect in this chapter
What to Expect in This Chapter...
  • Defining Religion
    • Elements of Religion
    • Religion vs. Magic
  • Major Types of Religions
  • Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives
  • Types of Religious Organization
  • Aspects of American Religion
  • Major Religions in the United States
  • Social Correlates of Religious Affiliation
  • Given Morocco’s Islamic cultural heritage and unique relationship with the West, which elements of its culture will adapt and which will remain constant?
defining religion
Defining Religion
  • Religion is “...the system of beliefs, practices and ...values shared by a group of people...”
  • Durkheim claimed that all religions divide the universe into two categories:
    • Sacred—those things that are set apart, holy; and knowable only through extraordinary experience
    • Profane—that which is ordinary; knowable through normal empirical observation

For information about the science

of studying religion, visit the website of the

Society for Scientific Study of Religion

elements of religion
Elements of Religion






major types of religion supernaturalism and animism
Major Types of Religion: Supernaturalism and Animism
  • Supernaturalism postulates the existence of non-personalized supernatural forces that influence human events
    • These non-personalized forces are called mana, which exist in certain objects
    • Other objects have a religious taboo against touching or even looking upon
  • Animism postulates personalized spirits which inhabit people, animals or things
major types of religion theism
Theism is a system of beliefs that establish divine beings that shape human affairs

Polytheism is the belief in a number of gods, each with their own sphere of influence

Monotheism is the belief in a single supreme God.

Only 3 religions are monotheistic: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Major Types of Religion: Theism
journal social change
Journal- Social Change
  • After reading pages 541-546
  • How will modernization affect Moroccan society
    • Family (1 parent or 2 working, moving away from extended family)
    • Growing and declining economic sectors
    • Growing and declining occupations
functionalist perspective on religion
Functionalist Perspective on Religion
  • Functionalists argue that because religion is universal, there are functions that it fulfills for society.
  • Sociologists identify 4 broad functions of religion:

Satisfying Individual Needs

Social Cohesion

Establishing Worldviews

Social Adaptation

group work
Group Work
  • 5 Groups- Discuss the concept you are assigned. Give definition of concept, general examples & Moroccan examples
    • Satisfying individual needs
    • Providing social cohesion
    • Establishing worldviews
    • Adaptation and stabilization of society
    • Conflict theory perspectives
conflict perspective on religion
Conflict Perspective on Religion
  • Marx understood religion as a tool that the ruling class manipulated to control and dominate the working class
    • By focusing on religion and the afterlife, working classes are distracted from their oppression by the ruling class
  • Marx said,

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the soul of soulless conditions; it is the opiate of the people”

religious organizations relationship to society
Religious Organizations: Relationship to Society

Millenarian Movements

The Sect

The Denomination

The Ecclesia

The Universal Church

group work14
Group Work
  • 5 Groups- Give definition of concept, examples of where the type of relationship between religious organizations and society can be seen in general and in Islam.
    • The Universal Church
    • The Ecclesia
    • The Denomination
    • The Sect
    • Millenarian movements
the universal church
The Universal Church
  • The universal church is a type of religious organization that is almost indistinguishable from society
  • An individual belongs to the universal church by virgue of being a member of society
  • The universal church typically reinforces existing social arrangements.
  • An example of the universal church is the Hindu religion in India
the ecclesia
The Ecclesia
  • The ecclesia (like the universal church) shares the same ethical system as the larger society
  • The ecclesia represents the interests of the ruling class, and hence loses its influence over the lower classes
  • Consequently, there may be sectarian groups that emerge
  • Examples of the ecclesia include the Catholic church in medieval Europe, the Anglican church in England and Islam in several Near East societies
the denomination
The Denomination
  • The denomination is one of many religious groups in a particular society
  • Tends to attract a particular social class and/or ethnic group
  • Membership is typically voluntary and based upon common beliefs and values
  • Examples include the various Protestant denominations and Catholicism
  • Participate actively in society and cooperate with other religious groups
the sect
The Sect
  • The sect is usually a smaller religious body that adheres to unconventional beliefs or forms of worship that differ from mainstream religious practice
  • Sects generally reject some values of secular society (materialism, entertainment, fashion)
  • Sects are less likely to be tolerant of other religious groups
millenarian movements
Millenarian Movements
  • Are like sects in that they are usually in tension with the larger society
  • Defined by their tendency to prophecy the end of the world
  • Millenarian movements tend to emerge during times of stress
  • Examples include the People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate—both groups which committed mass suicide in response to their beliefs about the end of the world
aspects of american religion
Aspects of American Religion

Widespread Belief

Almost all Americans believe in God and 90% express a religious preference


People and society are

less influenced by

religion than ever before


Mainline religious groups

work together to project

unity and common direction

causes of the trends some opinions
Causes of the Trends:Some Opinions
  • Widespread belief- need for traditional worldview even in the midst of social and technological change.
  • Secularism- the inability to integrate religious values with economic and social values resulting in compartmentalizing.
  • Ecumenism- Declining religious influence in public sphere causing groups to unify rather than compete.
trends in morocco
Trends in Morocco
  • Which of the following can be seen in Morocco in the present or near future?
    • Widespread belief
    • Secularism (relationship between religion and economic or political issues)
    • Ecuminism (focus on unity or uniqueness with other Islamic countries or groups)
    • Other trends
major religions in the united states
Major Religions in the United States





  • About 56% of Americans identify as Protestants
  • Protestantism is an extremely fragmented category, made up of dozens of specific denominations
  • Protestant denominations generally fall into categories of liberal, moderate and conservative
    • Conservative Protestants tend to identify as either evangelical or fundamentalist
  • About 28% of Americans identify as Catholics
  • Catholics tend to be younger, on average, than Protestants
  • Catholicism is strongly embraced by immigrant populations
    • 20% of Catholics are ethnic minorities
  • Catholics have traditionally been poorer and less educated than Protestants. Since the 1960’s they have been the equal of Protestants
  • About 75% of Catholics live in urban areas
  • Jews comprise about 2% of the American population, and getting smaller
  • Judaism is comprised of three broad groups:
    • Orthodox Jews—observe Jewish tradition very closely
    • Reform Jews—most liberal of Jewish groups; allow for major reinterpretation of religious practice and custom
    • Conservative Jews—less traditional than Orthodox Jews, but not willing to make major modification in religious observance
  • Jews are generally highly educated, though Reform Jews are most inclined toward secular education
  • Estimates of the number of Muslims in the U.S. is between 700,000 and 4 million—probably about 1% of the population.
    • About 25% of these are African American
  • There are an estimated 1 billion Muslims throughout the world and growing rapidly
social correlates of religious affiliation
Social Correlates of Religious Affiliation
  • Religious affiliation seems to be closely linked with many important facets of people’s lives, including:

Economic Standing

Social Values


Political Affiliation