Religion Essay

817 words - 3 pages

The view that religion acts as a conservative force stems from the structuralism theories of Functionalism and Marxism. Both see religion as facilitating the existence of society in its current form, although their views do differ substantially. For the Functionalist Emile Durkheim, religion, like many other social institutions, acts in the same way as one of the body's vital organs, in that it "keeps society alive". In other words, religion has a number of functions that serve the purpose of maintaining social stability and harmony. For example, functionalists believe that through the act of collective worship in the form of religious practices, religion helps bond and unite individuals; it acts as"social glue" that promotes value consensus and social solidarity.Functionalists see religion as a conservative force in that it helps to integrate individuals and allows them to realize the "collective conscience" (a set of moral codes and values). In contrast, Marxists see religion as acting as a conservative force by preventing revolutionary change. In Marx's words, "religion dampens the flames of working class revolution"; acting as an "opiate" which makes a life of ruling class oppression more bearable. For example, Engels claimed that the appeal of Christianity lies in the hope of "salvation from bondage and misery".A number of structuralism theories argue that religion is a conservative force in society, that is, it produces stability not change within society and it reinforces the shared needs and values of society. For some sociologists this is a positive effect - the view of the functionalist theorists, for some is a negative one - the view of the Marxist theorists. However, both adopt the view of religion as a conservative force; 'conservative' meaning that it favors keeping things the way they are and inhibiting change. Restraining change can be seen as a force for stability and social order, and is thus reflected in the majority of conservative thinkers. Durkheim, a functionalist theorist, supports the view that religion is a conservative force in society, reinforcing the existing society of society. He believes that society's religious basic shared beliefs, values, traditions and norms that make the society run smoothly through group worship and celebration serves to create cohesion and group solidarity. In maintaining this social solidarity, religion acts as a conservative force because if or when it fails to perform this function, new ideas may emerge that effectively become the new religion. Durkheim regarded 'new...

Find Another Essay On Religion

Religion Essay

1634 words - 7 pages “Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived,” was a statement made by Oscar Wilde. (Dawkins, pg. 222) In Richard Dawkins book, “The God Delusion,” regards the argument of the supernatural being in religion being not feasible. Richard Dawkins proposes his argument “with rigor and wit, Dawkins eviscerates the arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of the existence of a supreme being

Religion Essay

816 words - 3 pages Kortney DupreeIntroduction to Religion 101Montclair State UniversityDecember 16, 2013Religion Class Made Me WiserThis class made me wiser about the nature of reality in various ways. Before coming into this class the mindset I had was that religion was just based on one thing not many things. I never wanted to learn more about religion because it didn't interest me. I also felt that there was no need to know about religion because it was boring

Religion

694 words - 3 pages ReligionUsing material from Item A and elsewhere, briefly examine the extent to which religion can still be functional for individuals and society.Religion is a social institution which is present in all societies and provides the basis for any society's belief system. Human societies have always had some form of religious belief system in place to help guide them through their existence in this world.According to many writers, religion has

Religion

1973 words - 8 pages While the degree of religious fervor has flourished and waned in various civilizations, religion itself has never ceased to be a point of interest. At times, it has enjoyed effusive praise while at other times it has met cold reception. Religion as explored in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Stranger by Albert Camus is openly criticized. Under the harsh, bald statements of realism, religion loses its ethereal wonder and under the

Religion

3501 words - 14 pages Explore the ways in which Huxley and Eliot present Religion in their novels.Aldous Huxley and George Eliot both wrote about societies in which individuality was a central issue. Huxley was the author of "˜Brave New World,' which was first published in 1932. He writes about a time far in the future, when people do not have the freedom to make their own decisions, but are forced to conform within a society that dictates how their lives

Religion - 3496 words

3496 words - 14 pages world. It is also addressed at a global scale, specifically in the Declaration of Human Rights(SOURCE). However, this matter would not be necessary for discussion and improvement if there were no exceptions. While the general idea is that this is a basic human right and there should be absolutely no reservations to religious expression, there are certain matters where religion must be regarded behind the interests of national security and

Religion - 748 words

748 words - 3 pages Religion during Shakespeare's time was becoming faint. The reformation of the churches was taking place as madness struck Europe. Religion is often described as binding men and unifying people; from the Anglo-French 'relegate'. The prefix 're' meaning again and 'gate' to bind together. Shakespeare did exactly this by bring people together and giving his sermon in the act of plays instead of storytelling like a pastor would. Shakespeare wrote his

religion

2762 words - 11 pages My Religious Odyssey You can take the girl out of Catholic School… Most people grow up with some type of belief system. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and even Agnosticism are some examples. It wasn’t until I had a child that I realized that religion was just man’s way of explaining God. Even as a kid, however, I always believed in a higher being. Not just because of my very heavy-handed Catholic upbringing. I questioned many things about

Religion

1571 words - 6 pages moneylenders, [and] depicted Muslims as violent despots and servants of the despots” (4). Many people perceived Christianity as the only true religion; however, Lessing challenges these notions of Christian superiority throughout his play. One way he does this is by not portraying the Christian characters as any better or worse than the characters of different religions; in fact, the Patriarch is characterized as a despot, similar to how eighteenth

Religion

974 words - 4 pages ReligionIs Jesus the only way to Heaven?Last semester when I was signing up for classes, I needed an extra elective to add to my schedule. After looking through a few of my choices I decided on the course of Comparative Religion. This class ended up being one of my favorite classes I have taken so far in my collegiate career. This class opened up my mind to all the different types of religions and cultures all throughout the entire world. I

RELIGION

2235 words - 9 pages A moral code governing human affairs, the reverence an all-powerful entity and the concept of an innate conviction in the authority of belief are factors of religion that Margaret Atwood and George Orwell have exploited in 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Nineteen Eight-Four' in order to convey the extremes of a totalitarian government.In both novels, religion is used as a tool to implement rules, change lifestyles and enforce control. Each novel

Similar Essays

Religion Essay 607 Words

607 words - 2 pages "The History of the Dividing Line" by William Byrd is a story where I can compare the Native Religion, with my own Christianity religion. They differ some, but they are also alike in ways. During this essay, we will explore these different religions. Bearskin's religion also believes that there god made the world a long time ago. In the Christian's Bible, it says that God made the world…and that was a while back! Another similarity with

Religion Essay 620 Words

620 words - 2 pages This was for a psch1 class.Throughout the centuries, man-kinds biggest concern and belief was religion. Many questions were asked before that are still roaming around people's minds.1. Does god exist?2. How do I know what religion to believe in?3. What effect does religion have on my life?These are some of the questions that people consider when they are trying to find their spiritual selves. Many more questions are a big result of behavior

Religion Essay

817 words - 3 pages The view that religion acts as a conservative force stems from the structuralism theories of Functionalism and Marxism. Both see religion as facilitating the existence of society in its current form, although their views do differ substantially. For the Functionalist Emile Durkheim, religion, like many other social institutions, acts in the same way as one of the body's vital organs, in that it "keeps society alive". In other words, religion has

Religion Essay 518 Words

518 words - 2 pages In America the most popular religions are Baptist, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Assembly of God and Jehovah's Witness. There are also a large population of Atheists and Agnostics. In most homes children are raised as the same religion as their parents. When you're a child you're taught to believe what the bible tells you and to think like your parents think or believe. When you leave your parents house you