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Religion Religion. 2 Religion as a Social Institution Religion: Religion: Set of institutionalized beliefs and practices that deal with the meaning of.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion Religion. 2 Religion as a Social Institution Religion: Religion: Set of institutionalized beliefs and practices that deal with the meaning of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion Religion

2 2 Religion as a Social Institution Religion: Religion: Set of institutionalized beliefs and practices that deal with the meaning of life Beliefs and actions related to the supernatural Relieves anxiety when the world doesn’t make sense

3 3 Elements of Religion Religious Beliefs: Religious Beliefs: Define the supernatural/divine order, clarify humans’ role Organize perceptions of the world Create a guide for behavior

4 4 Elements of Religion Religious Beliefs: Religious Beliefs: Myth: Narrative stories about supernatural forces or beings Serve to express core beliefs and teach morality Transmit information about survival and conservation Doctrine: Direct statements about religious beliefs Written, formal

5 5 Elements of Religion Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Formal enactments of religious beliefs Activities have symbolic meanings

6 6 Elements of Religion Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Periodic rituals

7 7 Elements of Religion Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Periodic rituals Life-cycle rituals Life-cycle rituals Separation Separation Transition Transition Reintegration Reintegration

8 8 Elements of Religion Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Periodic rituals Life-cycle rituals Separation Transition Reintegration Pilgrimage Pilgrimage

9 9 Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Periodic rituals Life-cycle rituals Separation Transition Reintegration Pilgrimage Rituals of inversion Rituals of inversion Elements of Religion

10 10 Elements of Religion Religious Rituals: Religious Rituals: Periodic rituals Life-cycle rituals Separation Transition Reintegration Pilgrimage Rituals of inversion Sacrifice Sacrifice

11 11 Elements of Religion Subjective Experiences: Subjective Experiences: Arise out of rituals and beliefs Religion provides framework to interpret inner states

12 12 Elements of Religion Community: Community: Shared beliefs, rituals, experiences create a community of believers

13 13 An Evolutionary Model of Religion Magic  Religion  Science Magic: Magic: People’s attempt to compel supernatural forces/beings to act in certain ways Imitative magic: Contagious magic: Arose out of need for explanation; esp. difference between living and dead Animism: Animism:

14 14 A Functionalist Theory of Religion Durkheim: Durkheim: Societies distinguish between Sacred: That which is holy, inspires awe, must be treated with respect Profane: Ordinary, everyday things that may be treated casually

15 15 A Functionalist Theory of Religion Totem: Sacred emblem that members of a group treat with reverence To Durkheim, totems were symbols of deity and symbols of society Experiences we categorize as religious are responses to social forces Role of science vs. role of religion

16 16 A Conflict Theory of Religion Marx: Marx: Religion serves the interests of the ruling elite Masks the exploitation of the workers and the class inequality of capitalism Alienation

17 17 Religion as an Agent of Social Change Weber: Weber: Calvinism Calvinism: Doctrine of Predestination Worldly Asceticism

18 18 Types of Religious Organizations Established church Organization that claims unique legitimacy Has positive relationship with society

19 19 Types of Religious Organizations Sect Organization that claims unique legitimacy Stands apart from society

20 20 Types of Religious Organizations Denomination Organization that accepts legitimacy of other religions Has positive relationship with society

21 21 Types of Religious Organizations Cult Organization that accepts legitimacy of other religions Has negative relationship with society

22 22 Dilemmas of Institutionalization Mixed motivations Symbol systems Organization Letter vs. spirit of religious law Conversion vs. coercion


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