The functional theory of religion is basically a sociological theory which has been developed by … The usual and unintelligible events of nature tend man towards theological or fictitious interpretation of these events. Democracy. According to some scholars, the universe used to be a highly compressed mass and then there was a bang and that s how the Universe was born (Fox 9). Durkheim studied religion from a collectivist perspective. This paper is aimed at discussing the views of this sociologist. But of late, scholars from diverse disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology, history and linguistics have succeeded in bringing the unbounded phenomenon of religion under some system and order and have also evolved methods and techniques for its study which have yielded impressive results. In the process each investigator, irrespective of his personal attitudes, encountered the ineluctable fact that no account of human behaviour and social change is adequate which ignores the singular role and value of religious ideas and motives, dogmas and beliefs, faith and superstition in human behaviour. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. Terms in this set (11) Wink vs. Twitch example. Religion is used in order to justify these cultural norms, for example, norms surrounding marriage and reproduction (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p612). Study for free with our range of university lectures! Religion, therefore, has its origin in man’s attempt to project into the universe a belief in a cosmic father or God to give him support he once had from his human father. Both were gripped by the religion and its role in society (Nisbet, 1975). The primary interest of the early pioneers in the fields of social, anthropological and psychological research was to discover the origin of religious ideas in man rather than to describe them. Though Otto did not call this numinous feeling an emotion, other psychologists have identified religion with the sense of mysterious, the uncanny, and the sacred and termed it as numinous emotion. TOS Max Weber Theory Of Religion Essay Karl Marx And Max Weber. Short Essay on the Functional Theory of Religion – Modern sociologists have been making scientific efforts to understand and explain the non- scientific social phenomenon that consist of beliefs and practices. According to Comte each successive stage is an improvement upon the earlier stage. Religion is an aspect of the society’s way of life, implying that factors that affect the society’s way of life will have an impact on religious views. Test. No plagiarism, guaranteed! Different from Kant, the 19th century Max Muller held to the nature-worship theory. With the gradual development in human thinking there occurred a change in the form of thinking. Unfortunately,there is no current consensus on a precise identification of thenecessary and sufficient conditions of what counts as a religion. The monotheistic thinking symbolizes the victory of human intellect and reason over non-intellectual and irrational thinking. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! Our mission is to liberate knowledge. Email: g.levy1@lse.ac.uk; r.razin@lse.ac.uk. The first and primary stage in theological thinking is that of fetishism. One branch of this school maintained that solar myths were most important and that primitive rituals and myths were primarily concerned with man’s relation to the sun. Gravity. According to Durkheim, religion is a social cohesive. If you are interested in faith-based theories, we suggest that you do a search on Google with a search string like: origin Christianity. A fundamental feature of any theory of religion is, or should be, an explanation of the link between the two most observed aspects of religion, the individual aspect and the social aspect. He believed that these beliefs and values are worthy of investigation as they are what shape social institutions (Dillon, 2010, p125). Essay on the theories of origin of marriage. Controlling in Management # Meaning, Definition, Types, Process, Steps and Techniques. The symbols of religion appear to their users to be about a realm of supernatural powers and forces. He recognised that religion was a social concept that needed to be explored in and of itself, as a primitive and simple level. The modern temper of man is such that it cannot remain satisfied with mere guess work; it craves positive knowledge which can be scientifically confirmed. In other words, each of these theories has some value because they are not totally wrong but also are known to receive some criticism as theory is not a science, thus cannot be applied to some cases. Gravity. As the very term monotheism implies, at this level of human thinking a belief in one God had replaced the earlier belief in many gods. Such factors include race, ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods. Durkheim, along with Marx and Weber, is now seen as an extremely significant classical theorist, and has had an influence across many areas, such as education, religion, and health (Calhoun, 2007, p 133). PreserveArticles.com is an online article publishing site that helps you to submit your knowledge so that it may be preserved for eternity. Thus dreams convinced the primitive man of the existence of spirits and this conviction became, according to Tylor, the basis of religious beliefs. Religion reinforces prevailing social and economic arrangements by both consoling the oppressed and j… In this essay, I will be explaining Freud’s theories and ideologies on society, culture, and religion. This approach asserts that people have faith because beliefs make sense insofar as they hold value and are comprehensible. The individual aspect is usually referred to as beliefs of the individual 1Department of Economics, LSE. He identified the functions of religion in society. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. All the articles you read in this site are contributed by users like you, with a single vision to liberate knowledge. About Essay Sauce. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Marx’s theory states that religion was created to help control the non-superior class. According to Durkheim, religion is a social cohesive. Auguste Comte is regarded to be the father of sociology. The individual aspect is usually referred to as beliefs of the individual 1Department of Economics, LSE. These theories define what they present as universal characteristics of religious belief and practice. He proposes that the dream of an ideal society, an idealistic society that would eliminate evil and sufferings, suggest religion, as this is what religion aims for. The explanation of natural events in non-natural, divine, or imaginary conditions is known as theological or fictitious thinking. Durkheim is popularly known for his structural theory that seeks to explain the history of religion. You can view samples of our professional work here. Broadly, these approaches can be divided into two groups: 1. which consider the question of origin of religion to be of paramount importance, and 2. according to which not origin but description is important. Metaphysical thinking discards belief in concrete God. He suggests that as a result of this, religion underlies our moral and emotional links with others. Sample Essay on Religion Religion is an aspect of the society’s way of life, implying that factors that affect the society’s way of life will have an impact on religious views. These conclusions in turn are subjected to verification and once verified these become established laws, which can be relied upon in gathering and classifying the facts. It brings forth the idea that society is imbalanced and biased. According to Auguste Comte, human thinking has passed through the following three stages. These are: (i) Fetishism, (ii) Polytheism and (iii) Monotheism. He studied the subjective meaning and views of religion, and its cultural and historical origins, as well as how these produce institutional practices (Dillon, 2010, p117). It includes such facts as celebration, despair, ethical vigour, mystery, retreat, social activism, monastic quietude, contemplation, animal sacrifice, rituals involving pain and terror, images of hope, symbols of fear, the affirmation of life and struggle against death, creative growth, unthinking superstitions, beliefs and dogmas about natural and supernatural etc. Theories of Religion Essay Questions. There are no direct means to confirm the metaphysical knowledge. Content Guidelines Durkheim also claims that we organize life into the sacred and the profane, and neither can exist without the other (Durkheim, 1976, p308). However, according to Wm. Freud believes that religion has played a great part in the making of societies. Copyright. This is also known as animism. Here is your essay on the intellectualist theories of religion ! The sacred is defined as anything that is extraordinary and instils a sense of reverence and sometimes fear (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p611). In order to resolve this intellectual puzzle or riddle metaphysical thinking was invented. Each god had some definite function and his scope and area of action was determined. He was a moderate left supporter of German nationalism, and helped found the German Democratic Party, as well as playing a part in the Treaty of Versailles and the Weimar Constitution, before he died in 1920 (Dillon, 2010, pp117-118). Accordingly, in order to understand and appreciate the phenomenon of religion in its anthropological perspective, we must briefly know the various scientific and empirical approaches to the study of religion which are being made today. Privacy Policy Therefore, modern scholars have abandoned the approach of tracing the origin of the religion. Religion has been highly influential through the course of human history as a source of influence. Theories of religion can be classified into: Substantive (or essentialist) theories that focus on the contents of religions and the meaning the contents have for people. Essay Sauce is the free student essay website for college and university students. Sociological and anthropological theories about religion (or theories of religion) generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion. What is the distinction between magic, science and religion? The Elementary Forms of Religious Life presents Durkheim’s core belief that sociology of religion should be studied in a rational and objective manner. If people share a religion, the shared beliefs values and symbols, they are united by these, therefore it religion as a cohesive among these people. A fundamental feature of any theory of religion is, or should be, an explanation of the link between the two most observed aspects of religion, the individual aspect and the social aspect. Thus according to some scholars religion is nothing but a form of fetishism. He then comes to the conclusion that the idea of God and the religious teachings are some of human being’s strangest thoughts. These three theories on human development each have their own good points and frauds. Marx’s views are much more optimistic than Weber’s idealistic pessimistic views. Marx’s theory states that religion was created to help control the non-superior class. From the facts we generalize and draw conclusions. Religion comes in as a substitute to fill up the vacuum created by displacement of the father. At first glance it looks pretty certain that such a protean phenomenon, such a closely knit mass of fact and imagination is intractable and cannot be studied either empirically or analytically. Sociology Karl Marx viewed religion as a social control used by the bourgeoisie to keep the proletariat to maintain the status quo in a given society. Weber’s most prominent work, “The Protestant ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, discussed the interaction between religion and economic aspects. If you are interested in faith-based theories, we suggest that you do a search on Google with a search string like: origin Christianity. The Ghost theory explains the origin of Religion in the idea of Ghosts. The phenomenon called religion is extremely variegated, complex, intricate and full of paradoxes. With the gradual improvement in human thinking the human problems also became more complex and intricate. All work is written to order. His research was halted by a period of serious depression, however, most of his prominent work was carried out after his breakdown, such as “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” (Calhoun, et al., 2007, p206). Durkheim and Weber both carried out their work around the turn of the 19th century. Marxism is a conflict theory founded by German Philosopher and Sociologist Karl Marx in the 19th Century. Religion Sociology Essay 1191 Words | 5 Pages. Compare and contrast the theories and methods of Emile Durkheim and … According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. Weber discusses Protestantism in is ideal form, and how the characteristics of this religion affect everyday life (Dillon, 2010, p127). You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. “Suicide” discussed diminishing social bonds in modern society, and this influences patterns of suicide. He organised and classified the social thought prevailing before his times. Weber theories are based much on his ideal types, not best types but types that are of the purest kind. Karl Marx viewed religion as a social control used by the bourgeoisie to keep the proletariat to maintain the status quo in a given society. Nobody knows with … “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” examines how the social origins and function of religion and beliefs associated with it, and how they are reinforced by rituals and ceremonies (Calhoun, 2007, p136). Gilbert Ryle created a method referred to as "thick description." The examples of fetishistic thinking can be seen from the widespread belief among rural people in India that some deities reside in trees. The scientific thinking is thoroughly rational and in it there is no place for any belief on superstition. Fetishism implies undue emotional attachment to some object. They are really about society and its claims upon the man. What are the major contributions of Auguste Comte to Sociology? Comte gave birth not only to a specific methodology of studying knowledge but also analyzed the evolution of human thinking and its various stages. How many stages of growth, all societies pass through, has been suggested by centre? Democracy and Religion: Modern Theories Essay. The philosopher Herbert Spencer traced the origin of religion in the respect given to ancestors combined with beliefs in ghosts and fairies caused by dream experience. According to the great anthropologist Edward Tylor, religion had its origin in primitive man’s belief that non-physical substances like soul inhabited the physical and inanimate objects like stones, trees etc. Marx, Weber, Eliade, Evans Pritchard, Geertz, Livingston. At this level of thinking there is marked lack of logical and orderly thinking. The primary intention of religion is to influence the moral of life (Durkheim, 1976, p420). The latter is just one of the several arguments and explanations developed by Durkheim, with the view of determining the truth about humanity's obsession with religion. Religious symbols, for example, have a meaning to large bodies of people (e.g., the Star of David for Jews; the crescent moon and star for Muslims; and the cross for Christians), (Nelson Education, chapter 17). According to scholars subscribing to this view all the great symbols of the world’s religions were personifications of natural phenomena; the sun, moon, stars, storms, the seasons of the year. Match. But as R.R. (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p611). 11th Jan 2018 However, the both studied religion form two very different perspectives, although both thought in evolutionary terms (Parsons, 1964, p xxvii). It is not there to enhance our knowledge, instead it is there in order to provide a guide for the way we act and live (Durkheim, 1976, p416). Instead, they prefer objective or careful observation of what men actually do while engaging themselves in various religious activities. What are the weaknesses of evolutionary theories? to fact that religion has been a pivotal aspect of nearly every ancient and modern society, it should come to one’s realization that religion can be evaluated by various sociological theories. This fact was seen confirmed by dreams in which man saw somebody talking to him, who had died recently. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. According to Emile Durkheim religion is one of the ways of accomplishing socialization, that is, integration, accommodation and adjustment of social and personal needs. He looked to define religion which he concluded was “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them” (Durkheim, 1976, p47). As the magician believes that nature can be overwhelmed and instrumentalized for personal benefit through magical spells, in the very same manner, religious man believes in the existence of spirits that must be pleased and cajoled by prayers, rather than overwhelmed by magic formulas, though religionist, like magician, seeks to understand the mechanism of nature and control it. Even in scientific thinking some traces of earlier types are to be usually found. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. At this stage man had classified gods as well as natural and human forces. His work, centred around social change and industrial society, however, he became focused on social and moral order and how it was achieved and maintained in society. PreserveArticles.com is a free service that lets you to preserve your original articles for eternity. The above four theories are known as intellectual origin theories, because they assume that the primary source and value of religion is seeking answer to some questions. The following essay will deal with the science based theories of the origin of religion. This research aims to explore religious theories by Mircea Eliade and Emile Durkheim, and present a comparison of the views expressed. Religious phenomenon. According to Spencer the ghosts of ancestors were transformed into gods. This essay will explore the different viewpoints each theories take on subjects such as religion, community, family and education. The principle evolved by Comte in the study of human thinking presumes gradual evolution and development in human thinking and is known as the law of three stages because, according to it, human thought has undergone three separate stages in its evolution and development. The forth reason why religion must be the basis of morality is that the view of God commands is good and what has been prohibited is evil. A personal and concrete God could not account for the simultaneous creation and annihilation. Within this theory it has been stated that “religion is seen as a reference group, for many people, religion serves as a reference group to help them define themselves. He examines how different religious traditions and their structures influence society, particularly in relation to the economy and capitalism. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Gilbert Ryle created a method referred to as "thick description." The divine laws are as a matter of fact the most crucial laws of a given society. It includes such facts as celebration, despair, ethical vigour, mystery, retreat, social activism, monastic quietude, contemplation, animal sacrifice, rituals involving pain and terror, images of hope, symbols of fear, the affirmation of life and struggle against death, creative growth, unthinking … 5. He claimed that religion does not conflict with science. Karl Marx and Max Weber were influential sociologists that paved the way for modern... Sociology and Emile Durkheim. Marx endorses Feuerbach's view of religion as alienation and projection, but argues that religion, or alienated consciousness, is only an epiphenomenal reflection of a more basic dehumanizing alienation at the level of social and economic organization. According to Tylor, experiences of death, disease, visions and dreams lead the primitives to think about the … Email: g.levy1@lse.ac.uk; r.razin@lse.ac.uk. In his earlier writing, “The future of an illusion,” he regards religion as an illusion, which is equivalent to atheism. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. There has been an evolution in the human thinking so that each succeeding stages is superior to and more evolved than the preceding stage: Auguste Comte has explained his classification of human thinking into various stages in the words, that each of our leading conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different theoretical conditions-theological or fictitious, the metaphysical or abstract, and the scientific or positive. When discussing the origin of religion, it's important to remember the term 'religion' is broad and far... Max Muller. Weber on the other hand, has a more individualist perspective. aland94. Wetherefore currently lack a decisive criterion that would enable clearrulings whether some movements should count as religions (e.g.,Scientology or Cargo cults of the Pacific islands). Disclaimer In their attempts to do so, they have laid the foundations of some social theories of religion. Before publishing your Article on this site, please read the following pages: 1. Write. We're here to answer any questions you have about our services. Unable to discover the natural causes of the various happenings the primitive man attributes them to imaginary or divine forces. Durkheim holds a collectivist view of society, exploring it from the perspective that religion has a cohesive effect on people through sharing values, symbols and social norms (Macionis and Plummer, 2008, p611). Democracy can be defined as a form of government where all the citizens in the country have equal rights to make a decision in electing their leaders. Learn. “The Division of Labour”, where he examined social cohesion within the modern industrialise society. This patriarchal society theory is stoutly opposed by those who consider that the original society was matriarchal and that is why mother-worship is so central to every religion. PreserveArticles.com: Preserving Your Articles for Eternity. Leading experts engage with contemporary and classical theories as well as non-Western cultural contexts. Comte has classified the theological stage further into three loud stages. Test. He focused on the sociology of religion, such as the relationship between religious ideas and commitments, with other sociological aspects, such as human behaviour in relation to economics Parsons, 1964, p xx). There are several theories revolving around the existence of the universe religion and Christianity. PLAY. Fundamentally, the task of religion is preserving a normal, positive life (Durkheim, 1976, p29). He believed that the new individualist forms of religion were simply another form of collectivist forms in society (Durkheim, 1976, p425). Match. This essay on Marx Weber Theories of Religion Sociology was written and submitted by your fellow student. Durkheim was interested in providing a scientific basis for sociology and defining sociology as field of study which he discusses in “The Rules of Sociological Method” (Calhoun, et, al., 2007, p 135). The main importance of this principle is that it provides the basis of sociological thinking. Durkheim suggests it strengthens a person’s moral and feeing of “guardian support”. Write. For example, if we explain and understand the excess or deficiency of rain due to godly wrath, such a causai explanation would be in terms of theological or fictitious explanation. A religion is a system of beliefs, collective ideas, traditions, and rituals that serve the purpose of gathering, unifying, educating, and enlightening a group of people by influencing and guiding their insights, thoughts, and ways of life. Reference this. 4. According to the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, the origin of religion can be traced back to the problem of child seeking to work out adequate relationships with his parents, particularly his father. study of religion in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is widely renowned to be one of the founding theories and definitions of the sociology of religion. In this essay, I will be explaining Freud’s theories and ideologies on society, culture, and religion. Because I believe that he offers such interesting and important points that can help us understand the way our brain interprets these concepts and why. This type of thinking of children is also at this level. October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer. 2. Psychologist William James refutes the theory that there is in man a specific emotion which may be considered either a cause of religion or religious experience per se. The observation and classification of facts are the beginning of the scientific knowledge. It has been explained by Divine Command Theory. Individuals who partake in religious rituals or practices do so not only for spiritual reasons, but also to communicate their association with the religion and its believers as a whole. Specifically the psychological built of it. Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher? Terms in this set (11) Wink vs. Twitch example. Therefore, theological thinking is characterized by non scientific or unscientific outlook. The child regards his father a figure of absolute power, but as he grows the supremacy of father becomes untenable. Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion Secularization in the World: For and Against Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. Such factors include race, ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods. As the very term animism signifies it means that the so called inanimate objects are not dead and lifeless but are informed by a living spirit. Thus it is clear that theological thinking implies a belief in divine and extra-terrestrial forces. If people share a religion, the shared beliefs values and symbols, they are united by these, therefore it religion as a cohesive among these people. STUDY. Religion allows both the expression and control of emotion which enables the bond of individuals to one another and increases the …show more content… To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! His view was that the religious symbols and imagery are used by society to encourage conformity, and instil these into cultural norms. He regards it as one of the ties uniting the community members. After theological and metaphysical thinking comes the next stage known as scientific or positive stage. The perception that morality relies on religion holds that absence of religion means that there would be no morality since moral codes emanate from religion, and moral StudentShare Our website is a unique platform where students can share their papers in a matter of giving an example of the work to be done. Gilbert Ryle created a method referred to as beliefs of the purest kind is and. Creation and annihilation chosen to discuss is religion, as theorised by Durkheim! Take on subjects such as religion, it 's important to remember the term '... Press coverage since 2003, your UKEssays purchase is secure and we 're rated on... The father well as non-Western cultural contexts human forces history as a religion modern society culture... He also admits that religion has been highly influential through the course of human thinking descriptive towards! About society and should be examined in this essay on Sociology studied the social phenomena religion... 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