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The Sociology of Religion

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Cesar Murga

on 30 August 2016

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Transcript of The Sociology of Religion

The Sociology of Religion
Chapter 13; Section 3 p.322 - 326
Functions of Religion
Rituals and Symbols
Belief Systems
Functionalist Perspective:
These two elements are present in every religion.
Most rituals have symbols associated to them.
There are three main types of Belief Systems:
Religions can be categorized based on the acceptance and integration they have with the society that practices it.
Organizational Structures
Weird Rituals and other stuff
As your homework, bring a detailed description (2-3 paragraphs) of the assigned ritual.
Most of the elements that will be analyzed throughout this lesson require a critical approach to them. Leave your preconceptions of religion behind, as they will only hinder your learning.

Sociological definition
Why do we live? Why do we die?
The emergence of religions in human societies is a universal phenomenon.
Religions struggle to provide a meaning to human existence and to provide motivation for survival.
Religions provide a system of roles and norms organized around the concepts of "sacred" and "profane".
Why are there so many religions?
"There are as many religions as different ways of seeing the world." - Me
This is what has happened through the ages...
What is sacred?
"Anything that is considered to be part of the supernatural world and that inspires awe, respect, and reverence."
What is profane?
"Anything considered to be part of the ordinary world and, thus, commonplace and familiar."
Why are these two concepts important when studying the importance of religion amongst societies?
Jewish people are supposed to follow a set of laws regarding their food...
This is known as Kashrut or more commonly, Kosher.
Muslims are also supposed to follow a rigorous set of rules that separates "allowed" from "forbidden" food.
Think about it... these are the most influential religions in the world. They have different approaches to what is sacred and what is profane even in food.
You can eat whatever you want.
(Thank you Jesus)

Restricted food:
Animals that have been offered in sacrifice to other gods.
Pets trained for a purpose.
Animal meat not blessed in the name of Allah before eating.
Intoxicants (drugs) and alcoholic beverages.
Religion is a social creation.
"Things take on sacred meaning only when they are socially defined as such by a group of believers. Things that are sacred in one society may be profane in another society. " - Your book.
Provides Social Cohesion
Religion encourages the strengthening of bonds among people.
Social Control
Religion encourages conformity to the norms and values of society.
Emotional Support
Religion often provides comfort in times of personal suffering or natural disaster.
So, here's your homework. Watch this video (link available at Edmodo). Write 10 main ideas that other authors provide regarding the role of religion in society.

There are thousands of symbols associated with the many different religions around the world.
Symbols may be interpreted differently based on the culture and religious traditions of each society.
"Established pattern of behavior through which a group of believers experiences the sacred."
Elaborate a chart in which you must describe 5 rituals of the following religions:
Spirits influence human life.
Belief in a God or Gods.
A wide variety
Moral principles have a sacred quality.
Principles serve as a guide to a righteous life.
The goal is to reach the highest human potential.
Less Accepted
More accepted
Ecclesiae (State Church)
Denominations (Catholic, Protestant)
Sects (Jehova's
Cults (Maradonismo)
Full transcript