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Religion Essay

  • Submitted by: captainT
  • on November 12, 2012
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,115 words

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Below is an essay on "Religion" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Question: Evaluate the view that religion promotes social change.

Religion as argued by the functionalists and Marxists, it has a conservative influence on society. The functionalists say that the main functions of religion in modern society can be summarized into five key functions. They are, socialization which refers to religion as being an institution of primary socialization where the children are taught the values, norms and beliefs based on the religion of the family that they are born into. Then there is social integration and solidarity which refers to encouraging collective worship which is regarded by functionalists as particularly important for the integration of society, since it enables members to express their shared values and strengthens group unity. There also is civil religion which refer to the rituals and ceremonies that are common in aspects of national loyalties, then there is preventing anomies
And coming to terms with life changing events.
Marxists argue that the primary function of religion is to reproduce, maintain and justify class inequality. In other words, religion is an ideological apparatus, which serves to reflect ruling class ideas and interests. Marx describes religion as the “opium of the people”. According to Marx there are three ideological ways to outline religion. They are, legitimating social inequality which refers to religion as being a means of controlling the population by promoting the idea of an existing hierarchy is natural, god given and therefore, unchangeable. Disguising the true nature of exploitation, which is where religion explains economic and social inequalities in supernatural terms and finally, there is the that religion is keeping the working classes passive and resigned to their fate.

As a result of these function and ideologies, religion can be seen as a force for social change. Religion raises so many questions such as, how do people make sense of a world full of suffering, unfairness,...

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