Functionalist perspective religion essay

It is considered a nationally recognized, or official, religion that holds a religious monopoly and is closely allied with state and secular powers. Canada does not have an ecclesia by this standard. One way to remember these religious organizational terms is to think of cults NRMs , sects, denominations, and ecclesia representing a continuum, with increasing influence on society, where cults are least influential and ecclesia are most influential.

Scholars from a variety of disciplines have strived to classify religions. One widely accepted categorization that helps people understand different belief systems considers what or who people worship if anything. Using this method of classification, religions might fall into one of these basic categories, as shown in Table Note that some religions may be practised—or understood—in various categories.

It is also important to note that every society also has nonbelievers, such as atheists, who do not believe in a divine being or entity, and agnostics, who hold that ultimate reality such as God is unknowable.


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While typically not an organized group, atheists and agnostics represent a significant portion of the population. It is important to recognize that being a nonbeliever in a divine entity does not mean the individual subscribes to no morality. Indeed, many Nobel Peace Prize winners and other great humanitarians over the centuries would have classified themselves as atheists or agnostics.

Religion has historically been a major impetus to social change. In early Europe, the translation of sacred texts into everyday, non-scholarly language empowered people to shape their religions. Disagreements between religious groups and instances of religious persecution have led to mass resettlement, war, and even genocide. To some degree, the modern sovereign state system and international law might be seen as products of the conflict between religious beliefs as these were founded in Europe by the Treaty of Westphalia , which ended the Thirty Years War.

As outlined below, Canada is no stranger to religion as an agent of social change. At the same time that religion is still a major force in Western society, it is within a backdrop of societies becoming more and more secularized. Weber believed membership in distinguished clubs would outpace membership in Protestant sects as a way for people to gain authority or respect. Conversely, some people contend that secularization is a root cause of many social problems, such as divorce, drug use, and educational downturn.

While some scholars see the Western world, including Canada, becoming increasingly secular, others observe that religion is still all around us. For example, recent statistics show that about 75 percent of Canadian marriages still involve a religious ceremony. But this varies from a a high of 90 percent in Ontario to less than 40 percent in British Columbia Black , B. Vital Statistics At the time of this writing, religion impacted post-secondary education in Canada. This is not a new battle for Trinity Western University.

In , the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the B. College of Teachers in its bid to uphold the original decision not to accept Trinity Western graduates into the teaching profession. This action would have effectively blocked Trinity graduates from teaching in British Columbia Wikipedia N. Religious independent schools teaching from kindergarten to grade 12 receive varying degrees of public funding across Canada.

In British Columbia, these schools are countering the student population declines found in the public schools and have generally increased enrolments annually B. Ministry of Education Compared to other democratic, industrialized countries, Canada is generally perceived to be a fairly religious nation. Whereas 42 percent of Canadians in a Gallup survey said religion was an important part of their daily lives, 65 percent make this claim in the United States.

The numbers were also higher in Spain 49 percent , but lower in France 30 percent , the United Kingdom 27 percent , and Sweden 17 percent Crabtree and Pelham Secularization interests social observers because it entails a pattern of change in a fundamental social institution. The above data on the importance of religion in daily lives tell us much about our views on other issues. For example, countries such as Canada that have a lesser level of impact from faith on our day-to-day routine are more tolerant, even accepting of, homosexuality Trinity Western University notwithstanding.

A recent study shows that countries where religious influence is low are generally also the richest countries Pew Research They are more accepting of homosexuality than poor countries where religious influence is high.

Sociology Of Religion

The fact that Canada has become more secular is evidenced in the 10 percent increase in acceptance of homosexuality over the last decade. While less than half of Canadians state that religion is important, 80 percent of Canadians claim a religious affiliation Statistics Canada Canada is known for its religious diversity, yet it is predominantly Christian, with 72 percent declaring membership in one of its denominations or sects.

Catholicism stands out as the most popular choice with almost 50 percent of Christian Canadians. Religious affiliations among recent immigrants to Canada are similar for Christians and those claiming no religion, according to statistics gathered between and Statistics Canada Other common affiliations for new immigrant are Muslim 18 percent , Hindu 8 percent , and Sikh 5 percent.

The power of the sociological study of religion goes well beyond how we think and behave over religion. These views and behaviours spill over in fundamental ways into other important arenas within our lives. The Sociological Approach to Religion Religion describes the beliefs, values, and practices related to sacred or spiritual concerns.

Max Weber believed religion could be a force for social change. Karl Marx viewed religion as a tool used by capitalist societies to perpetuate inequality.

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Religion is a social institution because it includes beliefs and practices that serve the needs of society. Religion is also an example of a cultural universal because it is found in all societies in one form or another. Functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism all provide valuable ways for sociologists to understand religion.

Types of Religious Organizations Sociological terms for different kinds of religious organizations are, in order of decreasing influence in society, ecclesia, denomination, sect, and cult. Religions can be categorized according to what or whom its followers worship. Some of the major types of religion include polytheism, monotheism, atheism, animism, and totemism. Religion and Social Change Many of the classical sociological theories predicted that levels of religiosity in Western societies would decline due to the process of secularization.

However, while society has certainly become more secular, a large majority of people in Canada still claim religious affiliation. The clash of secular and religious values in modern society produces issues that are difficult to resolve.

Functionalist View of Religion Essay

The Sociological Approach to Religion 1. In what ways does religion serve the role of a social institution?

Functionalist Perspective

Which perspective most emphasizes the ways in which religion helps to keep the social system running smoothly? Which socialist perspective most emphasizes the ways in which religion helps to maintain social inequalities within a society? Types of Religious Organizations 8.

Functionalist Theory

What are some denominations of the Christian Protestant church? Religion and Social Change Secularization refers to a number of interrelated trends including:. The Immanent Frame is a forum for the exchange of ideas about religion, secularism, and society by leading thinkers in the social sciences and humanities. Some would argue that the Protestant work ethic is still alive and well in North America.

Sorting through the different Christian denominations can be a daunting task. It is an entheogen that induces visions.

The Functionalist Perspective on Religion: Summary Revision Notes – ReviseSociology

Religion and Social Change What are megachurchs and how are they changing the face of religion? Glencoe, IL: Free Press. Division of Labor in Society. Translated by George Simpson. New York: Free Press. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Translated by J. Fasching, Darrel and Dell deChant. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwel. Gentleman, Jeffrey.

January 3. The Politics of Ancient Israel. Louisville, Westminister : John Knox Press. Greeley, Andrew. MacAskill, Ewen. October 7.

Theories about religions

Marx, Karl. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Sparks, Kenton, Weber, Max. Ancient Judaism. Hans H. Gerth ed. Weber, Max []. Religion and Social Change B. Ministry of Education. Independent School Reports. BC Ministry of Education Website. Vital Statistics. Black, Debra. The Star Newspaper. January 18, CBC News. May 06, Nova Scotia. Crabtree, Steve and Brett Pelham.