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Comunicación y Gerencia Religion Chapter 19 Click to add Text
Religion: Basic Concepts
Religion: Basic Concepts • Emile Durkheim – Religion focuses on things that surpass the limits of our own knowledge. • Profane – “outside the temple”- Ordinary elements of everyday life • Sacred – That which is extraordinary, inspiring a sense of awe, reverence, and even fear. • Religion – The social institution involving beliefs and practices based upon a conception of the sacred. • Ritual – formal, ceremonial behavior
Religion and Sociology • Faith – Belief anchored in conviction rather than scientific evidence. • If not science, what? – Sociological analysis of religion is interested in the patterns of religious activity and their effect on society.
Theoretical Analysis of Religion
Structural Functional Analysis • According to Durkheim religion has 3 major functions – Social cohesion – Unites people through shared symbols, values, and norms • Totem – an object in the natural world collectively defined as sacred – Social control – The use of religious symbols and language to control human behavior has always been with us – Provides meaning and purpose – Personal spirituality allows humans to pass through times without total collapse • Critical Evaluation – Downplays religion’s dysfunctions such as generating social conflict and violence.
Symbolic-interaction Analysis • Religion is socially constructed (although perhaps with divine inspiration) through rituals like prayers, fasts, observances we sharpen the distinction between sacred and profane. – According to Peter Berger placing our brief lives in some cosmic frame of reference gives us the semblance of security and permanence. • Critical Evaluation – Socially constructed religion only works if we ignore that it is a social construct. – Downplays religion’s link to social inequality.
Social-conflict Analysis of Religion • Religion serves the ruling elites by legitimizing the status quo and diverting people’s attention from social inequities – Disrupts cultures with attempts to “convert heathens” – Focuses on the “better world to come” Marx called it the “opium of the people” • Critical Evaluation – Downplays religion’s efforts to promote social equality as in the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement
Religion and Social Change
Max Weber: Protestantism and Capitalism • Calvinism – form of Protestantism – Predestination – Anxiety over their fate • Work all the time great wealth • Capitalism arises • Weber said that capitalism arose as a disenchanted religion, further showing the power of religion to alter the shape of society.
Liberation Theology • The combining of Christian principles with political activism. • Goal: Promote greater social equality. • Improving conditions for the poor & oppressed.
Types of Religious Organizations
Religious Organizations • Church – organization that is well integrated into society. • State church – formally allied with the state – Example: Anglican Church/Church of England • Denomination – independent of the state and pluralistic • Sect – a type of religious organization that stands apart from the larger society – Leaders sometimes have charisma – extraordinaire personal qualities that can turn an audience into followers • Cult – religious organizations that are substantially outside a society’s cultural traditions
Religion in History
History of religion • In preindustrial societies – Rituals practiced 40, 000 years ago – Embraced “animism” • Elements of the natural world are conscious life forms that affect humanity. – No full-time religious leaders • In industrial societies – Science has often replaced religion as a source of comfort and certainty. – Science is silent when it comes to answering “why” we and the rest of the universe exists. – Often these two belief system are at odds with one another.
• • • Christianity 2. 0 billion followers 85% of Americans and Canadians Christianity began as a cult. It is monotheistic (one god). Jesus Christ is central figure as both man on earth and son of god. • Preaches personal salvation. • Many splits from original form of roman Catholicism. • Supports patriarchy
Global Map 19 -1 (p. 507) Christianity in Global Perspective Source: Peters Atlas of the World (1990).
Islam • • 1. 2 billion followers Not all Muslims are Arabs The Middle-East, Asia, and parts of Africa are Islamic-centered Islam is the word of god as revealed to the prophet Muhammad, born in Mecca around 570 The Qur'an urges submission to god (Allah) as the path to inner peace Five pillars of Islam – recognize Allah as the true god – ritual prayer – giving of alms to the poor – fasting during Ramadan – making the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca Supports Patriarchy
Global Map 19 -2 (p. 507) Islam in Global Perspective Source: Peters Atlas of the World (1990).
Judaism • 15 million adherents worldwide • National majority only in Israel • Jews believe that a covenant exists between god and god’s chosen people. • The torah emphasizes moral behavior in the world. • Denominations: – orthodox Jews are very traditional – reform Judaism is more church-like – conservative Judaism acts to bridge the first two belief systems • Anti-semitism – Prejudice and discrimination against Jewish people. • Supports Patriarchy
Hinduism • • • The oldest of all world religions More than 800 million believers Found mostly in India and Africa No sacred writings like the bible Principles: – Dharma refers to correct living – Karma refers to belief in spiritual progress through reincarnation • Nirvana represents spiritual perfection and a release from the cycle of rebirth.
Global Map 19 -3 (p. 510) Hinduism in Global Perspective Source: Peters Atlas of the World (1990).
Buddhism – 350 million persons • almost all Asians – Resembles Hinduism in doctrine and Christianity due to its ties to the life of one individual. • Siddhartha Gautama – achieved “bodhi” or enlightenment – became “Buddha” – No “god of judgment, ” but daily action has its consequences •
Global Map 19 -4 (p. 510) Buddhism in Global Perspective Source: Peters Atlas of the World (1990).
Confucianism – 100, 000 persons in north America – Prior to the 1949 revolution, it was the official religion of China. – Perhaps it is more a way of disciplined living than a religion. •
Figure 19 -1 (p. 512) Religiosity in Global Perspective Religion is stronger in the United States than in many other nations. Source: Inglehart et al. (2000).
Religion: East and West • Western religions have a clear focus on God (deity-based). • Eastern religions tend to be ethical codes; they make a less clear-cut distinction between the sacred and the profane. • Western religions join together in group at a special place at a regular time. • Eastern religions express religion in their daily lives.
Religion in the United States
Religion in the US • Religiosity – Refers to importance of religion in a person’s life. • Who’s More Religious in the US? – Women are more religious than men; – Members of sects are more religious than members of churches – Older people are more religious than younger people.
Table 19 -1 (p. 513) Religious Identification in the United States, 2002
National Map 19 -1 (p. 514) Religious Membership across the United States In general, people in the U. S. are more religious than people in other high-income nations. Yet membership in a religious organization is more common in some parts of the country than in others. What pattern do you see in the map? Can you explain the pattern? Source: From Rodger Doyle, Atlas of Contemporary America. Copyright © 1994 by Facts on File, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Facts on File, Inc. .
National Map 19 -2 (p. 514) Religious Diversity across the United States In most counties, at least 25 percent of people who report having an affiliation are members of the same religious organization. Thus, although the U. S. is religiously diverse at the national level, most people live in communities where one denomination predominates. What historical facts might account for this pattern? *When two or more churches have 25 to 49 percent of the membership in a county, the largest is shown. When no church has 25 percent of the membership, that county is left blank. Source: Glenmary Research Center (2002).
Religion in a Changing Society
Religion’s Changing Face • Secularization – historical decline in the importance of the supernatural and the sacred. – Religion isn’t going away, but rather some features are in decline • Civil religion – A quasi-religious loyalty binding people in a basically secular society. – American way of life has its core rooted in a moral belief system. – Celebrating patriotic holidays.
Figure 19 -2 (p. 515) Religious Nonaffiliation among First-Year College Students, 1970 -2004 The share of students claiming no religious affiliation has risen in recent decades. Sources: Astin et al. (2002) and Sax et al. (2004).
The Electronic Church • Some organizations especially fundamentalist are becoming electronic churches. • Prime-time preachers include: Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, and Robert Schuler • 10 million regular watchers; 40 million watch some every week • The internet is one of the most recent modalities to spread religion to people • Pope John Paul II called it the “new evangelism”