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Sociology and Religion Essay

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We all have some experience with religion. Whether our parents are religious, our own religious views, or others who try and convert you to a religion, we have all come in contact with a religion. But what do sociology and religion have to do with each other? The answer to this question is that religion meets sociology in the affects that it has on an individual or society (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 323).


What is a religion? A religion is defined by Richard Schaefer as a unified system of beliefs and practices that relate to what is believed to be sacred (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 323). There are many world religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, and so forth, and while all of these different religions are very different they all have similar components (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 325-326, 330). It is these components that make a religion and they are beliefs which are the statements that members hold too, rituals which are the practices required of the member to perform, and experiences which is the feeling of being in contact with the divine (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 331). No matter what religion one belongs to, these will be present.


Religions also are organized. Some countries have an ecclesia, or a national religion, while others have just denominations which are division within a religion that also is not part of a government (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 331). There are also religious sects which are small religious groups that has broken away from a larger religious group (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 33). There are also cults which are cults which are often a secretive group that presents itself as a religion (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 334-335). Within these different ...


... middle of paper ...


...ichard T, 2009, Sociology A Brief Introduction, pgs 14, 323-337

Stevens, William J, 2008, Religion: A Functionalist Assessment, retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/841304-religion-a-functionalist-assessment

Brahm, Eric, 2005, Religion and Conflict, retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/religion_and_conflict/?nid=6725

Newberg, Andrew, 2011, Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain, retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=religious-experiences-shrink-part-of-brain

Barkan, Steve, na, Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, retrieved from http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/pub/1.0/sociology-understanding-and-ch/364125

Brunner, Christian Dr, 2011, The Function and Dysfunction
of Religion in our Secular State, retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/religion_and_conflict/


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