Difference Between Functionalism And Religion

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Religion has been a source of fascination to the scientists for very many years, hundreds of years. Anthropological theories of taboos and totem, sociological theories of functionalism, biological investigations of the ‘religious mind, or the evolutionary theories of optimal adaptation, are just a few of the examples of the several attempts to understand the origin and the prominent existence of religion in the human societies. It is argued that a fundamental feature of any of these religion theories should be an explanation between two aspects that are most observed, the individual and the social aspects. While the individual aspect relates to the beliefs of the individual about supernatural abilities and powers, the social perspective is…show more content…
These are the functionalistic perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactions perspective. The latter to will not feature in this essay as it aims at discussing religion in only one perspective, and that is the functionalistic perspective. So, what does the functionalistic perspective imply? The functionalistic perspective is usually based on the works Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, Robert Merton, and Talcott Parsons. As per functionalism, the society is viewed as a system of interconnected parts working together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole (Mooney, Knox and Schacht). For instance, each social institution makes contributions of important functions for the society. In their description of the functionalism, Mooney, Knox, and Schacht puts it this way; the family provides a reproducing, socializing, and nurturing context, politics provides means for society governance, education provides for the transmission of the skills, culture, and knowledge of the society to the youths, economics allows for the production and distribution, as well as the consumption of goods and services, and religion provides the society with moral guidance, as well as an outlet for worshiping a higher

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