The Importance of Religion

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Religion plays an integral part in individuals lives, both personally and in societies as sociologists, such as Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, try to understand its impact through the beliefs and functions it holds. Religion is the very basis that some people may live their lives by which their everyday behaviours and actions are influenced. Beyond the behaviour and action, religion may help one find peace with them self and be able to make an identity as some people see their religion as who they are. Through two different perspectives with common similarities, Durkheim and Weber explore the role and impact religion has on societies and how they affect individuals by studying its many different forms and beliefs that are attached to them. Durkheim and Weber define their terms and state their arguments on the vital role that religion has in the world in a personal, social, and economical context.
One of the first sociologists to discover the importance that religion holds in a society is Emile Durkheim who uses the functionalist perspective to emphasize how religion impacts and individual and in societies. His view offered an interaction between people that displays the different forms of behaviour and also made a distinction between the “sacred” and the “profane”. The sacred can refer to a religious object or symbol that is beyond the understanding of common and ordinary things which is what profane is. Based on a certain religious belief, one object may be sacred to one individual but profane to another. For example, flowing rivers are just seen as water in common perspective, but in India the river Ganges is sacred water that is used to perform in special prayers. In order to convert regular water to the sacred water, a special...

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...n as wealthy as if individuals did not have the motivation to work and make money.
Of all the diverse religions that exist in today’s world, each one plays an important role in an individual’s life that follows that faith. One who grows up in a religious household follows those rituals and beliefs and has an identity that defines them in the world. Religion helps to support one in a time of need and is consoled not only from the religion itself but also from other members of the religion and community. Durkheim and Weber offered different perspectives which defined the importance that religion has on personal, social, and economical aspects. Whether one may embark on a pilgrimage to find enlightenment or try to seek salvation, religion will remain a powerful tool in shaping an individual and will continue to be a great impact while playing a vital role in the world.

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