The Problem of Definition of Religion Essay

The Problem of Definition of Religion Essay

Length: 2612 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Problem of Definition of Religion

The study of religion is problematic. There are so many dimensions to
religion (belief, practice, experience, knowledge and consequences)
that it is impossible to provide a conclusive definition.

Most sociologists do not believe in God.

Functionalist views on Religion

The functionalist analysis of religion is concerned with the
contribution religion makes to meeting society's needs such as social
solidarity, value consensus and harmony and integration between its


Durkheim studied Aborigines. He called their religion 'toteism'. Each
clan has a totem, which is seen as sacred. Worshipping the totem is
seen as worshipping God. However Durkheim sees it as also worshipping

· Worshipping society Durkheim argued that in worshipping God, people
are in fact worshipping society. Society is more important and
powerful than the individual, just as God is.

· Collective conscience: Religion reinforces the shared values and
moral; beliefs - what Durkheim called the collective conscience -that
hold society together.

· Collective worship Through acts of collective worship, members of
society express, communicate and understand the moral bonds which tie


· Durkheim only studied a small group of Aboriginal tribes. It may be
misleading to generalise from this small sample.

· Is toteism a religion?

· Most sociologists would not go so far to say that religion is
worshipping society.

· How applicable is this to modern society-ethnic sub cultures etc.


... middle of paper ...

... leadership would change. The sect would no longer be held together by
charisma. A bureaucratic denomination with a hierarchy may appear.

3. Some sects promote hard work and encourage their members to save
money. The members would be socially mobile and would not wish to be
part of a group created for marginal members of society.

Post Modernism

Post modernism = after modernity. Post modernity refers to beliefs and
ways of behaving that result from living in a postmodern society.

Modernity describes societies based around modern industrial
production. Urban living. Acceptance of reason and rational science.

Sociology is based on these modern ways of thinking e.g.

· There is a social order to life

· Social research can understand this order

· Research can be used to make progress.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Religion : The Definition Of Religion In Society Essay

- Merriam-Webster dictionary defines religion as “the service and worship of God or the supernatural”. Many people see this definition and think religion is just that, but do not know what the whole point of religion actually is. Yes, it is the worship of something or someone they believe in, but there is so much more to it than just the praying part. Luckily, in our society today, everyone has the right to choose what they want to believe in and there are many different religions to follow. To more adequately deal with the topic of how people live their life, society must be clear on the definition of religion....   [tags: Religion, Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler]

Powerful Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Anatomy Of The Sacred Is Religion Essay

- Anatomy of the Sacred is the book I utilize in religion class; it has fifteen chapters that enlighten one on religion and what it entails. Here I will relate some of the chapters to what is going on in the world today. These chapters include but are not limited to scared scripture and scared symbols. Initially, on July 24, 2015 mprnews had a discussion with three faith leaders (Dr. Hamdi El-Sawaf, Lauren Morse-Wendt, and Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman) to round out religion week. According to, “This week on the Friday Roundtable we 're talking with three religious leaders for analysis about our series, ‘Religion in America.’” Chapter one titled “What is Religion” and chapter ten titled “...   [tags: Religion, Islam, Qur'an, Sociology of religion]

Powerful Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

Religion : Religion And Religion Essay

- Religion Religion can be defined as a system of beliefs and worships which includes a code of ethics and a philosophy of life. Well over 90% of the world 's population adheres to some form of religion. The problem is that there are so many different religions. What is the right religion. What is true religion. The two most common ingredients in religions are rules and rituals. Some religions are essentially nothing more than a list of rules, dos and don 'ts, which a person must observe in order to be considered a faithful adherent of that religion, and thereby, right with the God of that religion....   [tags: Religion, God, Supernatural, Islam]

Powerful Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)

The Nexus Between Religion, Violence, And Terrorism Essay

- One of the goals of this week’s class is to understand “the nexus between religion, violence, and terrorism.” I will focus my discussion on the connection between the first two: religion and violence. Throughout our readings, multiple solutions are proposed for how to reduce religiously inspired violence in the Middle East. I will address two contradictory solutions: one that aspires to reduce religion’s public role and the other which seeks to increase it. To be sure, the two proposals I will be analyzing are not the only solutions, nor do I believe that are they the best....   [tags: Islam, Religion, Middle East, Christianity]

Powerful Essays
894 words (2.6 pages)

Religions : Religion : Pros And Cons Of Religion Essays

- Religion is a concept that humans as a whole have spent their entire lives trying to understand. It is a force that drives us to the point we are inspired by and have the desire to know more about it. And it can even be said that for however long the human race has been on this earth there has been some form of religious belief that has been followed. This has to deal with the fact that we need it just as much as we need food, water, and air to continue on living. And for religion to thrive it needs people to follow the systems of beliefs that would captivate and allow the process of it being spread to others....   [tags: Religion, Human, Faith, God, Supernatural]

Powerful Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

The Problem of Evil in the Judeo-Christian Tradition Depicted in Hicks' Philosophy of Religion

- The problem of evil is a difficult objection to contend with for theists. Indeed, major crises of faith can occur after observing or experiencing the wide variety and depths of suffering in the world. It also stands that these “evils” of suffering call into question the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The “greater good defense” tries to account for some of the issues presented, but still has flaws of its own. In the excerpt from Philosophy of Religion, John Hicks outlines the problem of evil as such: (a) If God were truly omnibenevolent, he would then wish to eliminate all evil; (b) If God is were truly omnipotent, he would then be capable...   [tags: religion, theology, Philosophy of Religion]

Powerful Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Does Religion Cause War?

- Religion has its shares of promoting violence. Many will argue that a cause of religion wars is for economic and political reasons, but others argue that those who start wars are, by definition, not religious. In reality, separating religion out of economic and political motives can be involved in such a way finding religious motives innocent of much. Excuses for Christianity responsibilities cannot be accepted whether the person has misappropriated the message of Christ. The primarily set of doctrines is not Christianity, but by living through past background it personified the visible actions of Christians....   [tags: Religion]

Powerful Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

What Is Religion? My Opinion Essay

- What is religion. My opinion, it is the individual’s source of essential security and purpose. A belief in God or Higher Power to provide insight and conscious to humanity. Religion is the reference book to our existence and purpose on earth. In the book of Genesis, also known as, beginnings, we are told that Word was with God and the Word was God. God created man in his image male and female. God’s plan for mankind in essence was for fellowship and worship. I am a born-again Christian of the Baptist faith and The Holy Bible is my instructional guide/doctrine trusted to provide principle and guidance in life....   [tags: Religion, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity]

Powerful Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Spirituality And Religion Into Therapy

- Over the years, the incorporation of spirituality and religion into therapy has become exponentially more important. Not only in terms of professional competence but also understanding how personal religious values might affect the professionals therapeutic purpose. “The most recent large scale survey of religion in America, a survey of 35,000 adults found that 56% reported religion to be very important in their daily life” (Barnett & Johnson, 2011). This means that it is a possibility that conflicts surrounding faith, religion, or personal spirituality will play a role in the therapeutic or treatment process....   [tags: Religion, Spirituality, Faith, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
1325 words (3.8 pages)

Taoism Religion Essay

- A perplexing aspect of Taoism is its very definition. Taoism starts by teaching a truth; “The Tao” is indefinable( To impart the meaning of the Tao is as unfeasible as attempting to tell a story verbally to a deaf person. Although indefinable, the Tao is often referred to as “The Way.” Taoism is more than merely a “philosophy” or a “religion”. Taoists believe the Tao is nonverbal in its essence, and is beyond the boundaries of language. Tao Te Ching was "a philosophical document as much about good government as it was [....   [tags: The Tao, Religion, Truth]

Powerful Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)