Essay on Theories in Religion

Essay on Theories in Religion

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What is religion? Well according the Dictionary it is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a super human agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” But to a person who practices a religion it is much more than this definition, it is a way of life. Well then what about Atheists? What do they believe? Well many of them believe in this definition, in-fact most do. But do any believe that even though they don't believe in religion themselves, does it serve a bigger picture other than what the definition says. Yes! Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx all have theories on why religion is more than just god’s and rituals.

Emile Durkheim defined religion as having a few necessary components, which are that it is a unified structure of beliefs with organized practices that is built around beliefs which are sacred to its followers. He also said that in each religion they divided items, places, and events into two realms, being Sacred and Profane. The sacred elements are connected to the religion, and are items that inspire awe, respect, and even sometimes fear into the believer of that religion. If people wish to become part of the sacred realm they perform some sort of ritual such as praying or sacrificing. Since people have faith they start to accept the things in which they do not understand or things that cannot be explained. In the opposite realm, Profanity is just the normal things in everyday life such as wood boards, tables, and buildings, but that doesn't mean that an item that was once part of the profane realm can’t be a part of the sacre...


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...this phenomena very well, “A “stained Glass Ceiling” tends to stunt clergy women's career development, even in the most liberal denominations”.

So what is religion? Religion is more than an institution of rituals and beliefs, its more than just going to church on Sunday, its more than just praying 5 times day facing mecca. Religion is a powerful tool for governments. Religion creates a sense of unity that unites all peoples with-in that religion, but also can have the opposite effect. It can cause wars between two opposite religions. Religion is also an inhibitor according to Karl Marx. It stunts progression of many social classes or slows the progression of rights for women. Even though all of these peoples were Atheists, they all could still see the huge impact religion has had on our society, and how it has made us the people as whole we are today.






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