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Nature of religion

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Chapter 13 religion
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Nature of religion

  1. 1. Nature of Religion NGILAY, SHAREEKA JOANA T.
  2. 2. Religion Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and to moral values.
  3. 3. Faith - is unquestioning belief that does not require proof or scientific evidence. Sacred - refers to those aspects of life that are extraordinary or supernatural. Profane - refers to the everyday, secular aspects of life. Rituals - are regularly repeated and carefully prescribed forms of behaviors that symbolize a cherished value or belief.
  4. 4. The sociology of religion focuses on religious groups and organizations, on the behavior of individuals within those groups, and on ways religion is intertwined with social institutions.
  5. 5. Conflict Perspective According to Karl Marx, religion is the "opiate of the people." Max Weber argued that religion could be a catalyst to produce social change.
  6. 6. The Social Functions of Religion Durkheim saw religion as worship of society, not as worship of a deity: “…rites are a means through which a group reaffirms itself.” Religious rites strengthen commonly- held attitudes.
  7. 7. #1: Providing Emotional Support and Security for Believers Religion provides meaning in a natural world in which humans have little or no control over certain phenomena. Humans use religion to deal with: - Dependence - Powerlessness - Scarcity
  8. 8. Religion offers a transcendental relationship with “the beyond,” which provides people with - New security - A firmer identity in this world (believers and priests) and the next
  9. 9. #2: Religion Provides Social Control As Durkheim implied, religion sacralizes the norms and values of established society, maintaining the dominance of group goals over individual wishes: Religion is a means of social control.
  10. 10. #3: Religion Provides Mechanisms for Social Change. Religion has served a “prophetic” function in which absolute standards take precedence over “earthly” ones. Religious belief is thus used as justification for social protests, social movements, political revolutions, etc.
  11. 11. #4: Religion Contributes to Individual’s Identities Religion is an aspect of heritage, like ethnicity. Religion furnishes part of individuals’ understanding of who and what they are: eg, “I am Catholic” or “I am Muslim.”
  12. 12. #5: Religion is a Factor in directing the Individual’s Lifecourse Religions prescribe rites, privileges and responsibilities that are associated with life stages, as with the identity of “elder,” ceremonies for entry into “adulthood,” marriage, etc.
  13. 13. Four Categories of Religion Simple supernaturalism - the belief that supernatural forces affect people's lives positively or negatively. Animism - the belief that plants, animals, and elements of the natural world are endowed with spirits that impact events in society. Four Categories of Religion
  14. 14. Theism - belief in a God or Gods. Transcendent idealism - belief in sacred principles of thought and conduct, such as truth, justice, life and tolerance for others.
  15. 15. Religions as Organizations Ecclesia – a type of religious organization in which most people in the society are members by virtue of their birth. Denomination – well-established religious organization in which a substantial number of the population are members. Examples: Presbyterian Church and Baptist Church.
  16. 16. A sect is a form of religious organization that is non-bureaucratic and clearly distinct from the larger society. A cult is distinct not only from the larger society but from other religions as well- it does not emerge from pre-existing religious forms; it is completely new.
  17. 17. The development of religion has taken different forms in different cultures. Some religions emphasize belief while others emphasize practice. Some religions focus on subjective experience of the religious individual while others consider activities of the religious community to be most important.

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