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system of beliefs, symbols, and rituals, based on some sacred or super natural realm which guides human behavior, gives meaning to life, and unites believers into a community


emile durkheim,those things in life that are extraordinary or super natural. those things that are set apart as "holy".


everyday secular or worldly aspects of life

4 main categories of religion

1. simple supernaturalism
2. animism
3. theism
4. transcendent idealsim


belief in plants, animals and nature stuff

simple supernaturalism

super natural forces effect peoples lives either positively or negatively


beliefs in a god or gods

transcendent idealism

belief in sacred principles of thought and conduct

religion in industrial revolution

that science could answer everything that could have been the realm of religion

functionalist important functions in society

1. meaning and purpose to life
2. social cohesion and sense of belonging
3. social control and support for government.

civil religion

make sacred the values of the society and place the nation in the context of ultimate system of meaning
ex. national anthem

conflict perspective of religion

- capitalist class uses religion to dominate and mislead workers
- predestination
marx- religion is not good. opiate and drugs

symbolic interactionist perspective of religion

- religion defines people, like religious symbols
- his and her religion


official state religion


seek accommodation w/ large society in order to maintain some degree over it


characterized by accommodation to society but lacking domination over society


small religious group that has broken away to renew the original version of the faith

berger on religion

religion is a sacred canopy

common characteristics of all religions (know at least two)

1. creation of sacred
2. doctrines
3. ethical codes
4. rituals
5. organization of believers


the grandchildren

nontheistic religion

(ethical religion) (everyone else) principles or thought or content


healing, divination, and prophecy. maasai religious system

weber on religion

the protestant ethic and spirit ad capitalism
catalyst for social change
luther: work is a calling

6 major religions

hold almost 75% of worlds population


oldest religion
karma/ nirvana
719 million followers


1. dukkha- pain and suffering
2. tanha-craving and coveting
3. nirvana
4. 309 million followers


1. kung fu tzu
2. family of scholars
3. human relationships
-respect for others
4. 5.9 million followers


god, torah, israel
orthodox, reform, and conservative


1. 21%
2. more muslim in u.s. than other places
3. jihad
4. Qur'an

2 reasons for islam fastest growing religion

1. highest birth rate
2. strong outreach
one of most understood religion

garden of eden


largest number of muslim






great britten



sharing of christian faith among different christian types

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