15 terms


Believe religion was the 'opium of the masses' used to dull the pain of opression felt by class divides. However it may improve life for the working class as it provides hope.
Marxist terms
Virtue of suffering
False class consciousness
Opium of the masses
Dulls pain of opression
Max Weber and the Protestant Work Ethic (M)
Study of the protestant religion, they believed in a simple life with little virtues. Achievements were key and money was spent on improving working tools. They did not believe in external pleasures. This drive to improve work was a key factor in the speed in which Britain industrialised. Weber argued that religion had the power to change a society.
Believe that religion is positive for society and serves a meaningful purpose. Many believe that religion meets the needs of society and therefore will keep people together.
Durkheim (F)
Study of society, he believed that religion provided a certain role within society, the role was to bind it's members together forming a social cemet. This creates a collective conscience in which members share the same beliefs and values. With these views being sacred they became much more likely to be followed, therefore solidifying the belief.
Malinowski (F)
Study of the Trobiand Islands, this was a small scale society based on fishing. Their role of religion was used in a ritualistic way to prevent danger and provide comfort and reassurance. This was due to the danger their men faced by fishing away from the village. This belief provided a collective comfort among the women left at home and also offered ways of coping if the worst happened.
This believes that society has become more individualised encouraging it's members to question and challenge views. Metanarratives are often rejected and society becomes less centrally controlled and religion influenced. Different aspects of society are more influential that religion.
Post-modernism cont.
Belief that everyone has become decentred, less likely to be influenced by centralised ideas. One view or explanation is no longer believed, people are learning to think for themselves. For example views on abortion, divorce and contraception.
Feminists want women to have equal rights be men and for both sexes to be treated equally. They argue that religion is patriarcle (male dominated) and early religion that promote female power have been reduced in influence.
Feminism cont.
Popes, priests, cardinals etc are all males and most faiths do not allow women to be of religious importance.
Woman outnumber men in congregation yet are still being lead by men through male religious dominance.
Christianity justified male power by Jesus' choice to only have male disciple, follow by example.
Feminism cont.
Female representatives in the holy books fall into two extremes:
Caring, devoted wife, mother or virgin or
Sexually promiscious harlot or prostitute.
These show an unrealistic view of women in society today and allow men to view women one of two ways.
Women are portrayed in a passive way, no female role models, showing it was written by men.
Feminism cont.
Ceremonies such as weddings have religious aspects of patriarchy. Women must be 'given away' by their fathers to their husbands to be, this implys a woman is a possesion.
Religion is stripped back to basics, beliefs are from the holy book which is follwed completely. It is believed that there is a literal truth to religion and life is run by this. Deep runing faith that effects all aspects of life.
Davie (1995)
Fundamentalism is defined as reaffirming the 'essential truths' of a faith.
Fundamentalism cont.
Characterists include:
Emergence from traditional cultures that are undisturbed
Feeling that their religion is under threat
Lead by a specific leader
Actions are justified in the holy book
Feeling that they are 'against the world'
Can use modern technology, although are against modern life.