For example, if we explain and understand the excess or deficiency of rain due to godly wrath, such a causai explanation would be in terms of theological or fictitious explanation. In the process each investigator, irrespective of his personal attitudes, encountered the ineluctable fact that no account of human behaviour and social change is adequate which ignores the singular role and value of religious ideas and motives, dogmas and beliefs, faith and superstition in human behaviour. Marett argues, religion is not so much an intellectual endeavour as a set of profound emotional responses to various aspects or consider emotional factor to be called emotive theories and these are discussed below: According to the celebrated psychologist Wilhelm Wundt religion is simply projection of fear into the environment, and according to Otto religion is identical with numinous feeling. The following essay will deal with the science based theories of the origin of religion. If you are interested in faith-based theories, we suggest that you do a search on Google with a search string like: origin Christianity. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life presents Durkheim’s core belief that sociology of religion should be studied in a rational and objective manner. He believed that the new individualist forms of religion were simply another form of collectivist forms in society (Durkheim, 1976, p425). He was a moderate left supporter of German nationalism, and helped found the German Democratic Party, as well as playing a part in the Treaty of Versailles and the Weimar Constitution, before he died in 1920 (Dillon, 2010, pp117-118). to fact that religion has been a pivotal aspect of nearly every ancient and modern society, it should come to one’s realization that religion can be evaluated by various sociological theories. Because I believe that he offers such interesting and important points that can help us understand the way our brain interprets these concepts and why. The above four theories are known as intellectual origin theories, because they assume that the primary source and value of religion is seeking answer to some questions. However, this primal act and ensuing guilt are the psychological causes of belief in father-god whose wrath has to be placed through sacrifice. According to Durkheim, religion is a social cohesive. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. From the facts we generalize and draw conclusions. The primary intention of religion is to influence the moral of life (Durkheim, 1976, p420). In particular, the transition between traditional society and modern society, and how this influences how social structures and relationships are adapted and maintained (Dillon, 2010 p79). Despite being a trained as a lawyer and historian, he became interested in the social sciences, in particular economics. This research aims to explore religious theories by Mircea Eliade and Emile Durkheim, and present a comparison of the views expressed. Auguste Comte is regarded to be the father of sociology. Secular-based theories of religion: . But he also admits that religion has profound emotional basis. The symbols of religion appear to their users to be about a realm of supernatural powers and forces. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. Ordinarily, it is believed that evolution of religion takes the form of a steady decline in number of gods that is a movement from polytheism to monotheism. Unable to discover the natural causes of the various happenings the primitive man attributes them to imaginary or divine forces. His work, centred around social change and industrial society, however, he became focused on social and moral order and how it was achieved and maintained in society. Karl Marx and Max Weber were influential sociologists that paved the way for modern... Sociology and Emile Durkheim. The observation and classification of facts are the beginning of the scientific knowledge. Durkheim wrote extensively in the area of religion. “Suicide” discussed diminishing social bonds in modern society, and this influences patterns of suicide. His view was that the religious symbols and imagery are used by society to encourage conformity, and instil these into cultural norms. He suggests that as a result of this, religion underlies our moral and emotional links with others. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and Karl Marx (1818–1883) both authored prominent humanistic theories of religion with scientific or quasi-scientific pretensions. The theological thinking was not adequate to tackle these efficiently. Spell. He identified the functions of religion in society. Another function of religion, according to Durkheim, is that religion provides a sense of purpose, meaning and comfort (Macionis and Plummer, 2008, p612). Fundamentally, the task of religion is preserving a normal, positive life (Durkheim, 1976, p29). Broadly, these approaches can be divided into two groups: 1. which consider the question of origin of religion to be of paramount importance, and 2. according to which not origin but description is important. He regards it as one of the ties uniting the community members. Fetishism implies undue emotional attachment to some object. Email: g.levy1@lse.ac.uk; r.razin@lse.ac.uk. Both were gripped by the religion and its role in society (Nisbet, 1975). According to Tylor, experiences of death, disease, visions and dreams lead the primitives to think about the … It allows people to rise out of themselves, which then helps mould their action and behaviour, which results in the collective cohesive affect on society. Durkheim also studied the social phenomena of religion in relation to how it constrains social behaviour (Dillon, 2010, p118). This system of beliefs and practices is indispensible for the identity of a person and his or her sense of belonging to the group. These are: (i) Fetishism, (ii) Polytheism and (iii) Monotheism. Unfortunately,there is no current consensus on a precise identification of thenecessary and sufficient conditions of what counts as a religion. As regards religion, an ideal type is the distinctive characteristics of a religion. This is also known as animism. They are, therefore, seen to engage in the worship of trees etc. Gilbert Ryle created a method referred to as "thick description." According to the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, the origin of religion can be traced back to the problem of child seeking to work out adequate relationships with his parents, particularly his father. This indicates that religion suggests the ideals of society, instead of explaining it (Durkheim, 1976, p420). Freud suggested that primitive man originally existed in a patriarchal society where the father had absolute right over all desirable females. The theological thinking implies belief in another world wherein reside the divine forces which control the events in this world. These three theories on human development each have their own good points and frauds. Comte gave birth not only to a specific methodology of studying knowledge but also analyzed the evolution of human thinking and its various stages. The usual and unintelligible events of nature tend man towards theological or fictitious interpretation of these events. If people share a religion, the shared beliefs values and symbols, they are united by these, therefore it religion as a cohesive among these people. Therefore, sociologists examine it in order to understand why religion and the beliefs and practices associated with religion, are so significant and the position they play within society (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p610). Democracy can be defined as a form of government where all the citizens in the country have equal rights to make a decision in electing their leaders. His research was halted by a period of serious depression, however, most of his prominent work was carried out after his breakdown, such as “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” (Calhoun, et al., 2007, p206). PLAY. Individuals who partake in religious rituals or practices do so not only for spiritual reasons, but also to communicate their association with the religion and its believers as a whole. Gilbert Ryle created a method referred to as "thick description." Flashcards. Fetishism is a belief that there is some living spirit in the non living objects. Gravity. Under metaphysical thinking, belief in an abstract transcendental entity or Absolute replaces the belief in personal concrete God. Nobody knows with … PreserveArticles.com: Preserving Your Articles for Eternity. There have been many issues in the existence of man that have been clouded with many uncertainties and ambiguities, but none of them have raised much controversy and debate than religion. Description According to Durkheim, a religious system is best described as primitive if it exists in a society that lacks the simplest form of organization, and explaining the religious system does not require any further reference from previous forms of religion. The Ghost theory explains the origin of Religion in the idea of Ghosts. Sociological and anthropological theories about religion (or theories of religion) generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion. The modern temper of man is such that it cannot remain satisfied with mere guess work; it craves positive knowledge which can be scientifically confirmed. However, according to Wm. Durkheim also claims that we organize life into the sacred and the profane, and neither can exist without the other (Durkheim, 1976, p308). There are several theories revolving around the existence of the universe religion and Christianity. In other words, each of these theories has some value because they are not totally wrong but also are known to receive some criticism as theory is not a science, thus cannot be applied to some cases. Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion Secularization in the World: For and Against This patriarchal society theory is stoutly opposed by those who consider that the original society was matriarchal and that is why mother-worship is so central to every religion. The forth reason why religion must be the basis of morality is that the view of God commands is good and what has been prohibited is evil. As a matter of fact all these theories are highly speculative and conjectural and there are no adequate methods of verifying or diversifying them. Freud believes that religion has played a great part in the making of societies. The essay below discusses how factors such as; ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods impact a person’s religious view and the way the society can improve the religious … He believed that religion played a role of stereotyping within society, as it structures and preserves social groups and relationship and provides a social identity for groups. Max Weber Theory Of Religion Essay Karl Marx And Max Weber. Such factors include race, ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods. Here is your essay on the intellectualist theories of religion ! Essay Sauce is the free student essay website for college and university students. A personal and concrete God could not account for the simultaneous creation and annihilation. Religion reinforces prevailing social and economic arrangements by both consoling the oppressed and j… Learn. Within this theory it has been stated that “religion is seen as a reference group, for many people, religion serves as a reference group to help them define themselves. He then comes to the conclusion that the idea of God and the religious teachings are some of human being’s strangest thoughts. Learn. The functional theory of religion is basically a sociological theory which has been developed by … It has been explained by Divine Command Theory. At this stage man had classified gods as well as natural and human forces. The citizens of such a region or country have equal participation in electing their leaders. According to Durkheim, religion is a social cohesive. The examples of fetishistic thinking can be seen from the widespread belief among rural people in India that some deities reside in trees. Specifically the psychological built of it. Thus, religion functions to bind society's members by prompting them to affirm their common values and beliefs on a regular basis. Marx’s theory states that religion was created to help control the non-superior class. VAT Registration No: 842417633. 3. (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p611). Religion is an aspect of the society’s way of life, implying that factors that affect the society’s way of life will have an impact on religious views. The scientific thinking is thoroughly rational and in it there is no place for any belief on superstition. According to Emile Durkheim religion is one of the ways of accomplishing socialization, that is, integration, accommodation and adjustment of social and personal needs. Looking for a flexible role? In this essay, I will be explaining Freud’s theories and ideologies on society, culture, and religion. The latter is just one of the several arguments and explanations developed by Durkheim, with the view of determining the truth about humanity's obsession with religion. Religion comes in as a substitute to fill up the vacuum created by displacement of the father. “The Division of Labour”, where he examined social cohesion within the modern industrialise society. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. Terms in this set (11) Wink vs. Twitch example. Religion, in Durkheim’s view, is the laws of which a society is built upon, meaning that religion is society. Match. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. Theories of religion can be classified into: Substantive (or essentialist) theories that focus on the contents of religions and the meaning the contents have for people. 2. In his earlier writing, “The future of an illusion,” he regards religion as an illusion, which is equivalent to atheism. Email: g.levy1@lse.ac.uk; r.razin@lse.ac.uk. All the articles you read in this site are contributed by users like you, with a single vision to liberate knowledge. A fundamental feature of any theory of religion is, or should be, an explanation of the link between the two most observed aspects of religion, the individual aspect and the social aspect. STUDY. The primary interest of the early pioneers in the fields of social, anthropological and psychological research was to discover the origin of religious ideas in man rather than to describe them. aland94. Specifically the psychological built of it. According to some scholars, the universe used to be a highly compressed mass and then there was a bang and that s how the Universe was born (Fox 9). aland94. Like Durkheim, Weber recognised that there is not a known society, that doesn’t include something that can be classified as religion (Parson, 1964, p xxvii). We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. It is not there to enhance our knowledge, instead it is there in order to provide a guide for the way we act and live (Durkheim, 1976, p416). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. Accordingly, in order to understand and appreciate the phenomenon of religion in its anthropological perspective, we must briefly know the various scientific and empirical approaches to the study of religion which are being made today. There has been an evolution in the human thinking so that each succeeding stages is superior to and more evolved than the preceding stage: Auguste Comte has explained his classification of human thinking into various stages in the words, that each of our leading conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different theoretical conditions-theological or fictitious, the metaphysical or abstract, and the scientific or positive. Such factors include race, ethnicity, social class, or neighborhoods. Gravity. *You can also browse our support articles here >. Thus dreams convinced the primitive man of the existence of spirits and this conviction became, according to Tylor, the basis of religious beliefs. In this essay, I will be explaining Freud’s theories and ideologies on society, culture, and religion. Weber theories are based much on his ideal types, not best types but types that are of the purest kind. At this level of thinking there is marked lack of logical and orderly thinking. The main importance of this principle is that it provides the basis of sociological thinking. Therefore, modern scholars have abandoned the approach of tracing the origin of the religion. What are the weaknesses of evolutionary theories? At some point in history, sons rebelled against the father, killed him and distributed the females among themselves. (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p611). Test. Copyright. Marx, Weber, Eliade, Evans Pritchard, Geertz, Livingston. The phenomenon called religion is extremely variegated, complex, intricate and full of paradoxes. Schmidt and Andrew Lang religion began with a primordial monotheism which later changed (either developed or degenerated) into polytheism, animism and magic. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. 4. He examines how different religious traditions and their structures influence society, particularly in relation to the economy and capitalism. About Essay Sauce. The Animism or the Soul theory says the same thing in terms of the idea of Soul. What is the distinction between magic, science and religion? This fact was seen confirmed by dreams in which man saw somebody talking to him, who had died recently. The following essay will deal with the science based theories of the origin of religion. Theories of Religion Essay Questions. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. The perception that morality relies on religion holds that absence of religion means that there would be no morality since moral codes emanate from religion, and moral StudentShare Our website is a unique platform where students can share their papers in a matter of giving an example of the work to be done. He proposes that the dream of an ideal society, an idealistic society that would eliminate evil and sufferings, suggest religion, as this is what religion aims for. Durkheim studied religion from a collectivist perspective. Theories of Religion Essay Questions. Religious symbols, for example, have a meaning to large bodies of people (e.g., the Star of David for Jews; the crescent moon and star for Muslims; and the cross for Christians), (Nelson Education, chapter 17). He organised and classified the social thought prevailing before his times. However, the both studied religion form two very different perspectives, although both thought in evolutionary terms (Parsons, 1964, p xxvii). According to scholars subscribing to this view all the great symbols of the world’s religions were personifications of natural phenomena; the sun, moon, stars, storms, the seasons of the year. A religion is a system of beliefs, collective ideas, traditions, and rituals that serve the purpose of gathering, unifying, educating, and enlightening a group of people by influencing and guiding their insights, thoughts, and ways of life. What is Auguste Comte’s ‘Law of Three Stages’? Marxism is a conflict theory founded by German Philosopher and Sociologist Karl Marx in the 19th Century. The more evolved and developed form than that of Fetishism is known as Polytheism. The individual aspect is usually referred to as beliefs of the individual 1Department of Economics, LSE. According to Comte each successive stage is an improvement upon the earlier stage. Reference this. The principle evolved by Comte in the study of human thinking presumes gradual evolution and development in human thinking and is known as the law of three stages because, according to it, human thought has undergone three separate stages in its evolution and development. Thus according to some scholars religion is nothing but a form of fetishism. This essay on Marx Weber Theories of Religion Sociology was written and submitted by your fellow student. In early phases of religion we find stones, trees and such objects given extreme reverence and worshipped. Religion Sociology Essay 1191 Words | 5 Pages. He investigated the religious and cultural beliefs that are at the source of religious and social structures (Dillon, 2010, p119). All work is written to order. This definition suggests that religion is collective within society and should be examined in this way. This is the descriptive approach towards religion and this is precisely the approach being followed by modern psychologists of religion. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! Our mission is to liberate knowledge. Durkheim holds a collectivist view of society, exploring it from the perspective that religion has a cohesive effect on people through sharing values, symbols and social norms (Macionis and Plummer, 2008, p611). Over the years, the universe has been expanding and is still expanding. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. Privacy Policy Although he also thought in evolutionary terms, he was more engaged by systems of meaning, which can be interpreted (Parsons, 1964, xxvii). A fundamental feature of any theory of religion is, or should be, an explanation of the link between the two most observed aspects of religion, the individual aspect and the social aspect. Before publishing your Article on this site, please read the following pages: 1. Religion can be recognised in every culture around the world. Controlling in Management # Meaning, Definition, Types, Process, Steps and Techniques. Animism, derived from the Greek word Anima, meaning soul, is a belief in the non-physical, transempirical substance existing independent of body. According to the great anthropologist Edward Tylor, religion had its origin in primitive man’s belief that non-physical substances like soul inhabited the physical and inanimate objects like stones, trees etc. He looked to define religion which he concluded was “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them” (Durkheim, 1976, p47). The positive or scientific knowledge is based upon facts, and these facts are gathered by observation and experience. The individual aspect is usually referred to as beliefs of the individual 1Department of Economics, LSE. Company Registration No: 4964706. study of religion in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is widely renowned to be one of the founding theories and definitions of the sociology of religion. 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