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Flashcards in 2 Religion And Social Change Deck (16):

Religion as a conservative force in 2 ways

1 In sense of being traditional- traditional customs, institutes, moral views
2 conservative as functions to maintain things as they are- maintaining status quo


Religion's conservative beliefs

Traditional conservative beliefs e.g. Catholic Church forbids divorce/ abortion/ artificial contraception

Family values- patriarchal domestic division of labour- Hinduism arranged marriage


Religion's conservative functions

Functioning to conserve things as they are
- view of religion held by marx func and fem
- contributes to social stability


Religion and consensus

Func- religion conservative force maintaining social stability and preventing disintegration e.g. Promoting social solidarity by creating value consensus and helping people with stress

Marx and fem see it as an ideology supporting existing social structure as a means of social control in interest of powerful
- religion and capitalism- prevents social change. Legitimating inequality- false consciousness and prevent revolution
- religion and patriarchy- legitimates patriarchal power and maintains female subordination in family and society


Weber; religion as a force for change

Weber 1905 in protestant ethic and spirit of capitalism- religious beliefs of Calvinism helped bring social change. - emergence of modern capitalism in north Europe

Modern capitalism is based on systematic/ efficient/ rational pursuit of profit for its own sake rather than for spending on luxuries - called the spirit of capitalism
X TAWNEY 1962 says technological changed first led to capitalism. Bourgeoise adopted calvinism ideas to legitimate pursuit of economic gain


Calvinist beliefs

God predetermines who will be saved the elect' and individuals can't change it
No human being could possibly claim to know God's will- leaving calvinists to feel unprecedented inner loneliness- called salvation panic
Abstinence, self discipline and denial

Idea of calling to serve God in everyday work not the monastery. Vocation means constant methodical work in occupation.

They led an ascetic lifestyle shunning luxury , working long hours and practising religious self discipline
1. Accumulated wealth but not spent on luxuries - reinvented in business to produce profit
2 prospered and came to see this as sign of God's favour and their salvation


Hinduism and Confucianism

Other societies with some of these factors , but where capitalism didn't takeoff due to lack of calvinism
Hinduism - india was ascetic but other worldy - directing followers to spiritual world

Confucianism- this worldly religion directed folowers to material world but jo ascetic


Religion and social protest

Bruce 2003 religion and social change
American civil rights movement
Black civil right movement 1950/60s end racial segregation as blacks denied legal and political rights in many Southern states e.g. Schools segregated, interracial marriages forbidden and excluded from voting
-> 1955 began- protest marches, boycotts and demonstrations- 1964 segregation outlawed
-> black clergy led by Martin Luther King backbone of movement - shamed whites to change law by appealing to Christian values of equality


Bruce sees religion as

An ideological resource
- beliefs that protesters could draw on for motivation and legitimation
Religions can contribute to change:
> taking moral high ground- pointing out hypocrisy of white clergy who supported racial segregation
> channeling dissent- martin luther funeral rallying point for civil rights cause
> acting as honest broker - respected by both sides
> mobilising public opinion- campaigning support


New Christian right

Politically and morally conservative fundamentalist group
Since 1960
Take USA back to God make homo divorce and abortion illegal.
Traditional family roles
Teaching creationism
Televangalism - church owned TV stations
Unsuccessful only 15% support
American democracy means comfortable legalising activities


Marxism religion and change

Marxists recognise religious ideas can have relative autonomy- partly independent of capitalist economic society
Religion can have dual character- force for change and stability


Ernst bloch the principle of hope

Religion has a dual character
Inhibits change
Also inspires protest and rebellion
- expression of hope - dreams of a better life- images of utopia
Images of utopia deceiving- promising rewards in heaven also vision for a better world to strive for social change


Liberation theology

Catholic Church in latin america very conservative encouraging poverty and elites acceptance
Emerged in 1960 with strong commitment to poor and opposition to military dictatorship that did rule continent then
Emerged due to poverty and urban slums and human rights abuses from military take overs
Emphasised Praxis- practical action guided by theory e.g. Priests leading literacy programmes and raising political awareness
Resisted dictatorship and brought democracy


Millenarian movements

Worsley 1968
Expect total imminent transformation of world by supernatural means creating heaven or earth
- appeal mainly to poor as promise immediate improvement- cargo cults- millenarian movements in Melanesia - islanders deprived when cargo arrived for colonists
Cargo cults asserted cargo been meant for natives but diverted by whites for selves


Gramsci religion and hegemony

Maintain control through coercion
Hegemony- ideological domination- using religion as control 192030s catholic church power helped win support for facist regime
But some circumstances challenge ruling class
- may help WC see through ruling class hegemony
Some clergy act as organic intellectuals - leaders who support working class organisations


Religion and class conflicted

Applies grams ideas- coalminers and textile workers
Both WC evangelical protestant
Miners more militant struggling for better conditions
- miners benefited from leadership of organic intellectuals/ miners were also lay preachers