Theories Of Religion Flashcards Preview

Sociology- Religion > Theories Of Religion > Flashcards

Flashcards in Theories Of Religion Deck (24):

Marxists function of religion

False class consciousness
Justifies social inequality
Inhibits social change


Religion provides false class consciousness

Cushions effects of oppression
"Religion is the opium of the people"
The poor are told that they are the chosen ones
Suffering is promised rewards


Religion provides social inequality

Religion is an ideological state apparatus
Passes on ruling class ideology
Preserves existing patterns of wealth


For Marxists, how does religion inhibit social change

Keeps the rich rich and the poor poor
Conservative force
Don't know how unfair it is


For Marxists, how does religion alienate people

Humans invent a god, they believe it is omnipotent
People become passive and fatalistic
Deny their right to make decisions


Evidence for Marxist function of religion

Groups in USA, hold conservative laws

Catholic Church
Traditional stance on abortion


Criticisms of Marxist function of religion

Fewer people go to a place of worship
Ignores stability


For functionalists what is the function of religion

Collective conscience
Value consensus
Coping with life stress


Durkheims theory of religion

Sacred objects
Aboriginal study, sacred worship of totem poles
Humans are inferior to objects
Encourages shared values and creates value consensus


How does religion provide a Collective conscience

Singing and dancing- provides social solidarity
Norms and values taught through teachings
Uplifting and socialable services


Malinowski's theory of religion

Religion helps to cope with social stress
Unpredictable events threaten social fodder
Religion provides meaning for these
Triobriand Islanders In 1920's went fishing, tension as it was dangerous
Special boats, rituals unified the community


Criticisms of Functionalists theory of religion

Ignored NRMS
Ignores evidence of religion providing change
Beliefs passed on are those of community


Feminist theory of religion

Oppresses women
Sees them as dirty


How does religion reproduce patriarchy?

Male dominant organisations
Places of worship segregate sexes
Women not allowed to preach
Tests feature the doing of male gods


How are religious texts patriarchal?

Transmit patriarchal stories
Simon de Beauvoir: religion is exploitative and oppressive
Women out up with suffering to get rewards in heaven
See women as temptresses


What's the main role of women that is portrayed in religion

Having babies
Primary caregivers
Very important in traditional religion
Traps women into roles


What do Armstrong, El Saadawi and Woodhead say about religion?

Armstrong: women haven't a,ways been subordinate to men
Early religion placed women at the heart

El Saadawi: religion is not the direct cause of the oppression, religion was reshape due to patriarchy

Woodhead: women can use religion to feel liberation and freedom


Criticisms of the feminist theory of religion

Not necessarily passive victims
May resists oppression
Not patriarchal in aspects where it protects women
May be transmitted but not by religion


Market exchange theory on religion

Stark and bainbridge
Religion is a compensator
Supply led religion


Stark and bainbridge theory of religion

People are naturally religious
It fulfills basic needs
It's human nature to seek rewards and avoid costs


How does Religion provide compensators

Cycle of renewal: religion fluctuates as popularity changes
Each religion persuades, attracts its customers by rewards
If they don't do this they decline


How can religion be said to be 'supply led'

Growth of Televangelists
Promoted the religion through commercials
Led to growth of mega churches, large congregations, lavish resources


Criticism of the market theory of religion

Misrepresents secularisation
Non sociology
Presumes everyone turns to religion


What does the phenomenological approach say about religion

Universe of meaning: set of beliefs and values helps people make sense of the world, enabled them to give life order and meaning
Theodicy of meaning: answer to unanswered questions
Sacred Canopy: religion once held up the canopy but is beginning to collapse as uncertainty grows