Durkheim And Weber 's Influence On Religion Essay

774 Words Mar 5th, 2016 4 Pages
In the field of Sociology, there are several important figures that have influenced modern sociology and social behavior. Two of these important figures are Max Weber (1864-1920) and Emil Durkheim (1858-1917). I will be comparing and contrasting Durkheim and Weber based on their perspective on religion. Religion plays role in shaping acceptable social behavior and the history of society. Both sociologists believed that religion holds power over societies and its people, yet the religious background of these two important sociologists is an important factor to why they have a different theory on the topic of religion. Weber and Durkheim viewed religion as a reflection of society. To Weber religion is the organized structure that demonstrated importance in modern society. In The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber discusses how Christianity has impacted Western thinking, and stated that Christianity was the root of Capitalism (Allan 2013:98-102). In Christianity, people work hard in order to earn God 's salvation and avoid hell. This can be seen in capitalist countries since we work hard in order to gain wealth, and avoid becoming part of the lowest social group. In Capitalism, the goal is to gain money while in Christianity the goal is to gain salvation. In the case of Durkheim, religion is the system that influenced the thinking and behavior of society, and he considered religion to be the most fundamental social institution (Allan 2013:131). For example,…

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