Essay on How Religion Is Defined And The Various Theories Of Religion

1177 Words Sep 10th, 2015 5 Pages
If we look at the evolution of how religion is defined and the various theories in which it can be studied through sociology, it gives us insight as to how religion is still relevant in the modern world. Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) the French sociologist, defined religion as "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 (Christiano, Swatos, Kivisto, 2008). This perspective that Durkheim presents, differentiates between: does god exists to why does god exist in society. Exploring the functional aspect of religion itself. Durkheim saw religion as a necessity to a healthy society. The concept that religion was 'healthy ' influenced Mircea Eliade, (1907-1986) a Romanian historian of religion whose life study focused on religion as being part of our human ancestry. That all the definitions given up till now of the religious phenomenon have one thing in common: each has its own way of showing that the sacred and the religious life are opposite of the profane and secular life (Maupin, 2014). Max Weber (1864-1920), the German sociologist, also believed that religion gives 'meaning ' to life (Christiano, Swatos, Kivisto, 2008). In contrast we see other contemporary 's of Durkheim and Weber, such as Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German philosopher and sociologist, who defined religion as solace to life…

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