Sociological Theories On The Importance Of Religion

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Religion has always been a fundamental part of our society, often being the basis of many laws and social values. Religions are often ruled by a supernatural higher authority, such as a god or gods, also often include a place of worship, like a church or mosques and usually have a set of principles that are expected to be followed in exchange for better afterlife. Moreover, religion has many definitions based on different sociologists’ theories. Religion can have an inclusive definition where it is embraced by society; encouraging solidarity and is viewed as a necessity for society to function. Consequently, many sociologists and individuals criticise this definition, believing its definition is too wide since it does not state there has to be a higher authority or supernatural beings to be viewed as a religion, therefore even football fans supporting their teams may be viewed as a religion according to the inclusive definition. Furthermore, there is also …show more content…
Initially, religion was underestimated as an vital constitution of society and was overlooked by sociologists. Durkheim and functionalists concentrated on the relationship between religion and social institutions such as family, education, law and work. He divided religion into two categories; profane and scared. Sacred describing symbols and objects which represent the routine aspects of existing, such as a totem. Durkheim also argued that religion is a collective activity, creating a sense of belonging and giving people an identity. His theory stated that common values and beliefs, collective consciousness, causes a stronger society and therefore should be encouraged. Moreover, worshipping sacred symbols and objects related to the religion is not simply worshipping the religion but also worshipping the society as a whole and this prompts collective effervescence, a heightened sense of belonging in religious gatherings and

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