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13 Cards in this Set

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Weber: religion as a force for change

> Calvinism brought capitalism as we know in the world today

> Weber: protestant Calvinist work ethics helped bring about major changes in the form of capitalism in Europe

- modern capitalism is based on the system of profit for it's own sake rather than consumption

> Calvinism is similar to modern capitalism:

  • did not spend money on luxuries but re-invested in own profit to grow
  • idleness is a sin- so worked ling hours
  • known as spirit of modern capitalism

Criticism of calvinism:

× Kautsky: capitalism came first + Weber over estimates the roles of ideas and underestimates economic factors

× Parkin: capitalism didn't always develop where Calvinism was e.g. late in Scotland

× Marxists: capitalism predates Calvinism, came about due to technological advances

× Tawney: Then bourgeoisie adapted Calvinist beliefs to legitimate their pursuit of economic gain.

× Bruce and Hamilton: weber's theory lacks validity, based on assumption not evidence

contemporary example of religion causing capitalism

> Jones: Confucianism:

- the tiger economies: which follow Confucianism share many of the same qualities as capitalism and Calvinism and these countries are highly capitalist.

religion as a conservative approach

- keeping things traditional, defending traditional customs, institutions and moral views

- functions to conserve or preserve things as they are, stabilizing society and maintaining status quo

Religion's conservative beliefs

oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom in personal and sexual matters.

e.g. catholic church bans contraception, abortion, divorce, homosexuality,

> family values: religion favours traditional patriarchal domestic division of labour

-e.g. marriage service: love honor and obey only changed since 1966

Religion and social protest

>> Steve Bruce: focuses on religiously inspired movements which aimed to change society

> The American Civil rights movement:

  • The black civil rights movement of 60's religiously motivated change
  • black clergy the backbone of the movement, giving moral legitimacy and support from church, beliefs and practices (Ideological resource)
  • shamed whites by appealing to christian law of equality

> The new christian right: conservative values that want social change to traditional values (against abortion, gay marriage,gun control)

> Bruce:

× only made up 15% of the population

× no consensus between religions even when campaigning on same issues

× NCR lacked support, met with strong opposition -freedom of choice

> Moral high ground: need to connect to mainstream beliefs about democracy, equality and freedom

contemporary examples of religion and social change

> charitable groups: helping those in crisis, aid groups etc, human appeal

> Figures:

  • MLK
  • Desmond Tutu

> Conservative social change:

  • Isis/Taliban: hold values which aim to revert back to traditional
  • Iran: revolutionary change which is reverting back to traditional ways i.e. seen with new Ayatollah

> Kibbutz: religion and equality

Religion's conservative functions

religion and consensus:

- functionalists: maintains social stability through value consensus as people are less likely to pursue own selfish needs. and provides relief from stresses that would otherwise disrupt society

Religion and capitalism:

- Marx: religion prevents social change by legitimizing or disguising social exploitation / inequality . false class consciousness prevents revolutions maintaining stability of capitalism

Religion and patriarchy:

- feminism: legitimates patriarchal power and maintains a women's subordination in family and wider society

Evaluation of religions conservative functions

+ Feminism: religion controls women's bodies, activities and prevents them from gaining power e.g. female priesthood

× functionalism: they fail to recognize religions in their prime were main cause to social instability, changing pre-existing dogma

Marxism, religion and change

> Marxism: religion not just conservative ideology

- religious ideas have relative autonomy

- religion has a dual character: force for change and stabilize society

• e.g. Marx: ‘the heart of a heartless world’

(provides comfort although illusory

Religion and social change:

> Engels: religion can play an active role in society and lead to revolutionary social change.

> religion could start as a response to exploitation and become a source of resistance and change

> e.g. preaches liberation from slavery and misery

Engles and religion's dual character

1. stops change by disguising social inequality

2. challenges the status quo and encourages social change

> e.g. early Christian sects opposing Roman rule and compared them to communist and socialist political movements

> Liberation theology:

- merged late 60's from catholic church in Latin america

- religious ideas radicalized church in defense of poor- change ideology >> helping poor part of Christian duty

- Maudro: religion is a revolutionary force that brings about change

Religion as a force for social change

>> Gramsci: religion and Hegemony

>> Bloch: the principal of hope

> Gramsci & Hegemony: the way ruling class use ideas e.g. religion to maintain power and control

+ religion can challenge as well as support the ruling class

+ church/clergy can work alongside the wc as organic intellectuals aiding class consciousness

> Bloch's principal of hope: religion offers an image of a perfect world (utopia) deceives people with promises in heaven

+ Utopia image helps people see what needs to be changed

+ combined with political organisation/leadership can bring about social change