Many people believe that religion occurs only in the church, temple, or other spiritual places of gathering. They see religion and society as complete, separate entities. While this view may appear correct on the surface, a closer look at religion and society reveals that the two are not separate at all, but intricately interconnected and codependent. In reality, religion is inherent within many aspects of society, and religious beliefs inevitably affect areas such as politics, economics, and cultural values. This rrelationship between religion and society can be seen in Islamic religion and Muslim social culture, Christianity and economics, and Buddhism and politics. In each of these religions we can find insight for understanding the society in which it exists, as well as in the comparison of these religions and their relationships with society.
There are no known societies that do not have some form of religion, although religious beliefs and practices vary from culture to culture. All religions involve a set oof symbols, invoking feelings of reverence, linked to rituals practiced by a community of believers. The three most influential monotheistic religions in world history are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sociological approaches to religion have been most influenced by Marx, Weber, aand Durkheim. Churches, sects, cults, and denominations are four main types of religious organizations. Religious movements have played a central part in the development of religion in general and have influenced other aspects of social life. Although the influence of religion has declined, religion is certainly not on the verge of disappearing. From a historical perspective, the influence of religion has been weakened by the process of secularization.
Religion or/and philosophy is the self-conscious effort to understand and act correctly in this world. Religious beliefs give meaning to life, and experiences associated with them provide personal gratification as well as release from the frustrations and anxieties of daily life.
Research aim: to find out what is religion, to know how religion and eeconomics might be intertwined and how religion affects society.
Research problem: is it true that religion and economics is intertwined?
Methodology: Various sociology books and internet pages researching.
WHAT IS RELIGION?
A religion is a ritualized system of beliefs and practices related to things defined as sacred by an organized community of believers. Religion may take a variety of forms. Religious beliefs give meaning to life, and the experiences associated with them provide personal gratification as well as a release from the frustrations aand anxieties of daily life.
Sociologists define religion as a cultural system of commonly shared beliefs and rituals that provides a sense of ultimate meaning and purpose by creating an idea of reality that is sacred, all-encompassing, and supernatural (Berger, 1967; Durkheim, 1965, orig. 1912; Wuthnow, 1988).
The earliest evidence of religious behavior dates back over 50.000 years, in Europe and Southwest Asia.
Religion, especially in its organized forms, has played a number of roles in history.
There are thousands of different religions throughout the world. Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are embraced by nearly 75 percent of the world’s population.
Christianity is a form of monotheism. It originally emerged in Palestine some 2,000 years ago.
In the eleventh century, Christianity divided into the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.
Christianity was spread through conquest and missionary work. Today it has become the largest religion in the world, including about 1 billion Catholics and nearly half a billion Protestants.
In Asia, Christians are a small minority, largely because countries like Japan and China successfully resisted most colonization and the Christianization that went with it.
Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world today. Muslims are estimated to number 1.1 billion. IIslam began and remains the official faith of Arab and other peoples of the Middle East. It has spread south into Africa, north into Europe and the former Soviet Union, and east to India, Pakistan, China, and Indonesia. Muslims believe in absolute, unquestioning, positive devotion to Allah (God). The precepts of Islam were revealed to Muhammad and are contained in a sacred book dictated to his followers called the Koran.
Islam is an all-encompassing religion. The sacred shares include prescriptions for worship, daily life, ethics, and even government. Life is governed by the Five Pillars of Islam. In most Muslim countries, religious leaders live in a sometimes uneasy alliance with secular governments.
Hinduism dates to about 2,000 years before Christ. It is the source of Buddhism and Sikhism. Today there are some 800 million Hindus.
Hinduism is an ethical religion that calls for an ideal way of life.
India’s caste system has its origins in Hindu beliefs, which hold that an ideal life is partly achieved by performing the duties appropriate to one’s caste. One’s rebirth into a higher
or lower caste depends on the degree to which one is committed to dharma (the ideal way of life).
RELIGION AND SOCIETY
Since the earliest prehistoric ttimes, faith and belief have always been part of the texture of human society: neither in the past nor in the present is it possible to find a society in which religious issues have not been raised. It may even be claimed that human endeavor in the realm of religion and belief has been more strenuous and longer-lasting than his efforts in the area of knowledge and art. In many historical events, religion can be seen to have dominated all relationships. All members of society belong to the church. Churches, sects, denominations and cults are religious organizations. The differences among them lie in their relationship to the social environment. It is possible that in many human societies, unfavorable economic conditions, stagnation and backwardness may coexist with religious belief. But this coexistence does not necessitate any causal relationship; one cannot be presented as the cause of the other.
The espousal of a religious doctrine influences the way a person views the world, and when an entire society of people adopt the same religious beliefs, cultural, political, and economic changes are inevitable. Elements of society such as geography, resources, and outside pressure also influence religious doctrines. Although societies and religions differ a
great deal from one to the next, the connections between the two are inherently evident and similar in all religions.
The power of humans to control events is limited, so religion provides an institutionalized means of adjusting to life‘s uncertainties and risks. Humans need to feel that the world is comprehensible, that there is a rhyme and reason for the events of their lives. Religion is generally perceived as fulfilling social functions such as preserving and solidifying society, creating a ccommunity of believers, cultivating social change, and providing a means of social control. It also fulfills personal functions such as answering ultimate questions, providing rites of passage, and reconciling people to hardship.
In traditional societies, religion was seen as an authority in all areas of social life; few activities remained unaffected. In modern industrial societies, religion is one of many specialized institutions. As a result, religion has been stripped of many of its former functions and must compete with oother institutions for authority. To the extent that individuals accept religious teachings and incorporate them in their business, politics, education, or family life, religion has an indirect influence on these spheres. But religious institutions have no direct authority or control. TToday a religious organization may declare that one should give generously to the poor, ...
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