Conservative Force

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Assess the view that religion is a conservative force within society A conservative force is the idea that that an institution or organization keeps thing the way it is. Durkheim is a functionalist argues that the function of religious ritual is to maintain social solidarity by affirming the moral superiority of society over its individual members. Durkheim believed that social life could only exist if values were shared and society integrated into a coherent whole. Religion is an important aspect of this process, not only providing a set of unifying practices and beliefs, but also by providing a way in which people can interpret and give meaning to the world Marxist theory starts from the belief that God is made by humans, originally used by earlier societies to explain the world and gradually becoming an aspect in the legitimating of the status quo. Religion involves the distortion of 'reality', it is ideological. It provides the basis of ruling class ideology and false consciousness. Marx then argued that in communist society religion will disappear since the conditions which produce religion will have disappeared. Marxist approach can be identified within many religious hymns; this Victorian hymn is one of many which highlight the Marxist view. “The rich man in his castle and “the poor man at his gate” Bruce shows how religion can be a force for change through social protest. He uses the example of the civil rights movement where Black people protested against segregation in the USA. Bruce describes the black churches and clergy of the movement. Churches provided meeting places, rituals such as singing hymns promoted solidarity, black clergy shamed whites to their cause by appealing to Christian values of equality. Bruce argued in this context religion was an ideological resource, providing beliefs and practices protestors could draw on for motivation and support. Thus Steve Bruce shows how religion was a source for change, religion became involved in a...
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