Q. "Religion is a force for social change in modern industrial societies", evaluate this view.
Ans. Various opinions from contributors Religion has contributed a lot to the social, cultural and economic development of most first world societies. Religion has also been used as an economic tool to exploit the gullibility of the commoners in favor of the elite. Religion has been used as a tool to maintain political dominance of the world order. Religion is now and has always been the cheapest and most effective way of controlling the masses. Religion has also had a positive influence on humanity. This was especially true during the earlier years. Religion helped reinforce moral behaviour among people without the treat of divine punishment. It also served to provide hope to people in desperate situations, giving them something to believe in rather than just giving up on everything. Functionalists believe that the influence of religion decreases as society modernizes. They believe that scientific thinking will likely replace religious thinking, with people giving only minimal attention to rituals and ceremonies. They consider the concept of “God” to be on the verge of extinction. Instead, they envision society as promoting civil religion, in which, for example, civic celebrations, parades, and patriotism take the place of church services. If traditional religion were to continue, however, they believ it would do so only as a means to preserve social cohesion and order. According to the webberanion school of thought, Christianity is a salvation religion that claims people can be “saved” when they convert to certain beliefs and moral codes. In Christianity, the idea of “sin” and its atonement by God's grace plays a fundamental role. Unlike the Eastern religions' passive approach, salvation religions like Christianity are active, demanding continuous struggles against sin and the negative aspects of society. Marx once declared that religion is the “opium...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document