Religion Is Seen as Not Promoting Social Change for Marx and Durkheim. Expand

Topics: Religion, Sociology, Émile Durkheim Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: October 8, 2012
Religion is seen as not promoting social change for Marx and Durkheim. Expand

Religion is a powerful role in influencing a society and the lives of it’s members. The sociological traditions of Marx and Durkheim view religion totally differently, yet they both agree that religion is a very important aspect of a society.

Durkheim and Marx each had their own definitions of religion. However, we will learn that they both see an important role that religion plays in a society, as well as the ways in which society creates and shapes their religions.

Unlike Durkheim and Weber, Marx was not much concerned with the studying religion although his ideas on religion are very influential. For marx religion He further feels that a world that requires illusion (religion) has something wrong with it. Marx talks about two primary functions of religion in what he calls the “real world”. First he says that religion is the opium of the people. Marx feels religion provides anesthesia to the masses. To him, religion is a way for people to escape from some of the suffering in their lives or to somehow feel better despite all of their suffering. Religion deters suffering of the present situations of people. It allows people to put off their suffering because they believe it will be taken care of in heaven, or where ever, after they die. And as it would follow, religion helps people put more hope into “the year after”. People who are religious really do believe “life” will be better for them after they die. Also religion helps to maintain the oppression of the lower classed people by the people who make up the upper classes. The second primary function of religion in a society, according to Karl Marx, is that it is the sigh of the oppressed creature. Religion brings with it a safety value. People end up being lulled into the protection religion seems to offer them, and people do feel the need to feel and be safe. Religion also gives people an opportunity to...
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