Sociological Perspective on Religion

Topics: Sociology, Religion, God Pages: 6 (2095 words) Published: May 10, 2010
“Sociological Perspectives on Religion”
During this semester I have learned that in essence, “free will” does not gear our decision making process, it is primarily society that influences all thoughts and behaviors in turn, impacting all aspects of our life. The evolutionary socialization process initiates at the moment of conception, in our mother’s womb, through childhood, carries on during adulthood and ends in our graves. The most important and influential agent of socialization is the family. On a global perspective, the primary teachers, our parents, educate us on language, beliefs, physical control, values and civilized behavior for public conduct. The greatest belief instilled is that of divinity and forming part of a religion. According to the Sociology text book, Religion is defined as a social institution involving beliefs and practices based on recognizing the sacred. Ethically, it encompasses what we define to be good or bad. In this paper I will further examine religion on a global perspective from previously conducted social research and just how important a role it plays in our lives. Religion has been used to celebrate life at birth, adulthood, mourning of death and politics. According to Emile Durkheim (1965, orig. 1915) in his structural –functional approach, society on its own, beyond the life of any individual, has life and power. When practicing religion the power of this society is celebrated. He found that within this society people seek to find social cohesion, social control, meaning and purpose. Symbols, values and norms are what shape a religion. Since “God” is considered to be the divine and symbol of perfection, religious fanatics fear his judgment. In the United States about 85% of adults identify themselves with some type of religion. “God Bless America,” is widely used by politicians to address our people and demonstrate they believe the higher power is not them but, God. That they cannot lead without the blessing of God. In the past 2008 election many questioned Barack Obama’s faith because his father was born Muslim and then became atheist while, his mother was never genuinely active in a religious organization. Therefore, Obama was raised to be skeptic about religion and showed no true inclination, causing a lot of criticism during the campaign. People want to follow who shares the same values as themselves. Saying a simple phrase as “God Bless America” convinces them that their political leaders’ views and ruling will be geared under what religion overseas as ethically correct. When I say ethically right, the geographical location of religion must be taken into consideration because social conflict tends to arise due to the fact that

all religions don’t support or share the same ideas. For example, in the Middle East there are claims that God is behind the actions we in the United States consider to be evil such as, the terrorist attack of 9/11. This is one of the differences in religion that affected our society in the U.S. and has provoked violence and war. Violence within the United States towards people that appeared of Middle Eastern decent and declared war against “terror” in the middle east. Religion shapes society and is considered to be socially constructed. With divine being the inspiration, people differentiate the ordinary and extraordinary with in rituals such as, holidays and prayer. In theory, religion plays a major role in behavior, marriage, union and social inequality. For example, marriages through religion have lower divorce rates than those arranged outside of religion. Couples are planning a divorce before getting married by making prenuptial arrangements. Although, love may very well be present in these marriages, they are still thinking about themselves individually and protecting against later implications. I was in a relationship for six years and within those years we conceived to the two precious, Xavier and Joshua. If I would’ve been married...

Cited: Society. J. Macionis, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 10th edition, 2009. Exploring Religious Meaning. Robert C. Monk.Walter C. Hofheinz.Kenneth T.Lawrence.Joseph D. Stamey.Bert Affleck.Tetsunao Yamamori, Upper Saddle River, NJ:Prentice-Hall, 6th edition, 2003 "Sociology of religion." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 7 Nov 2009, 23:59 UTC. 18 Nov 2009 . William Ernest Hensley, “Invictus,”Poems( New York: Scribner, 1919), p.119 “Sociological Perspectives on Religion”
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