The Contribution of Religion to Societies and Cultures in the 20th Century.

Topics: Religion, Sociology, Culture Pages: 3 (1129 words) Published: March 27, 2013
“Religion which does not have an impact on culture is a toothless tiger.” This quote exemplifies the idea that if religion did not impact an individual, it would have the same effect of a ferocious tiger not being able to exert its force. From the Latin religio (the respect for what is sacred) and religare (to bind, in the sense of an obligation), the word religion is an organised collection of belief and practice systems, focusing on what people determine to be sacred or spiritual. Throughout history and societies across the world, religious leaders have used sacred narratives, symbols and traditions in an attempt to give more meaning to life and to gain wisdom through the understanding of the universe. In every known culture throughout centuries, a form of religion is found, practiced either within a public manner within a group, or in a private sanction. The practice of religion can be found through different practices such as feasts and festivals, God or gods, music and art, meditation or initiation, sacrifice or service, and other aspects of culture. In order to gain insight of its contributions within cultures and society, it is important to look at this question with a sociological perspective.

While a majority of people believe religion to be an individual process, as peoples beliefs are highly personal, religion is also considered to be a social institution. Social scientists recognise that religion exists as an organised and integrated set of beliefs and behaviours centred on basic social needs and values. Thus, religion is a cultural universal found in all social groups. The definition of a society is a community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations. Living within a societal range, we are accustomed to accept or reject the ideas of religion in which society develops and displays. When considering the impact of religion on a society this can have both a positive or negative impact. “Religious...
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