Religion in the modern age has been seen by some sociologists as being refreshing to the morals of society, while other sociologists feel that religion has for too long placed restrictions and limitations upon those who partake in it.
Both functionalists and Marxists have identified that religion does have the main function of providing guidelines and restrictions to how someone should behave in society., albeit both perspectives have a different outlook on the result of the social restrictions.
Functionalists such as Durkheim seen religion as being a vital part of society's structure and form. Durkheim and Parsons believed that by laying down a social consciousness of agreed norms and values in regards to behaviour of individuals would ensure a greater security for all in society. Durkheim identified that any breech of the accepted behavioural code could possibly lead to deviance and even to criminality. This social consciousness certainly regulates personal and social life and encourages social solidarity. In modern society we can see that there is an accepted code of behaviour set down by the law. Most law systems throughout the world are base don religious teachings and values. Such and example is the introduction of some of the Ten Commandments of God being in place in British law , such as it being illegal and punishable to murder and steal and also to lie in court.
Ritual as identified by Malinowski still plays a large role in regulating personal and social life. The ceremony of marriage is placed in stone as the only way for some couples to gain certain rights that they would not have if they were no married. Marriage is set down as a way of regulation and control as giving penalties to those who commit adultery or other acts which may break up a relationship. Religion has also placed restrictions on who can marry. Many religious teachings condemn homosexual marriages and has influenced many countries not to allow homosexuals to marry. This is a...
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