According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. These are the undisputed facts of religious diversity. Thus, religion functions to bind society's members by prompting them to affirm their common values and beliefs on a regular basis. Different from most other scholars, Émile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) saw the concept of the sacred as the defining characteristic of religion, not faith in the supernatural. 1. an individual level that is controlled by 2. a social system that is in turn controlled by 3. a cultural system. Plasma Universe Theory. He based his view on recent research regarding totemism among the Australian aboriginals. Geertz followed Weber when he wrote that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning. For instance, from the functionalist perspective of sociological theory, religion is an integrative force in society because it has the power to shape collective beliefs. These concept include. Marx' explanations for all religions, always, in all forms, and everywhere have never been taken seriously by many experts in the field, though a substantial fraction accept that Marx' views explain some aspects of some religions.. This view is not supported by biblical accounts and differs from scholarly theories. Tylor's and Frazer's view on the origin of religion has been classified as unverifiable speculation. They see religions as systems of "compensators". Functionalists believe religion meets many important needs for people, including group cohesion and companionship. He asserted that Confucianism opposition against both extravagance and thrift made it unlikely that capitalism could have originated in China. Image Courtesy: Luc Viatour. Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) saw religion as an illusion. In the Eastern religions, Weber saw barriers to capitalism. This approach asserts that people have faith because beliefs make sense to them. Marx endorses Feuerbach's view of religion as alienation and projection, but argues that religion, or alienated consciousness, is only an epiphenomenal reflection of a more basic dehumanizing alienation at the level of social and economic organization.  He saw religion as a reflection of the concern for society. , His ideas strongly influenced phenomenologists and Mircea Eliade. Influential susbtantive theories have been proposed by Tylor and Frazer (treating explanatory value for its adherents), the theologian Rudolf Otto (treating the importance of religious experience, more specifically experiences that are both fascinating and terrifying), Mircea Eliade (treating the longing for otherwordly perfection, quest for meaning, and seeking patterns in mythology in various religions). The anthropologist Clifford Geertz (1926 – 2006) made several detailed ethnographic studies, but in Javanese town, a more complex and multi-religious society than Evans-Pritchard had studied. Our current understanding of the Universe is … Still, he predicted that traditional religion would one day pass away.  and "How/why did religious belief come about?". They used this by extension to explain life and death, and belief in the after life. Question: "What is the psychology of religion?" Freud asserted that religion is a largely unconscious neurotical response to repression. He asserted that magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation. Freud's view on religion was embedded in his larger theory of psychoanalysis. Max Weber did not so much a propose a general theory of religion, but focused on the interaction between society and religion. Archaic man wishes to escape the terror of time and saw time as cyclic. The theories of religion and spirituality in psychology and cognitive sciences. Theophany (an appearance of a god) is a special case of it. Interpretations are needed too. Theories of religions can be classified into substantive (focusing on what it is) theories and functional or reductionist (focusing on what religions does) theories. INTRODUCTION Anthropological theories of religion are diverse. Religion, then, prohibits social change by teaching nonresistance to oppression, diverting people's attention away from worldly injustices, justifying inequalities of power and wealth for the privileged, and emphasizing rewards yet to come. He has also been accused of having a pro-religious bias (Christian and Hindu), though this bias does not seem essential for his theory.. Like many young intellectuals of his time, Comte believed that religion was an archaic holdover from the past. Psychoanalysis has been assessed as non-scientific. This quiz and corresponding worksheet will gauge your knowledge of the theories on religion's origin. He portrayed each religion as rational and consistent in their respective societies. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. Yarrow, Andrew L. (November 1, 2006). In contrast to earlier theorists, the anthropologists E. E. Evans-Pritchard and Clifford Geertz performed detailed ethnographical studies of ("primitive") cultures and came to the conclusion that earlier theories were one-sided at best. , The rational choice theory has been applied to religions, among others by the sociologists Rodney Stark (1934 – ) and William Sims Bainbridge (1940 – ). (Smart 1996) Religious traditions differ along all these dimensions. , The anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard preferred detailed ethnographical study of a tribe and their religion to form a theory about the tribe's religion over untestable speculation over the origins of religions by e.g. Theories of Religion Topic 1 – AQA Sociology 2. Answer: The psychology of religion is the study of religion from the human psychological point of view. Previous Insider versus outsider perspectives (roughly corresponding to, Kunin, Seth D. "Religion; the modern theories" University of Edinburgh 2003. He also introduced a number of key concepts in the sociology of religion. The daily life of an ordinary person is connected to the sacred by the appearance of the sacred, called hierophany. , He asserted that these experiences arise from a special, non-rational faculty of the human mind, largely unrelated to other faculties, so religion cannot be reduced to culture or society  Some of his views, among others that the experience of the numinous was caused by a transcendental reality, are untestable and hence unscientific.  Like Frazer and Tylor he has also been accused of out-of-context comparisons of religious beliefs of very different societies and cultures. Apart from theorizing, Freud's theories were developed by studying patients who were left free to talk while lying on a sofa. He saw religion as supportive as the status quo, in correspondence with his famous saying that religion is opium of the people. Although people commonly assume that Marx saw no place for religion, this assumption is not entirely true. E._B._Tylor#Ideology and "Primitive Culture", cultures and religions tend to grow more sophisticated, magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation, societies' views and practices grow more evolved over time in an uniform way, Sociological_classifications_of_religious_movements#The_church-sect_typology, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, his 1920 treatment of the religion in China, the method of historians studying history, http://hirr.hartsem.edu/ency/cstheory.htm, Clifford Geertz, Cultural Anthropologist, Is Dead at 80, https://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Theories_of_religion&oldid=100771827, Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The Theories of Religion PHIL 151/RS151— INTERNET COURSE. These views offer different lenses through which to s tudy and understand society: functionalism, symbolic interactionism, conflict theory … Accessible, systematic, and succinct, it considers the Victorian anthropology of E. B. Tylor and J. G. Frazer, the "reductionist" social science of Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, the non-reductionist approaches of Max … This article only treats influential theories about religion that are open for empirical verification or falsifications i.e (attempts to) scientific theories. Some authors, usually ones who wish to celebrate these facts, call th… Evans-Pritchard. Such a perspective does not easily lend itself to making and spending money. Not only tries Freud to explain the origin and persistence of faith in individuals but in his 1913 book Totem and Taboo he even developed a speculative story how all monotheist religions itself originated and developed. This view is partly inspired by the work of Karl Marx, who said that religion was the “opiate of the masses” (Marx, 1964). Weber dealt with status groups, not with class. , He has been criticized for vagueness in defining his key concepts. , Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free, Edward Burnett Tylor and James George Frazer. , Other dichotomies on which theories or descriptions of religions can be classified are. For example, in Protestantism, especially the “Protestant Work Ethic,” Weber saw the roots of capitalism. Evans-Pritchard saw these people as different, but not primitive. Archaic men long to return to lost paradise, outside the historic time, as explained in Eliade's book Eternal return (Eliade) to escape meaninglessness. Swatos, William H. Jr. Editor Encyclopedia of Religion and Society by Altamira press 1998. The method that Tylor and Frazer used was seeking similar beliefs and practices in all societies, especially the more primitive ones, more or less regardless of time and place. , The theologian Rudolf Otto (1869–1937) focused on religious experience, more specifically moments that he called numinous which means "Wholly Other". Religion, therefore, has its origin in man’s attempt to project into the universe a belief in a cosmic father or God to give him support he once had from his human father.  Like Durkheim, he saw the sacred as central to religion, but differing from Durkheim, he views the sacred as often dealing with the supernatural, not with the clan or society. Those who study religion from the psychological perspective are interested in three primary areas that may be broadly characterized as past, present, and future. There are many theories as to how religious thought originated. Durkheim saw totemism as the original and simplest form of religion. , Theorizing beyond mere specualtion became possible after data from tribes and peoples all over the world became available in Europe and the United States in the 18th and 19th century. USA: Oxford University Press. In status groups the primary motivation is prestige and social cohesion. To Weber, Christianity was a salvation religion that claims people can be “saved” when they convert to certain beliefs and moral codes. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Even though none of these three men was particularly religious, the power that religion holds over people and societies interested them all. Than man had a nostalgia ( longing ) for an otherworldly perfection of 2003. 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