Example: need to educate to prevent stereotyping and to promote religious tolerance about islam. Sociological tools and methods (surveys, polls, interviews, and analysis of historical data) can be applied to the study of religion in a culture to better understand the role religion plays in people"s lives and the way it influences society. Durkheim 1915): religious experience: the conviction or sensation that we are connected to the divine. might be experienced when people are pray or meditate. Religious beliefs: specific ideas members of a particular faith hold to be true, such as that jesus christ was the son of god, or that reincarnation exists. Another illustration of religious beliefs is the creation stories we find in different religions. Religious rituals are behaviors or practices that are either required or expected of the members of a particular group, such as bar mitzvah or confession of sins (barkan and. 15. 2 world religions: cults: new religious groups.