CHAPTER 8 – RELIGION
Protestant Work Ethic
The Protestant Work Ethic (Max Weber) was a key factor in the rise of
o Belief that a predestined group would be saved during the second
coming of Christ. People belonged to this group if they worked hard
and achieved material success.
People belonged to this group if they worked hard and
achieved material success.
o Disciplined commitment to hard work, humility, and selfdenial –
desire to bring glory to god.
Religion served rulingclass interests by discouraging the working class from
organizing in their own interests.
o False consciousness
Belief that classbased hierarchy was justified on religious
grounds and oppressed works would be rewarded in the next
The Sociocultural Elements of Religion
Aristotle claimed that people created gods not only after their own image but
also in regards to their manner of life.
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912)
o Drew on positivism: observe reality, rationalism, and causality.
o Religion was rooted in the group of society.
o Studied Aborigines – develop a sociological model of religion that
could be applied to all religions.
What it IS vs. what it DOES
1. Substantive Definition (Peter Berger)
Religion is ‘the human enterprise by which a sacred cosmos is
Unique content relating to the sacred that separates it from other forms of