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Religion Lecture Notes

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Chapter 13- Religion how religion works in society as institutions.... 1. Belief Systems - Religion - a set of organized beliefs about the supernatural or spiritual worlds and their associated ceremonies that guides people’s behaviour and joins them into communities of believers - Faith - a belief system based on conviction that does not require objective evidence to substantiate its claims - E.B.Tylor(1832-1917) - religions evolve from simple and primitive to modern and complex over time - stages of religious evolution - 1. Animism: Supernatural beings or spirits inhabit both living things and inanimate objects - 2. Polytheism: society recognizes a set of independent supernatural beings or gods - 3. Monotheism: religion identifies with a single, all-powerful, all-knowing god - ~~he is saying that religion is a human creation that fills many needs - Social scientists dispute Tylor’s stages, arguing that religions do not progress along a simple and universal line of development - Civil orSecular Religion: a system in which sacred symbols are integrated into the broader society regardless of their individual religious affiliations - “In God We Trust” - Ties to patriotism, nationalism, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Christian- based holidays 2. Types of Religious Groups - NewReligiousMovement - an informal group without defines structure - ~religions come and go - Emerges around authoritarian and charismatic leaders - Isolate members and suppress rational thought - Usually disband once leader dies - Sect - smart religious body with exclusive of voluntary membership that is aloof or hostile to the larger society - formed when a group breaks from a larger religious group - Church - an institution that brings together a moral community of believers in formal worship and integrates itself within the larger secular world - most prevalent in societies with a high degree of religious pluralism ~~multiple collection of religions and churches - Ecclesia: a state religion - ascribed membership ~one that everybody follows - Catholic Church in Italy, Islam in Iran, Lutheran Church of Sweden, Anglican Church of England - Denomination:socially accepted religious body that has bureaucratic characteristics similar to those of the church ~~divisions within a church: differences of belief within a broader church - Self governing -rules, regulations, finances... - Seen as midpoint between church and sect 4. Religion in Canada - ~~people are moving away from traditional and moving towards newer religions....... - one of the most pluralistic societi
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