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RLG210Y1 Lecture Notes - Master Sergeant, Dhaka Residential Model College, Absolution

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Joseph Bryant

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Sociology of Religion-
Nov 17- Lec 08
Max Weber (1864-1920) The historical sociology of the world of religions
sought to establish the interconnections btw economics, politics, war, religion etc. as
these interelations shift and unfold in the course of shaping and driving human history
the importance of “relgiously determined systems of life regulation” for economics,
poltics, warfare, art , the erotic, education and intellectual life etc ..
starting point: differnig levels or degrees of religious aptitude or interest among individ-
‘virtuoso’ or ‘heroic religiosity’ <- - - - -> ‘everyday’ or ‘mass religiosity’
basic orentation is that humans seek supernatural support and aid “so that they ‘may
prosper and have long life on earth’ ...” ( health, wealth, status, power, etc.) and they
seek assurances of advantages in an afterlife
mass religiously is thus given to beliefs in:
magical assistance and ritual or sacramental grace/ empowerment; and/or
faith in the redeeming power of a saviour god, saintly beings or priesthoods
in other words the mass devotees receive the gifts of sacred power in exchange for
worship loylatly, ritual compliance etc. [ external sacrecdness power is received or be-
for religions charismatics or virtuosi they need and seek a far greater and more thor-
ough life or religious intensity and invovlement [ they need internal spirtiuality, holiness
within ]
there are creators in religion and there are carriers (Tiager)
charismatics or virtuosi such as Moses and the Hebrew prophets, the Buddha, the
Hindu sages -gurus
they must find disciples and followers .... how to attract? they must offer promises,
pratices, worldviews that appeal - a ‘program’ that will win support
Messenger Creator + Message+ Audiences Followers= a new religious move-
audiences/carriers are socially startifed or ordered peasants artisans & merchants,
aritocrats, intellectuals & aritist, warriors, bureaucratic officals, ethnic groups, gen-
der etc.
- - -> the tenison btw Tradition and Charisma
humans generally prefer order, stability, the familiarity of rountine
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