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SOC103 lecture on religion

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Alexandra Zylka November 23 , 2010 SOC103H1F – Religion Lecture Notes Guest Speaker - Brian Carwana (second half of lecture)  William James (1902) o Religion is a common human response to the fact that we all stand at the edge of an abyss. It helps us cope with the terrifying fact that we must die. It offers us immortality, the promise of better times to come, and the security of benevolent spirits who look over us. It provides meaning and purpose in a world that might otherwise seem cruel and senseless.  Karl Marx (1843) o Religion is a sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. o Marx worried about the anaesthetic properties of religion  God o Societies in the west have become less religious over time. o Many believe God controls things (based on belief, faith and religion) o “Thank God I survived” – accident  Divine Control o “…divine control involves the extent that one believes that God exercises a commanding authority over the course and direction of his or her own life”  Schieman, Pudrovska, and Milkie 2005 o “The belief that there exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it”  Richard Dawkins 2007  Orthodox Christians believe that God has a special connection with every individual. o Intimate bond with a divine power  Divine Control thesis – that God will intervene in our everyday lives  SES o Socioeconomic Status, and usually includes one’s yearly income and the amount of education they attained  Deprivation-Compensation thesis o Individuals who are disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions are more likely to be religious in order to compensate for their plight and acquire otherwise unattainable rewards.  Glock and Stark (1965) o Low SES, tend to be more likely to seek out God in prayer o Higher levels of interaction, greater connection  In some sociopsycho studies; religion for the poor tends to have a positive effect on mental health.  African American Church o Lower SES than Whites o Black Church has been a huge central importance o Provides a place of solace in a powerful God o Example for Dep-Con thesis  Demythologization thesis o Higher s
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