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Studying Religion - Lecture 5

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Religion & Culture
Alexander Damm

 Theories of Religion - turning to religion's functions o Preface  Where does Religion come from?  comes from different fields  How does it function?  3 theories  First theory - religion functions to exploit people (Karl Marx) o The Context  to oppress, exploit or put down lives of ordinary people  attempt to put ordinary people in their place  major viewpoint from a powerful thinker  born in 1818 Germany  news reporter, wanted to be a professor  used this as a medium to share ideas about society and oppression and how religion is fit into this  Jewish born, but identified as atheist  grows up in industrial period, fascinated with science and Darwinism  focused on industrial revolution o huge growth in 1800 of mechanized growth and factories o mid 1800s made by hand started to be made by machines  production was faster and quality was higher o resulted in many people working close to the poverty line o people living in rural areas moved to the city hoping to find a job in the factories  companies profitable because they paid their workers so poorly  people working in factories were very poor, made very little money o no unions/benefits...etc  owners became very rich, divide became bigger o The Theory  ideas to explain why society was not working ,concerned religion  4 things important about religion  throughout history, all historical change is driven by economics o greed, king wants more land, starts war o trade, countries like to trade with one another, desire for money, goods...etc o key usually based off of financial goals, pushes people to act  tend to be two kinds of people o owners - those who control the production of goods  minority  kings, merchant house owners, factory owners,
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