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RE220 (50)

Religion and Popular Culture - Lecture 3

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Chris Klassen

 James Frazer o anthropologist o believed religion begins when primitive people see that the world is powered by spirits  animism  primitive o origin of religion  to find common element, the universal o very influenced by another theorist, Charles Darwin  biological theory  Darwinian Theory o Evolutionary line  Animism  everything is divine, can be helpful or not, depends on how you appease them  polytheism  become/develop human characteristics  monotheism  begin to see many gods as aspects of one god  Science  atheism (no supernatural forces if we understand the natural world) o contradicts theories because they are still encountering people who are still in animism / polytheism  helps justify this mentality by imposing their beliefs on less civilized civilizations o not a universal pattern since advanced societies now still have polytheist or animistic beliefs  Émile Durkheim o fathers of sociology  study of societies o sees religion as function of society o animism - totemism  totem - animal or plant  symbol of the clan/tribe/group  image represents the group, characteristics are important to that group o division of the sacred and profane  what was sacred represented the society or the group o religion as function of society  social cohesion  universal o did not care about the number of Gods, but more about the bonds it creates between people in a group  Max Weber o significant figure in development of sociology o focuses on economics of society o economic theory about religion in a society o capitalism  why does capitalism start in the western world?  what does religion have to do with economics and capitalism o argues that protestants engage more in capitalism/leads to the success  everyone is created equal, must do fair share/work hard  harder you work, the more you'll prosper  all the work should be done for God  everyone is "called" by God, do their job to honour God o Calvinism  nothing a human being can do to be saved by God, only can be saved by God's grace o this mentality created a larger capital because they don't spend their money because it does not honour God  Karl Marx o saw religion as important in shaping economy o religion did not cause capitalism, but supports it instead  could also support any other economic system o base of society -  modes of production o super structures that support the base
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