SOC1100 Chapter 16: Chapter 16
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Chapter 16: Religion
Durkheim’s Functionalist Approach:
Collective Consensus: Comprises the common sentiments and values that people share as a
result of living together.
Profane: Refers to the secular, everyday world.
Sacred: Refers to the religious transcendent world.
Totems: Objects that symbolize the sacred.
Rituals: Public practices designed to connect people to the sacred.
Religion and Social Inequality:
Routinization of Charisma: Weber’s term for the transformation of divine enlightenment into a
permanent feature of everyday life.
Church: A bureaucratic religious organization that has accommodated itself to mainstream
society and culture.
Secularization Thesis: Says that religious institutions, actions, and consciousness are on the
Fundamentalists: Interpret their religious scriptures literally, seek to establish a direct, personal
relationship with higher beings they worship, are relatively intolerant of non-fundamentalists,
and often support conservative social and political issues.
Revised Secularization Thesis: Holds that worldly institutions break off from the institution of
religion over time. As a result, religion governs an ever-smaller part of most people’s lives and
becomes largely a matter of personal choice.
Ecclesia: State-supported churches.
Denominations: Various streams of belief and practice that some churches allow to coexist
under their overachieving authority.
Sects: Usually form by breaking away from churches because of disagreement about church
doctrine. Sects are less integrated into society and less bureaucratized than churches.
Charismatic Authority: Based on a belief in the claims of extraordinary individuals that they are
inspired by a god or some higher principle.
Cults: Small groups of people deeply committed to a religious vision that rejects mainstream
culture and society.
Religiosity: Refers to how important religion is to people.
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