Textbook Notes (362,882)
Canada (158,081)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 16

CHAPTER 16- RELIGION NOTES (for final exam-compass)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

COMPASS CHAPTER 16: RELIGION RELIGION AND SOCIETY Personal anecdote: Bryms friend has passed away, after he attends the funeral the question arises: Why? William James: Religion offers us immortality, hope, security of spirits who look over us; provides meaning and purpose in a world that might otherwise seem cruel and senseless The content and intensity of our relig. Beliefs & form and frequency of relig. Practices are influenced by the structure of society and our place in it Sociology questions: Why does one religion predominate here, another there? Are we becoming more or less religious? etc. (It does not have anything to say about the truth, value or practice of any religion) Participation in formal religious observance (ex. Mass, other worship services) is less frequent than in the past In a survey (2000), 81% of adults and 71% of teenagers agreed with the statement God or a higher power cares about you In Canada (1946), two out of three adults attended worship services every week-- in 2001 the figure was just over one in five Other institutions such as medicine, psychiatry, criminal justice and education have grown in importance as the scope of religious authority has declined Even though there is a decline, there are still many people involved in religious observance Growing evidence suggests that the level of participation in religious services and practices is rising THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION Durkheim, Functionalism, and the Problem of Order The Stanley Cup playoffs generate a sense of what Durkheim would have called collective effervescence. It excites us by making us feel part of something larger than we are. Hockey enthusiasts pause their everyday lives and experience intense enjoyment by sharing the sentiments and values of a larger collective; banish thoughts of their own mortality and immerse themselves in institutions that will outlast them Durkheim said that when people live together, they come to share common sentiments and values o Collective conscience: comprises the common sentiments and values that people share as a result of living together (what people believe and value collectively) o This causes us to distinguish the profane (secular, everyday world) from the religious, transcendent world of the sacred (religious, transcendent world) o Durkheim called objects that symbolize the sacred, totems o Durkheim called public practices which connect people to the sacred, rituals (Durkheim said that the function of rituals and religion as a whole is to reinforce social solidarity) www.notesolution.com
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