Evaluate and analyse the relationship between religion
and social change.(40 marks)
The relationship between religion and social change had been strongly debated in the past years, as more and more individuals have to a certain extent 'broken' away from the more traditional values shared in a once united society. Writers on religion tend to fall into on of two sides, ' those who see religion as a conservative force and those who see religion as a force for social change. This essay will examine, analyse and evaluate the two arguments. Durkheim, relates religion to the overall structure of the society, seeing it as acting as a conservative force, He seen the distinction between sacred and profane as an importan factor in religion, he argued that all societies, peoplle divide the world around them into things that are regarded as sacreed and that are regarded as profane (non-sacred or secular). This isnt to say that only super natural beings such as gods can be regarded as sacred because durkheim based his work on a study of "Totemism," Australian Aborigines. A totem being an object, i.e. plant, animal or something with a deep symbolic meaning. He argued that it was these totems that presented the most basic form of religion. For members of the religious groups objects that are regarded as sacred, and the people places rituals ideas and beliefs associated with them are distinguised from profane objects and elevated above them. Whilst provoking strong senses of emotion and respect.
Religion as a conservative force; Durkheim identified 4 main functions of religion, Socialistion, Social Solidarity, Collective Consciousness and Religion and the individual. Socialisation; in modern societies the major function of religion is to socialise its members into knowin acceptable ways of behaving by combining values with sacred quality. These values become moral codes of behaviour which society used to socialise children, an example of this is the Ten Commandments,...