RELIGION AND SOCIETY
Religion, a universal and pervasive social phenomenon, is part of human’s culture system. There is no known human culture where there is no religion. Archeological evidence shows that religion has been practiced by humans since at least the time of the Neanderthal Man, 125,000 years ago.
WHAT IS RELIGION?
Religions in all societies have institutionalized ways by which individuals or groups express their awe of the unknown and satisfy their communion with the supernatural realm.
For Christians, religion is a belief in a supreme being who controls and commands people to believe and revere him. Catholics consider religion as a system of faith, a belief, and voluntary subjection to God.
Symbols considered as sacred may also be used for religious purposes.
THE CONCEPT OF MANA
Mana is an impersonal supernatural force which is central in Melanesian society. It is found in inanimate objects, an overflowing, electrifying force that flows from one thing to another.
This is the belief that certain inanimate objects have life and personality called spirits, that reside in features of the physical environment, such as trees, stones and animals.
SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES OF RELIGIONS
There are three major perspectives:
Functionalist perspective- was formulated by Emile Durkheim in his book, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912). He pointed out that all social institutions, including religion, contribute to the harmony and stability of society.
Conflict perspective as held by Karl Marx views the religious doctrines and political values as embodiment of the way the world ought to be.
Symbolic interactionist perspective, the religion is important as an individual’s social identity. One’s religion serves as a reference point and a means of identifying to others.
THE ELEMENTS OF RELIGION
All religions have some characteristics or elements in common. These are the following:
1. Beliefs – are religious...