Religion today

Religion today

Identify and briefly explain three ways in which women may be disadvantaged by religion today. (9 marks)

There are many ways in which women may feel disadvantaged by religion today. One of these reasons may be that places of worship often segregated the sexes and marginalize women. For example, seating them behind screens while men occupy the main/central and more sacred places. Holm (1994), describes this as the devaluation of women in contemporary science. Another reason, could be that religious organizations are mainly male-dominated despite the fact that women tend to partake in more of these organizations. Armstrong (1993), sees women exclusion from priesthood of most religions as evidence of their marginalization. One last reason that could explain why women may be disadvantaged by religion today is the fact that many sacred texts largely feature male-gods and prophets etc, and are also written and interpreted by men.

Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of religion to social change (18 marks)

Some sociologists have argued that religion can bring about social change; others have argued however that religion does in fact cause social change. Yet some believe that religion can be both a conservative force and a force for social change.

Calvinists were a protestant group that formed in the 17th century, who believed in pre-destination. Calvinists believed their fate was already chosen for them in heaven however they believed that their hard work and ascetic lifestyle would give them a life in heaven. Their hard work became known as the protestant ethic. Weber believed that the protestant ethic of Calvinists drove the spirit of capitalism, as their hard work and ascetic lifestyle meant that any profits from their business were reinvested, producing further profits, which was ideal for the development of capitalism. However, it is important to remember that Weber did not argue that Calvinists were the cause of...

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