Essay Example on Follow a religion can make a person feel like they are part of Something

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Being a member of a group like one is when they follow a religion can make a person feel like they are part of something larger than just themselves and they can share their personal beliefs and ideas with like minded people which in turn can create social stability A place of worship where religion is practiced brings people together where they reinforce their social bonds through communication and social relationships Believing in a religion that can provide those answers makes many people feel protected and safe because they accept that their faith will guide them through difficult times and help them make the right choices in life through the power of prayer Religion provides ethics morals and the principles in how to be a good member of society and in doing so you are guaranteed salvation and eternal life which is an agent of control for social behavior These things in the modern world and centuries ago help preserve society through community and compassion 



Through religion people are motivated to create positive social change Despite the advances in science much of our world consists of unanswered questions and through the belief of religion many of those individuals are able to feel more at ease with those questions when science can t provide an explanation Today the Pew Research Center reports that only 16 of the global populations are non religious Pew Research Center 4 5 2017 The report also states that most of the world's major religious groups are expected to rise in absolute numbers by 2050 while those not affiliated with any religion such as atheists and agnostics will make a declining share of the world's total population in that same time frame Pew Research Center With the answers and promises religions can provide along with the projections of growth within most major religions in the world it's clear that religion does have relevance in the modern world and continues to thrive today The five common theoretical approaches used in the scientific study of religion are Functionalism Conflict Theory Symbolic Interaction Phenomenology and Social Construction The founder of Functionalism is Emile Durkheim and as a theoretical approach Functionalism explains the existence of social institutions such as religion in terms of the needs that the institutions wood meet in society Christiano Swatos Kivisto n d p 39 Durkheim understood religion to be the glue that held society together Christiano et al p 39 



Through common beliefs and values a Functionalist believed that religion would maintain conformity social structure and control by offering purpose and meaning to people's lives through belief Conflict Theory by Karl Marx says that religion plays an important role in continuing the status quo Marks argued that religion accomplishes this by promising rewards in the after life rather than in this life By focusing attention on otherworldly rewards religion pacifies members by providing a worldview that deflects attention that would otherwise be directed at the inequalities of this world Lumen Learning and The Symbolic Interaction perspective studies religion symbolism through acts of behavior events and art in everyday life by attaching meanings to each of them This perspective assumes that social order is constantly being negotiated and recreated through the interpretations of the people who give it meaning Sociological Theories of Religion and Phenomenology places emphasis on the viewpoint of the believer and the researcher must shelve their own personal perspectives and maintain openness to consider individual s other worldly ideas perspectives and events as very real to the individual and or group but admits they may be difficult for others to apprehend Weight 2018

The Social Construction theory of Constructivism was developed by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann and it has not only objective absolutely real and unchanging and subjective as experienced by the individual dimensions but a range of phenomena between is socially constructed or as later theorists have called it intersubjective Weight This theory contends that people ultimately believe their religion is righteous because as a culture they deem it to be so on their specific worldview How do we know that what we have observed as religious scholars is true In the sociology of religion our epistemological concern isn t whether we know a given religious belief is or isn't true valid and or correct it s whether we can reasonably know that our data interpretation of that data and the conclusions that result from our analysis are true valid and correct Weight 2018 



Three methods researchers use to collect their findings are personal observation surveys and historical analysis but religious scholars also rely on qualitative research to study symbols and examine interpretations or meanings within religion by relying on their own senses and intellect to bring together their observations Personal observation allows a researcher to study rituals and routines while listening to people as they go about their day without directly playing a part or being involved themselves They are able to familiarize themselves with individuals in the group and collect data at a small scale while observing interactions between the members of the group Creating a survey or questionnaire can accurately assess belief behavior and opinions of a group but subjective and unclear questions can produce inaccurate results so it is important to have good questions when creating a survey Decisions on using open or closed ended questions wording and question order impact the success of a survey as well and can result in answers that don t accurately reflect the real opinions of those answering the question in the survey Historical analysis is used by researchers to frame and reconstructs the history of religion in the proper context By studying objectively the literature anthropology geography history economics sociology politics along with other evidence researchers can collect facts and confirmation of events to accurately understand and identify what actually occurred in the past


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