Functional Function Of Religion Essay

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FUNCTIONALISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON RELIGION The functional perspective focuses on the relationship between religion and other social institutions both in synchronic and diachronic sense. Religion shapes the values that forms the base of the social institutions. It views religion as a functional entity. Religion has three main functions according to Durkheim in the society. 1) Social cohesion: religion maintains solidarity because of shared rituals and beliefs. 2) Social control: morals and values based on religion maintains conformity and social control and increases belongingness and legitimizes the political system. 3) Provides meaning and purpose: religion provides answers to existential questions. Functionalism for religion explains how religious phenomena occur but fails to explain or define religion as a whole. For example,…show more content…
According to Marx, religion maintains the ‘status quo’ as it was the tool of the Bourgeoisie to keep the Proletariat content. Religion has the power to do this by promising rewards in the afterlife instead of the present one. Religion was the idea of ruling class and hence supported the status quo. To quote Marx, who said, “Religion is the sign of oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless circumstances. It is the opium of the people… The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.” He meant that Proletariat would have to throw off their religion in order to rise against the Bourgeoisie and gain control over means of production and enjoy worldly leisure. According to this perspective, social inequality and conflict is reinforced and promoted by religion. It justifies oppression and maintain the ills of the society. It views religion as the base of intergroup conflict. This inequality is reflected in the religious institutions like race,

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