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Functionalist View of Religion Essay

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The Functionalist View of Religion First Last name
Bluegrass Community Technical College

There are several key elements that are found in every society. These elements are called cultural universals. One of these cultural universals is religion. From the earliest known societies to our every day modern lives religion has performed many vital functions. To explore these necessary duties of religion we must first understand the definition of religion. Many describe religion as a feeling or presence of a supernatural being. Others say religion is more of a self awareness or inner peace. Webster’s Dictionary defines religion as 1a: The state of the religious b (1): The service or worship of God or the supernatural (2):
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No matter what the religion or what criteria necessary for attaining the salvation that religion teaches, it is clear that the only manifest function of religion points to salvation. There have been many latent functions of religion in society as well. These are some of the unintended uses of religion as a whole. One of the major latent functions of religion is the psychological effects it has in individual lives (Dance, 2010). As Weber said religion helps people deal with the inevitable problems of existence like sickness, pain, and eventually death. Religion for any time and any culture has helped to lead people through the difficult stages of life. It gives the support and tools necessary to cross the difficult thresholds that come our way; from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, to old age, and eventually to the final exit, death. Every religion has certain rituals and beliefs that accompany these stages of life. Many ancient religions had certain incantations and spells that were chanted over someone that was sick or diseased. Many modern religions pray to their respective deity in hopes that the inflicted person would be healed. From the earliest known religions there has always been some religious significance when someone passes away. Funeral processions in ancient Egypt would sometimes last several months where every orchestrated event was to appease their gods and
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