Functions and Dysfunctions of Religion

1497 WordsMar 6, 20116 Pages
FUNCTIONS AND DYSFUNTIONS OF RELIGION 2 “A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them” –Durkheim (Henslin, 2009, p. 374). When sociologists do research on religion they’re goal is not to prove that one religion is better than another nor is it their goal to prove or disprove anyone’s faith but to analyze the relationship between society and religion and study the role religion plays in people’s lives (Henslin, 2009, p. 374). Religion can be important to people in many different ways. There are functional things like giving people…show more content…
During that time mourners do not go to parties, the theater or concerts (Jewish Mourning, 2004). Religion also brings everyone with the same beliefs and values together. They reinforce group norms and help bring about social compatibility between everyone. They can provide a basis for common purpose and values that can help maintain social solidarity. A uniformity of beliefs helps bind people together and reinforces group identity [ (O'Neil, 2009) ]. A religious marriage ceremony also brings the community together to wish them well furthering their ties with the people around them. In most societies, religions play an important role by setting guidelines and rules for everyday life. Some faiths offer general rules about things. In the Bible there are the Ten Commandments that tell us how to worship God and instructions on what is right and wrong like don’t steal, don’t murder and obey your parents. If individuals do the right things in life, they may earn the approval of the gods. If they do the wrong things, they may suffer supernatural retribution. The Koran not only provides detailed lists of specific kinds of crimes and appropriate earthly punishments, but it also gives descriptions of how to do mundane tasks such as eating specific kinds of food [ (O'Neil, 2009) ]. The sacred texts of religions usually set precedents for proper behavior in common situations. The Christian Bible stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and
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