The Social Change in Religion Religion has two meanings in sociology, the inclusive definition also known, as the functional definition is the most general and refers to following a set of rules or rituals. This could include football and vegetarianism, as well as more traditional religions such as Christianity and Judaism. The exclusive definition, also known as the substantive, requires a belief in a god or similar higher being. This is the definition I will be using for my essay. Social change is the process of a society moving on either slowly by evolution as believed by functionalists or quickly by revolution as believed by Marxists.
It has been generally acknowledged that religious belief is a powerful force in society. Religion has been a major component of human culture since nearly the beginning of man. As we emerged as a high intellect species, we developed many different ideologies to answer some of our unanswerable questions. Since these developments, we continue to evolve as a species and the ideologies we have created evolve with us in our endlessly changing societies. As civilization grows, our different cultures clashed for many different reasons, one of which has been religion. As the human race has developed, its growth gas been accompanied by a large number of recorded genocides and religious wars. As religion grew, the power of religious officials increased immensely. These leaders have led clashes between religions which resulted in mass killings throughout history. With that said, can the negative outweigh the positive effects of religion throughout the course of human history?
Emerson was an author in nineteenth century America; society and the church during that time were very different and much more conservative compared to society and religion in modern times. In the time that Emerson wrote Nature, religion greatly influenced law because it gave people ways to live, and a majority of the populous viewed those guidelines and beliefs of the church as laws, while as now the beliefs of the church are viewed almost as guidelines. Emerson was partially correct in his statement that says ethics changes, while religion stays the same in that that ethics changes with time, but religion does not change, but instead religion changes over time, though it takes extended periods of time for any major changes to become noticed.
Religions affect the lives of its followers greatly because if you're a Muslim you have to pray five times a day, if you're a Jew you can't have any other gods, and if you believe in Buddhism you have to follow the middle path to stop suffering. All these rules you have to follow can take away time from you and can make you give up stuff you have, even make you leave money behind.
Religion is one of the most important components of culture which has been used in understanding the universe, natural phenomena, what to die for and how to dwell among other people. Religion can be considered as culture by itself because it provides the set of values, beliefs and guidelines for specific behavior (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel & Roy, 2013, p.40). Religion helps to control the social behavior, maintains conflict, supports emotions and gives explanations to unexplainable.
Over time, major religions such as Christianity and Judaism have changed quite a bit since their beginning. They have been warped and changed to become what they are in today's society. They change as a result of the people and how they want to understand their religion. Wars also had an impact on how religions came to be what they are. When comparing the past to the present it becomes obvious how much religions have changed.
Before the Common Era when civilizations were first being developed several elements factored into a group being considered a civilization. Everything from establishing a government to currency were markers of civilization. But of these indicators the written language, religion and the class system had the greatest effect on civilizations. These three markers shaped the private and public lives of ancient civilizations.
Throughout civilization, religions have come a long way in impacting modern society and civilization. One of the major Abrahamic religions, Islam, has made many advances and has contributed a variety of concepts, ideas and inventions to western civilization. Most of these contributions have gone unnoticed throughout the years, and have been credited by various people, when in reality Muslim scholars have formulated these concepts. Although some may believe that these contributions are irrelevant, the reality is that most of the everyday concepts humans use all around the world, have been derived from a primarily Islamic school of thought.
Observing the daily lifestyles of the individuals from different time periods show a great deal of how the religion changes the societal behavior of the followers of each religion. The religion’s form of worshipping a God is a reputable indicator of the era’s culture. While looking into The Iliad, we find that the culture of that time highlights warfare and worshipping multiple Gods. This polytheistic culture differs greatly from the culture of The Torah, which was the first established religion that believed in teaching a monotheistic education, believing in one God. Furthermore, one can see in The New Testament that they also worship one God in addition to following the teachings of Jesus. This creates a difference in cultures as this changes the way people worship their God/Gods. The transition into the first millennium brought many changes as new religions appeared and there became a diversity in beliefs. Through looking at The Homeric Era, The Hellenic Era, and The Roman Era, the differences within these time periods are shown through the transformation of each religion 's form of worship as a ritual.
There are many civilizations, cultures, and nations, which are founded upon a religious conviction. Even though they are very different, I believe they all have the same goals; enlightenment, salvation, sanctification, self-realization, or my personal goal, liberation. In addition, there is no culture or society that exists without a religious motivation and tradition, even though science always tries to prove that religion is based upon faulty beliefs, religion will always overcome science, faulty or not. In the modern world that we live in where unity is bigger than ever, we must look beyond our own religious views and study other traditions and philosophies. Specifically, I will be matching up my two favorite, Christianity and Buddhism. Buddhism is centered upon the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha, whereas Christianity is centered on the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.
God and religion have been a great influence from the beginning in the settling of America. Although many important setters came to America for different reasons, they all claim to be doing things in the name of their lord. Throughout America’s history, it becomes evident that power begins to shape religion which causes religion to move further away from God. Authors like Roger Williams and Samuel Sewell discuss in their literature that religious exclusivism leads to the monopolization of power and unequal treatment of men.
Close to one hundred and fifty years apart, both Louis XIV Edict of Fontainebleau and Luther’s Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation had an immense impact on religion. Martin Luther’s document would pave the way for the Protestant Reformation, while Louis XIV would revoke all the freedoms that the Huguenots enjoyed in a Catholic France with the Edict of Nantes. This essay will compare and contrast these distinctions and their impact on religion. Therefore, although years apart, these two documents lead a paradigm shift, address what they believe to be “evils” plaguing their lands, and put power in the hands of the temporal authorities.
As long as humans have walked the Earth, we have sought out answers. Answers for questions like: "Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? Where did we come from? and What's that?" How different people answered these questions is important to study because it shows us the spiritual side of human nature. Especially now, a time of conflict between Islam and Western Civilization, it is important to look back and trace the evolution of religion. To see where we started and perhaps, gain some perspective into what is happening now and what may happen in the future.
The extreme was found to be Christians, who were willing to forgive everything and almost required to from their religion’s rules. However, Judaism only forgives to a limit. Jews consider violent actions like murder unforgivable and therefore stand apart from Christians on this very issue. This then creates a different sort of belief system and culture within the two denominations.
Over the course of the semester, various types of religions and practices have been discussed. Religion has proven to be one of the oldest of human customs and many a time is formed on supernatural basis. Yet various similarities emerge in its literary usage, customary practices and societal impact. I argue that although religion is generally regarded as a scared aspect of a group and is sometimes used for narrative, explanatory and preservation purposes within these texts; it has been manipulated to serve and cover up the ideologies and practices of its followers. These ideologies and practices would on the most part be regarded as wrong not only on a contemporary basis, but also to those at the opposite end of its effects.