Karl Marx, Max Weber And Emile Durkheim

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Religion has been, and forever will be a part of culture and society. Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim are the top three most important figures in sociology; and although each of them viewed religion differently, I strongly believe that they understood its power, and demonstrated its importance to people and societies. As such, I will utilize all three of these great minds, to demonstrate religion as an important and permanent part of culture and society.

Let 's begin with Karl Marx, and his conflict theory. According to Ashley Crossman, conflict theory “emphasizes the role of coercion and power in producing social order” (Crossman, n.d.-a). Marx formulated this theory on his views that society was divided into groups based on social and economic status. He felt that social order was maintained by the rich using their power and success to dominate and control the poor.

Marx did not believe in religion or God. He was a materialist; only the physical world was of reality and importance, while the mind and spirit were of little importance. He also believed that it was man who created religion. Marx famously stated that “man makes religion; religion does not make man” (as cited in Opium of the people, n.d.). He stated that “Christians believe that God created man in his own image, whereas the truth is that man created God in his own image” (Hamilton, p. 84). Although Marx never conducted any formal study on religion specifically (only briefly touching on the subject

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