Sociological Perspectives On Religion Essay

945 words - 4 pages

“Religion is a ritualized system of beliefs and practices related to things defined as sacred by an organized community of believers.” (Basirico et.al. 379). Religion is an important element in the society because it influences the way individuals act and think. It has shaped the relationship and bonding among families as well as influenced the decision made in economics and politics. Religion in general has contributed to shape a society and a government structure which will influence the way the individuals under certain governmental structure behave. Sociologists are interested in religion mainly because religious belief is heavily rooted in individuals’ lives and it helps sociologists to interpret human’s actions, expression, and experiences. Due to its significance in society, sociologists try to study religion in depth to explain and understanding religions beyond science. Supernatural belief, which is the core of religion, cannot be explained using science which relies only on facts and data. According to Emile Durkheim, religion consists of three elements, a system of beliefs and practices, a community or church, and sacred things which are common throughout all religions. Although a lot of people may have thought that sociological studies in religion will undermine one’s faith towards their beliefs, in my opinion, sociological perspective in religion will have no effect on one’s faith toward their beliefs.
Religion may have influenced the way an individual, society, and government act but sociological studies in religion does not have effect on one’s faith. Scientists believe that religion is merely psychological effect. There is no proof to the existence of God and scientific explanation on shamanism which revolves around the belief than a certain individual has the power to call a spirit while sociologists believe that religion is merely a tool that guide a person’s life which is why understand religion is very important. However, no matter how sociologists and scientists view religion, there are a lot of people who will still believe in their own religion and that there exists a power that science cannot explain. For example, in an Islamic country such as Indonesia, government is organized base on what is appropriate according to Islam. Even though, there are a lot of people questions the existence of supernatural power and hundreds of books publish that study the scientific view of religion, government and people in that country still believe in their religions. Students at school also study about science and sociological perspective toward religion and almost every student still believe in their religion and practice it in their societies. Moreover, in US where freedom of speech is allowed and knowledge can be shared quickly by internet, every person in US knows about scientific study of religion but Christianity is still emphasized in everyday life. People may only view sociological and scientific perspective...

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