He argued that the religion of the Azande (witchcraft and oracles) can not be understood without the social context and its social function. For example, in Protestantism, especially the “Protestant Work Ethic,” Weber saw the roots of capitalism. , Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free, Edward Burnett Tylor and James George Frazer. A key point is that each of the 16 desires motivates personality opposites and those opposites all have to find a home in a successful religion, Reiss said. Substantive (or essentialist) theories that focus on the contents of religions and the meaning the contents has for people. Durkheim found that people tend to separate religious symbols, objects, and rituals, which are sacred, from the daily symbols, objects, and routines of existence referred to as the profane. Durkheim predicted that religion's influence would decrease as society modernizes. For example, there is the desire for social contact. He described it as mysterium tremendum (terrifying mystery) and mysterium fascinans (awe inspiring, fascinating mystery). Theoretical Perspectives on Religion.  He saw religion as a reflection of the concern for society.  They define religion as a system of compensator that relies on the supernatural. Theories of religion can be classified into. Influential functional theories have been proposed by Karl Marx (focusing on the economic background) , Sigmund Freud (focusing on neurosis as a pscychological origin of religious beliefs), and Émile Durkheim (focusing on the social function of religions). 330– 264 BCE) wrote that gods were excellent historical persons who eventually became worshiped. Not only tries Freud to explain the origin and persistence of faith in individuals but in his 1913 book Totem and Taboo he even developed a speculative story how all monotheist religions itself originated and developed. Psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to the diverse contents of religious traditions as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. When discussing the origin of religion, it's important to remember the term 'religion' is broad and far... Max Muller. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In contrast religion is faith that the natural world is ruled by one of more deities with personal characteristics with whom can be pleaded, not by laws.. He saw religion as emerging from these expierences. The Azande's faith in witchcraft and oracles was quite logical and consistent once some fundamental tenets were accepted. bookmarked pages associated with this title. E._B._Tylor#Ideology and "Primitive Culture", cultures and religions tend to grow more sophisticated, magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation, societies' views and practices grow more evolved over time in an uniform way, Sociological_classifications_of_religious_movements#The_church-sect_typology, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, his 1920 treatment of the religion in China, the method of historians studying history, http://hirr.hartsem.edu/ency/cstheory.htm, Clifford Geertz, Cultural Anthropologist, Is Dead at 80, https://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Theories_of_religion&oldid=100771827, Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. Weber acknowledged that religion had a strong social component, but diverged from Durkheim by arguing, for example in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that religion can be a force of change in society. Theories of Religion Topic 1 – AQA Sociology 2. Primitive Cultures and Cultural Evolution. Hinduism Buddhism Confucianism and Taoism, Next His general position on religion is found in The Future of An Illusion (1928) and Moses and Monotheism (1939). Sociological Theories of Religion. INTRODUCTION Anthropological theories of religion are diverse. , His ideas strongly influenced phenomenologists and Mircea Eliade. According to Marx, the human mind and human consciousness as part of matter. In contrast to earlier theorists, the anthropologists E. E. Evans-Pritchard and Clifford Geertz performed detailed ethnographical studies of ("primitive") cultures and came to the conclusion that earlier theories were one-sided at best. They asserted that religion is able to function as compensators for unobtained rewards. Theories of religion can be classified into. The Theories of Religion PHIL 151/RS151— INTERNET COURSE. Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) saw religion as an illusion. Collective consciousness, which is the fusion of all of our individual consciousnesses, creates a reality of its own. Pals, Daniel L. 1996. This means that when explaining religion they reject divine or supernatural explanations for the status or origins of religions, because they are not testable.  The analysis of this simple form of religion could provide the building blocks for more complex religions. Max Weber did not so much a propose a general theory of religion, but focused on the interaction between society and religion. Therefore the anthropologist must be both empirically rigorous and a savvy interpreter, akin to a psychoanalyst. , The anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard preferred detailed ethnographical study of a tribe and their religion to form a theory about the tribe's religion over untestable speculation over the origins of religions by e.g. They help scholars evaluate and unravel the underlying principles of the study, of why religion exists, how it developed, what needs Religion can be a source of happiness, though illusory and temporary, or at least a source of comfort. , He was heavily critical about earlier theorists of primitive religion with the exception of Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, asserting that they made statements about primitive people without having enough inside knowledge to make more than a guess. This approach asserts that people have faith because beliefs make sense to them. Magic is used to influence the natural world in the primitive man's struggle for survival. This page was last modified 18:35, 15 May 2011. , Eliade sought and found patterns in myth in various cultures, e.g. This approach asserts that people have faith because beliefs make sense to them. He saw religion originating from alienation and aiding the persistence of alienation. Theories of Religion: Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. In the book Weber wrote that modern capitalism spread quickly partially due to the protestant wordly ascetic morale. THEORIES OF RELIGIONS Theories of Religious Studies are coherently a body of explanation, rules, ideas, principles, and techniques that are systematically arranged for comprehension. With illusion Freud means a belief that people want very much to be true. Although people commonly assume that Marx saw no place for religion, this assumption is not entirely true. Our current understanding of the Universe is … Those who study religion from the psychological perspective are interested in three primary areas that may be broadly characterized as past, present, and future. Evans-Pritchard. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. He believed that scientific thinking would likely replace religious thinking, with people giving only minimal attention to rituals and ceremonies. Primitive people used human dreams in which spirits seemed to appear as an indication that the human mind could exist independent of a body. The anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor (1832 – 1917) defined religion as belief in supernatural beings and stated that this belief originated as explanations to the world. , Theorizing beyond mere specualtion became possible after data from tribes and peoples all over the world became available in Europe and the United States in the 18th and 19th century. Some authors, usually ones who wish to celebrate these facts, call th… He used the concept of "Verstehen" (German for "understanding") to describe his method of interpretation of the intention and context of human action.. He defined religion as, With symbols Geertz meant a carrier that embodies a conception, because he saw religion and culture as systems of communication.. Religion, therefore, has its origin in man’s attempt to project into the universe a belief in a cosmic father or God to give him support he once had from his human father. Eliade wrote that archaic men wish to participate in the sacred. Loss of faith in the fundamental tenets could not be endured because of its social importance and hence they had an elaborate system of explanations (or excuses) against disproving evidence. Freud's view on religion was embedded in his larger theory of psychoanalysis.  This quiz and corresponding worksheet will gauge your knowledge of the theories on religion's origin. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. This chapter operates with a notion of ‘theory’ as an interconnected set of ideas or statements expressed in language that frames cognitive claims about some phenomenon. Removing #book# Seven Theories of Religion. His theory assumed that the psyche of all peoples of all times are more or less the same and that explanations in cultures and religions tend to grow more sophisticated via monotheist religions, like Christianity and eventually to science. New York Times. This definition emphasizes the mutual reinforcement between world view and ethics. There are many theories as to how religious thought originated. Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, begins with Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer--two Victorian pioneers in anthropology and the comparative study of religion. The view that religion has a social aspect, at the very least, introduced in a generalized very strong form by Durkheim has become influential and uncontested. Scholars distinguish seven aspects of religious traditions: the doctrinal and philosophical, the mythic and narrative, the ethical and legal, the ritual and practical, the experiential and emotional, the social and organizational, and the material and artistic.  Status groups have differing levels of access to power and prestige and indirectly to economic resources. Durkheim saw totemism as the original and simplest form of religion. In the book he asserted that monotheist religions grew out of a homicide in a clan of a father by his sons. Freud asserted that religion is a largely unconscious neurotical response to repression.  Weber's main focus was not on developing a theory of religion but on the interaction between society and religion, while introducing concepts that are still widely used in the sociology of religion. Sacred rituals and ceremonies are especially important for marking occasions such as births, marriages, times of crisis, and deaths. Each major sociological framework has its perspective on religion. Clifford Geertz, Cultural Anthropologist, Is Dead at 80. The daily life of an ordinary person is connected to the sacred by the appearance of the sacred, called hierophany. He asserted that moralism cannot be separated from religion. Witchcraft and oracles played a great role in solving disputes among the Azande. Somewhat differing from Marx, The method that Tylor and Frazer used was seeking similar beliefs and practices in all societies, especially the more primitive ones, more or less regardless of time and place. Hinduism Buddhism Confucianism and Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Euhemerus (appr. He asserted that magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation. Religion has all of these benefits, but, according to conflict theory, it can also reinforce and promote social inequality and social conflict. Religion reinforces prevailing social and economic arrangements by both consoling the oppressed and j… Learn more about Freud's complicated relationship with religion as well as some of his thoughts on religion and spirituality. Though his attempt to the historical origins of religions have not been accepted, his generalized view that all religions originate from unfulfilled psychological needs are still seen as offering a credible explanation in some cases. Geertz followed Weber when he wrote that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning. Still, he predicted that traditional religion would one day pass away. He also used some personal knowledge of other societies and cultures for his theories, among others his knowledge of Hindu folk religion. These concept include. Answer: The psychology of religion is the study of religion from the human psychological point of view. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and Karl Marx (1818–1883) both authored prominent humanistic theories of religion with scientific or quasi-scientific pretensions. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Emile Durkheim argued that religion provides social cohesion and social control to maintain society in social solidarity. Their theory has been criticized as one-sided for focusing on mere intellectual aspects of religions, while neglecting social aspects of religion, among others by the anthropologist E. E. 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