Theories of religion
• Marxism

Miss Russell
Bilton School
Thinking Ladder…

To
&
examples Marxist
concepts in real life
religious belief and
practice.
To
Marxist
explanations to re...
How will I know if I am learning?
By the end of the lesson…
E

Will be able to describe real life evidence of
Marxist theo...
Research Task
• Find evidence from the 4 religions below
which can be used to support the Marxist
view of religion. You ha...
Helpful Links
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christia
nity/history/slavery_1.shtml
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/world...
Slavery
• In slave societies (e.g. sugar plantations in
West Indies) slave masters tried to convert
African slaves to Euro...
The Hindu Caste System
• Hinduism justifies social inequality through the
Hindu caste system.
• Caste is a system of socia...
The Hindu Caste System
• In the traditional Hindu Caste system in India
(now illegal to discriminate), people were
divided...
The Hindu Caste System
• The doctrine of karma teaches that if you behave well in this world by
accepting and observing th...
The New Christian Right
• Highly religious Christians in the United
States with highly conservative and procapitalist view...
Evangelical Christianity in Latin America
• The New Christian Right have encouraged the
spread of protestant religious bel...
Agree or Not?

How far do you agree with
Marxism as a theory of
Religion?
Which piece of evidence do
you think best suppor...
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  1. 1. Theories of religion • Marxism Miss Russell Bilton School
  2. 2. Thinking Ladder… To & examples Marxist concepts in real life religious belief and practice. To Marxist explanations to real life examples. To Marxist theory of religion using evidence.
  3. 3. How will I know if I am learning? By the end of the lesson… E Will be able to describe real life evidence of Marxist theory of religion. C Will be able to explain in detail how real life evidence relates to Marxist theory of religion. A Will be able to evaluate Marxist theory of religion using evidence.
  4. 4. Research Task • Find evidence from the 4 religions below which can be used to support the Marxist view of religion. You have approximately 40 minutes! Be prepared to feed back! 1. 2. 3. 4. Slavery Hindu Caste System The New Christian Right Evangelical Christianity in Latin America Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  5. 5. Helpful Links • http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christia nity/history/slavery_1.shtml • http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/feat ures/ihavearightto/four_b/casestudy_art01.sh tml • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_right http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/20 12/03/201232593459332334.html • http://churchandstate.org.uk/2011/05/moneygod-greed/ Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  6. 6. Slavery • In slave societies (e.g. sugar plantations in West Indies) slave masters tried to convert African slaves to European religions. • Slave masters saw religion as a way of controlling their slaves, preventing rebellions by giving the masters control over the slaves’ beliefs. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  7. 7. The Hindu Caste System • Hinduism justifies social inequality through the Hindu caste system. • Caste is a system of social stratification based on ascribed status. You are born into the same caste as your parents and marriage between castes is forbidden. • The highest caste is that of the priests, followed by a warrior caste, a merchant caste and the lowest caste of servants and labourers. Beneath these four groups are the untouchables who are not considered to have a caste at all. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  8. 8. The Hindu Caste System • In the traditional Hindu Caste system in India (now illegal to discriminate), people were divided into five castes based upon their supposed degree of religious purity. The Brahmins (priests) were at the top and the Untouchables (unskilled labourers) at the bottom. • No movement was permitted between castes, this system ensured the ruling class maintained their power and control and justified those at the bottom in terms of their religious impurity. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  9. 9. The Hindu Caste System • The doctrine of karma teaches that if you behave well in this world by accepting and observing the rules of caste, after death you will be reincarnated (re-born) into a higher caste. • These rules include strict norms about purity and impurity, governing what food may be eaten and what social contact allowed between members of different castes. Higher castes must maintain higher levels of purity. For example, touching someone from a lower caste may be seen as pollution and must be followed by elaborate cleansing rituals. • The doctrines of reincarnation and karma serve to maintain inequality by assuring those at the bottom of the caste system that their obedience will be rewarded or disobedience punished by reincarnation into a higher or lower caste. Meanwhile, higher castes perceive their privileged positions as a reward for their virtue in a previous life. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  10. 10. The New Christian Right • Highly religious Christians in the United States with highly conservative and procapitalist views. (George Bush – example). • The New Christian Right justify free-market capitalism, which supports the interests of the bourgeoisie, in religious terms, thereby legitimating ruling-class power. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  11. 11. Evangelical Christianity in Latin America • The New Christian Right have encouraged the spread of protestant religious beliefs in predominantly catholic Latin American countries, particular amongst the poor. • Protestant beliefs provide religious discipline and hope of salvation in the afterlife, discouraging them from supporting radical Catholic liberation theology and encouraging support for US-style capitalist values. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  12. 12. Agree or Not? How far do you agree with Marxism as a theory of Religion? Which piece of evidence do you think best supports Marxism as an explanation of religion? Why? Charlotte Russell Bilton School

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