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• Religion is an organized collection
of beliefs, cultural systems, andworld views that
relate humanity to an order of existence Many
religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred
histories that are intended to explain the meaning
of life and/or to explain the origin of life or
the Universe. From their beliefs about
the cosmos and human nature, people
derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a
preferredlifestyle. According to
• some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in
THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON RELIGION
A.Symbolic interactionist perspective
• The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic
interactionism, is a major framework of sociological theory. This
perspective relies on the symbolic meaning that people develop and
rely upon in the process of social interaction.
B.The Functionalist perspective
• According to the functionalist perspective of
sociology, each aspect of society is interdependent
and contributes to society's stability and
functioning as a whole. For example, the
government provides education for the children of
the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the
state depends to keep itself running. That is, the
family is dependent upon the school to help
children grow up to have good jobs so that they can
raise and support their own families
C.The conflict perspective
• Conflict perspective is one of the major theoretical
approaches to sociological thought. It originated
with Karl Marx and his critique of capitalism and has
since developed along a number of lines. In general,
the conflict perspective assumes that social life is
shaped by groups and individuals who struggle or
compete with one another over various resources
and rewards, resulting in particular distributions of
power, wealth, and prestige in societies and social
MAGIC AND RELIGION
• Religion and magic became conceptually separated
with the development of western monotheism,
where the distinction arose between supernatural
events sanctioned by mainstream religious doctrine
("miracles") and mere magic rooted in folk belief or
occult speculation. In pre-monotheistic religious
traditions, there is no fundamental distinction
between religious practice and magic; tutelary
deities concerned with magic are sometimes called
"hermetic deities" or "spirit guides."
FAITH AND RELIGION
• Religion is always in danger of growing apart from
the people when its leaders forget to reflect
carefully on their own behavior and come to look
upon themselves as figures of authority.
• Faith is the function of human life that dispels the
dark clouds of doubt, anxiety and regret, opens
one’s heart and orients it toward good.
SCIENCE AND RELIGION
• Everything that the human race has done and
thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply
felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to
keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to
understand spiritual movements and their
development. Feeling and longing are the motive
force behind all human endeavor and human
creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may
present themselves to us.
1.FACILITATE THE QUEST FOR MORAL IDENTITY
• Moral identity is the extent to which an individual
holds morality as part of his or her self-concept, and
it has been shown to influence the degree to which
people emphasize their own versus others’
needs”. A person shows “moral awareness”, a
subject with limited empirical research, according
to the authors, by recognizing the implications of
and moral contents of a situation.
• Four (4) concepts come into play in this arena: selfinterested behavior; moral identity; moral
awareness; and power.
2.PROVIDE INTERPRETATION FOR MAN’S
• Environmental interpretation is usually carried out
in spaces or routes which facilitate knowledge
about nature and the relationship between society
and nature in a specific location or region. The
creation of Interpretive Centers or Trails or the use
of already existing ones is an important support
mechanism for the environmental education
processes and complements educational
possibilities in an important way.
3.PROMOTE SOCIAL COHESION AND SOLIDARITY
• EMILE DURKHIEM
‘Society can only exist if there exists among its
members a sufficient degree of homogeneity.
• Education perpetuates and reinforces this
homogeneity by fixing in the child, from the
beginning, the essential similarities that collective
TYPES OF RELIGIOUS
Religious movements and denominations
• religious movements involve groups of people who
join together to spread a new religion or to
reinterpret an old one. Religious movements are
large and typically “open” in their memberships,
especially at the beginning of the movement.
• Denominations are large and established religious
bodies that have a hierarchy of religious leaders
operating within a formal, bureaucratic structure.
Most denominational members are born into and
grow up within the body .
Sects and cults
• Sects are smaller, less organized religious bodies of
committed members. They typically arise in protest to a
larger denomination, like the Anglicans originally did to the
Roman church in the 1500s. They may have few or no leaders
and little formal structure.sects actively seek new converts.
People are more likely to join sects than to be born into
• At first cults may resemble sects, but important differences
exist. Cults, the most transient and informal of all religious
groups, provide havens for people who reject the norms and
values of larger society. Cultists may live separately or
together in communes. Additionally, cults normally center
around a charismatic leader who focuses on bringing together
people of the same turn of mind. The potential for abuse and
other problems in such environments has led
• American society to give much negative press to cults,
although not all cults are necessarily abusive.
THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD:THEIR BELIEFS
The Future Of Religion
• Each generation is less religious than the last and the
grip of the Church is being steadily weakened. Ireland
used to be the most religious country in Europe, yet
even here religion is being eroded away. The simple
fact is that religion’s future is one of decline into
insignificance as the older generations die off and
young fail to take their place. Churches are facing a
crisis in even finding members to join as priests and the
closing of churches will soon be a common sight.
Within 50 to 100 years religion will be but a shadow of
what it once was, a mere footnote belonging to a
• As so much of religion is private, it is not easy to
quantify the level of religious belief in the country.
Officially, the vast majority of people claim to be
religious and in the most recent census 84% of the
population claimed to be Catholic.