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RELIGION

This document provides an overview of religion from a sociological perspective. It defines religion and discusses its universal nature and influence. Religion is interwoven with social, economic, and political life. The sociological study of religion focuses on its structure, organization, and role in society. Various religious structures like churches, sects, denominations and cults are described. The functions and dysfunctions of religion for individuals and society are outlined. The document also discusses folk Catholicism, faith healing, occult practices, and the separation of church and state in the Philippines.

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CHAPTER 13-
“RELIGION”
THE NATURE OF RELIGION
RELIGION is a universal and pervasive
phenomenon, a part of the cultural
system, because it is assumed to
meet some basic need of human
being. Religion has persisted and still
exerts a great influence in lives of
people.
Religion is interwoven with the social,
economic, and political life of the people.
It is properly one of the areas of interest
to a sociologist because of its influence
on the individual and its functions in
society. A sociologist’s main concern in
the study if religion is not to establish the
truth or falsity of a certain religion but to
look into it’s structure, organization, and
role and to observe how it affects and
influences an individual or society.
What is Religion?
Religion comes from the Latin word religare,
which means, “to bind together”. In the
religion of preliterate societies, the various
phenomena of nature are associated with a
number of different personalities, and in
many instances, numerous nature deities
are honoured. In other religions, the
supernatural beings is conceived as a spirit,
one and indivisible, and in nature yet
distinct from it.
Religion according to some philosophers:
Durkheim (1961)
Defines religion as a unified system
of beliefs and practices relative to
sacred things, that is to say, things
set apart and forbidden-beliefs and
practices which unite into one single
moral community called a church.
Evans-Pritschard (1965:56)
Religion embodies beliefs or
representations which express the nature
of sacred things as well as rites prescribing
how a person should behave in the
presence of sacred objects.
Nisbet (1973:14)
Avers that the deepest roots of any religion
lies in the experience of the social and
moral community which professes it.

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RELIGION

  • 2. THE NATURE OF RELIGION RELIGION is a universal and pervasive phenomenon, a part of the cultural system, because it is assumed to meet some basic need of human being. Religion has persisted and still exerts a great influence in lives of people.
  • 3. Religion is interwoven with the social, economic, and political life of the people. It is properly one of the areas of interest to a sociologist because of its influence on the individual and its functions in society. A sociologist’s main concern in the study if religion is not to establish the truth or falsity of a certain religion but to look into it’s structure, organization, and role and to observe how it affects and influences an individual or society.
  • 4. What is Religion? Religion comes from the Latin word religare, which means, “to bind together”. In the religion of preliterate societies, the various phenomena of nature are associated with a number of different personalities, and in many instances, numerous nature deities are honoured. In other religions, the supernatural beings is conceived as a spirit, one and indivisible, and in nature yet distinct from it.
  • 5. Religion according to some philosophers: Durkheim (1961) Defines religion as a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden-beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church.
  • 6. Evans-Pritschard (1965:56) Religion embodies beliefs or representations which express the nature of sacred things as well as rites prescribing how a person should behave in the presence of sacred objects. Nisbet (1973:14) Avers that the deepest roots of any religion lies in the experience of the social and moral community which professes it.
  • 7. Giddens (1989:452) All religions involves a set of symbols which arouses feelings of reverence or awe and are linked to rituals or ceremonial such as church services practiced by a community of believers. There may be personalized gods, a “divine force” or figure who is regarded with reverence and love.
  • 8. RELIGIOUS STRUCTURES Religion in all societies, whether preliterate or modern, has more or less institutionalized ways in which individuals and groups express their awe of the unknown and by which they satisfy their sharply felt needs for adjustment to and communion with the supernatural realm (Hertzler 1961:462).
  • 9. Mana explains every extraordinary phenomena – why trees grow fast, why a man has an unusual skill or power, or why the harvest is bountiful. This power exists invisibly throughout the universe and may be possessed by gods, human beings, the forces of nature, and natural objects such as pools, rivers, sticks and stones, and is to be feared, worshipped, and revered.
  • 10. There are different beliefs in the world like the “Totemism”- the worship of plants and animals and the “Animism”- belief in spirits and souls of natural objects. In the Philippines, Aetas of Negros Oriental believe that unseen beings inhabit trees, streams, and springs. These spirits have no names but they are feared and respected. The general term given to them is enkanto or taglogar.
  • 11. Lambrecht (1962:33-40) - noted that Ifugaos have nature and culture gods, rice culture deities, and gods of reproduction or fetus makers. Their universe is divided into five regions: the Skyworld, the Underworld, the Downstream Region, the Upstream Region, and the Earth.
  • 12. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION 1. ECCLESIA- It has an elaborate formal bureaucratic structure with its hierarchy of church officials and well-developed dogmas and rituals. - Emphasis is placed on the sacraments and on the creed. - It determines and stabilizers the social order. Examples: Catholic Church in Spain, the Anglican Church in England, and Islam in Saudi Arabia.
  • 13. 2. SECT- it is usually a group that has broken away from a parent church. - Dogmas and rituals are less developed. - It is intolerant of secular world and other religious groups. Examples: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, the Mormons.
  • 14. 3. DENOMINATION- is “a sect which has cooled down and become an institutionalized body rather than an active protest group.” (Giddens) - Sects which survived over a considerable period of time settle down to become denominations. Examples: The Philippines Independent Church (Aglipayan), the Iglesia ni Kristo, and Protestant groups (Methodist, the Lutherans, Presbyterians)
  • 15. 4. CULT- usually a small-size group which is very loosely organized and transient. - They usually seek emotional rather than intellectual satisfaction, hence, they do not develop an extensive and coherent body of religious thought. Examples: Rizalistas of Luzon, the cargo-cults in Southern Luzon and the Visayas, the Sapilada, Lapiang Malaya, led by Valentin de los Santos and the Good Wisdom for All Nations, led by Aliler Bernaldez Pen
  • 16. SCIENCE AND RELIGION What relationship exists between science and religion? A number of persons believe that science and religion are in conflict with or are diametrically opposed to each other. Example the case when the Polish astronomer Copernicus advanced his theory about the solar system. Another point of difference between religion and science concerns the questions of evolution, creation, and the Bible.
  • 17. Science deals with observable phenomena and studies certain aspects of nature by empirical tests and observations guided by objective attitude. Science as certain the nature of the observable world while religion decides what is ultimately good. Science tries to understand the explanation of a phenomenon by systematizing knowledge in the light of what are known. If science does not have an answer, religion has. It is then possible for a person to believe in God and yet be a good scientist.
  • 18. The goal of science is to pursue the truth through empirical methods. Religion revolves around existential propositions like the origin of the world, life after death, the nature of heaven, salvation, and the revealed character of the Bible. In the last analysis, religion and science can be reconciled; they are not diametrically opposed to each other.
  • 19. FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION Religion has many functions for the individual who believes in it and for society as a whole. 1.Religion gives one “peace of mind”. - For example, in times of crisis or when we have a problem, by communicating with our deity or through our prayers, it satisfies our spiritual and emotional needs.
  • 20. 2. Religion allays the fears and anxieties of individuals by reassuring them of the care and protection of their deity. - It removes the fears and anxieties of an individual by giving them a comfort and consolation of their religion and by reassuring them the love, care and protection of God.
  • 21. 3. Religion delineates what is right and what is wrong and prescribes a system of reward and punishment. - Expectations of what would results from doing good, fear of sin, a concept of the life here after, and concepts of heaven and hell motivate an individual to do what is good in order to be at peace with his or her maker.
  • 22. 4. Religion integrates and promotes group solidarity. - The religious rites and ceremonies usually involving mass singing or mass prayers unite members of the society and enhance solidarity. In Catholicism, the were united to celebrate some special or traditional occasions such as “Misa de Gallo” and “Misa de Aguinaldo”.
  • 23. 5. Religion performs welfare, education, and recreation functions. - Religious Organizations carry out or build up some welfare activities and social programs, they also operate charitable institutions, hospitals, orphanages, medical clinics, and etc. They also provide schools for the poor.
  • 24. DYSFUNCTIONS OF RELIGION  Religion can be divisive face in society.  It may also be a disintegrating factor.  It may eventually lead to personal disorganization.
  • 25. RELIGION PLURALISM Existing in the Philippines are diverse religions resulting in a pluralistic patterns. The Spanish conquistadores who came to the country in 1521 introduced Catholicism and since then, the religion has dominated the country, affecting its mores, exerting influences upon secular power and enjoying considerable prestige. Before the people believed in spirits called anitos which were a hierarchy of deities in a type of animistic religion still found among some cultural communities. These beliefs also continue to permeate the lives of people in the rural areas.
  • 26. Arab traders introduced Islam to the Philippines, a religion which gained a stronghold in Mindanao and Sulu. Islam imposes certain cultural norms which have set its followers apart from the Christians. It revolves around the social teachings of the Koran. The relationship between the Muslim and Christian Filipinos may be characterized by mutual suspicion and antagonism. There have been limited cleavages.
  • 27. The Protestants have contributed their share of leaders in the various sectors of society. The latest contribution is the election of the first Protestant president, Fidel V. Ramos, on May 11,1992 (Castro 1992:46). The relationship between Catholics and Christian have improved through the years and toleration of each other’s faith may be observed.
  • 28. Another religious group is the Iglesia ni Kristo founded by Felix Manalo in 1914. Through the years, it has stabilized itself and developed a bureaucratic formal organization. Various sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons and the Seventh Day Adventists have also gained adherents.
  • 29. Another group which is becoming popular is the “Born Again” or Charismatic group whose followers say that they are simply Christian believers; to them, the Bible is the only source of the Christian faith, and they are not bound by tradition and other doctrines. They consider Christianity as a way of life, a personal relationship with the lord, Jesus Christ.
  • 30. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE In keeping with democratic principles, there is separation of Church and State in the Philippines, a condition which has existed since the Revolutionary period as decreed in the Malolos Constitution and incorporated in the subsequent Constitutions. Article II Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides: “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.”
  • 31. This reasserts, with minor differences in wording and capitalization, a declaration made in Article XV, Section 15 of the 1973 Constitution. Similarly, Article III, Section 5 declares, "No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.” echoing Article IV, Section 8 of the 1973 constitution verbatim.
  • 32. FOLK CATHOLICISM In spite of the conversion of the country to Roman Catholicism, rural people are still oriented toward local traditions and the pre- Christian beliefs in spirits and charms, the mangkukulam, the anting-anting, the nuno sa punso, the aswang, and the like. The rural folks continue to placate the malevolent spirits to whose displeasure they attribute disease, crop failures, or any other catastrophe.
  • 33. Social anthropologists have used the term “folk Catholicism” to describe this situation. A distinction may be made between official Catholicism, non-official Catholicism, and folk Catholicism. 1. Official Catholicism - refers to the doctrines and rituals, which are prescribed, approved of, and maintained as normative. Examples: Sign of the Cross and Communion.
  • 34. 2. Non-Official Catholicism - comprises the elements, which are viewed as harmless but suspect and unorthodox by officially designated church authorities. Example: Walking to the altar on one’s knees, going to pilgrimages, dancing before the images of saints.
  • 35. 3.Folk Catholicism - includes the non-official elements, but only where these beliefs or practices are of popular derivation and are sanctioned in the community where it is found.
  • 36. Philosophers: 1.Pal- According to him, the barrio folk revolves around the will of Supreme God- Bathala. Everything which happens - birth, marriage, death, good crops, accidents are attributed to the will of Bathala. This reflects the fatalistic attitude of the people.
  • 37. 2.Arens- According to him, there is a widespread observance of animistic rituals in planting, harvesting, fishing, building houses, and taking care of the sick. There was the widespread belief in encantados (spirits) residing in trees and widespread use of anting-anting (amulets and talismans) with Christian prayers and beliefs.
  • 38. 3.Nydegger- He made similar observations in the study of Tarong, a barrio in Ilocos. People recognize God as omnipotent and supreme, their relation with Him is powerless and remote as there is no contact with Him except in the Poblacion Church.
  • 39. SPLIT-LEVEL CHRISTIANITY - Is the Catholic principle of Justice and the feudal attitude the lord may tax those whom he protects. There is the alumnus of a Catholic school who marries and maintains a querida but forbids his wife to go out with another man and drives her out of the house on suspicion of unfaithfulness. The split is between the Catholic rules regarding marriage and the cultural norms.
  • 40. FAITH HEALING AND THE OCCULT Occult is derived from Latin word occultus, means mysterious thing and practices related to supernatural forces beyond the five senses. Including under Occult are the following:  Practices and beliefs in astrology  Magic  Witchcraft  Numerology  Crystal ball gazing  Spiritism  Fortune telling
  • 41. *Manghuhula - a person who is believed to possess psychic power. - who can foretell the future through the use of cards, palm reading or crystal ball gazing. *Faith healer - is a person who serves as a medium for healing energy.
  • 42. Religion, Social Change and Social Action Like any other social institution, the Church has not escaped the impact of industrialization and modernization. In the face of these social changes, religion persists as a dynamic and powerful force in the lives of some devout persons. The Catholic Church has steadfastly held its stand against abortion, the use of artificial means of birth control, divorce, and the admission of women into the priesthood, and upholds the practice of celibacy among priests and nuns.
  • 43. THANK YOU  GOD BLESS!! "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12