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Religion and Belief Systems - UCSP

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arbhel23

Topic Report on Understanding Culture Society and Politics prepared by Group 1 under the leadership of Coleen De Leon (Hermosa National High School, Hermosa Bataan Philippines)

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MODULE 14:
Religion and
Belief Systems
Understanding Culture,
Society, and Politics
MODULE 14:
Religion and Belief Systems
 Functions of Religion
 Kinds of Religious patterns
 Institutionalized Religion
 Types of Religious Practitioners
 Various forms of Religious Activities
 Religious Organizations
 Types of Cults
RELIGION
According to Anthropologists,
Religion is “a set of attitudes, beliefs,
and practices, pertaining to
supernatural beings and forces. Such
beliefs may vary within a culture as
well as among societies, and they may
change over time” (Ember, Ember,
and Peregrine,2010)
RELIGIOUS AND
NON-RELIGIOUS PHENOMENA
Kikuyu of Kenya
Vomiting is a religious
practice as it eliminates
all the evil in a person’s
body.
In most societies
Vomiting is not
considered religious, as
it is understood as a
typical biological event.
SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL WORLD
Nyoro (Uganda)
Believe that the two
worlds are not separate
and that they coexist in
one space.
Christians
Believe that there is a
spiritual world
(i.e.,heaven/hell) that is
separated from the
natural world (ie., Earth).
RELIGION
 Religions are different in terms of
perspectives and practices.
 Religion can be found in all human
societies which makes it cultural
universal.

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Religion and Belief Systems - UCSP

  • 1. MODULE 14: Religion and Belief Systems Understanding Culture, Society, and Politics
  • 2. MODULE 14: Religion and Belief Systems  Functions of Religion  Kinds of Religious patterns  Institutionalized Religion  Types of Religious Practitioners  Various forms of Religious Activities  Religious Organizations  Types of Cults
  • 3. RELIGION According to Anthropologists, Religion is “a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices, pertaining to supernatural beings and forces. Such beliefs may vary within a culture as well as among societies, and they may change over time” (Ember, Ember, and Peregrine,2010)
  • 4. RELIGIOUS AND NON-RELIGIOUS PHENOMENA Kikuyu of Kenya Vomiting is a religious practice as it eliminates all the evil in a person’s body. In most societies Vomiting is not considered religious, as it is understood as a typical biological event.
  • 5. SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL WORLD Nyoro (Uganda) Believe that the two worlds are not separate and that they coexist in one space. Christians Believe that there is a spiritual world (i.e.,heaven/hell) that is separated from the natural world (ie., Earth).
  • 6. RELIGION  Religions are different in terms of perspectives and practices.  Religion can be found in all human societies which makes it cultural universal.
  • 7. RELIGION DURING THE ANCIENT PERIODS  Early societies (Egyptians, Greeks, and Sumerians used religious symbols and practiced ritualistic ceremonies, which made religion one of the central parts of the development of human societies.
  • 8. RELIGION DURING THE ANCIENT PERIODS EVIDENCES:  Cave wall carvings - Evidence of the ealiest record on the existence of religion that dates to 60 000 years ago The Sorcerer of Les Gabillou in Dordogne, France The Sorcerer is one name for an enigmatic cave painting found in the cavern known as 'The Sanctuary' at the Cave of the Trois-Frères, Ariège, France, made around 13,000 BC. The figure's significance is unknown, but it is usually interpreted as some kind of great spirit or master of animals. The unusual nature of The Sanctuary's decoration may also reflect the practice of magical ceremonies in the chamber.
  • 9. RELIGION DURING THE ANCIENT PERIODS EVIDENCES:  Religion and mythology of Ancient Greece
  • 11.  Religion affects us and our way of thinking in the existing world. It serves as a pattern for the actions we take in day-to-day existence. Religion is seen not only as a social belief but also as a social institution that continues to develop over time.  Sociologists study religion while considering diverse societal factors such as gender, age, race, and education, that also tap other social institutions and the concept of social change.
  • 12. FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION Major Sociological Theories and Their Major Assumptions Concerning Religion THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE MAJOR ASSUMPTIONS Functionalism Emile Durkheim Religion serves several functions for society. 1. Giving meaning and purpose to life. 2. Reinforcing social unity and stability 3. Serving as an agent of social control of behavior. 4. Promoting physical and psychological well-being 5. Motivating people to work for positive social change
  • 13. FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION Major Sociological Theories and Their Major Assumptions Concerning Religion Conflict Theory Karl Marx Religion reinforces and promotes social inequality and social conflict. It helps convince the poor to accept their lot in life, and it leads to hostility and violence motivated by religious differences. Symbolic Interactionism Max Weber This perspective focuses on the ways in which individuals interpret their religious experiences. It emphasizes that beliefs and practices are not sacred unless people regard them as such. Once they are regarded as sacred, they take on special significance and give meaning to people’s lives. Source: Barkan, Steven. “Sociological Perspectives on Religion.” In Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, comprehensive edition.
  • 15. ANIMISM  Belief that the natural world, as a whole or in parts, has a soul or spirit. As a whole = World Spirit, Mother Earth, Gaia In parts = rocks, trees, springs, and animals.  Natural phenomena and environmental destructions are understood as repercussions of the interaction between humans and spirits.
  • 16. ANIMISM  In animism, Spirits can be in either good or bad form which can make interactions and influences on humans in various ways and forms *Bad spirits = negative energies, possessions, demonic disturbances and cases of insanity. *Good spirits = attributes that aid humans in acquiring their needs and addressing their issues.  Native Americans try to gain favors through festivals, ceremonies, and prayers. Ex: Lakota Sioux War Dance - performed by the Lakota Sioux.
  • 17. POLYTHEISM  Belief in more than one deity which is characterized by the worship of many deities that illustrate the ways of life including beliefs, practices and traditions.  Rooted from the words: poly, which means “many”, and theism which means “god”.  Polytheistic deities consist of variants such as: Sky god, Death deity , Mother goddess , Love goddess, Creator deity, Trickster deity , Life- death-rebirth deity, Culture hero
  • 18. POLYTHEISM  David Hume in The Natural History of Religion (1755) argued that polytheism was the earliest form of religion among several societies. The ideas of religion are said to be rooted in the “events of life including hopes and fears which actuate the human mind.” (Launay, 2005) Ex: Polytheistic societies ( Greeks, Romans, Indians , Aztecs) Hinduism
  • 19. POLYTHEISM Hinduism Considered as the world's oldest religion still being practiced today. There is only one supreme god in Hinduism, Brahma, and all other deities are his aspects and reflections. Since Brahma is too immense a concept for the human mind to comprehend, he presents himself in the many different versions of himself which people recognize as deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, and the many others.
  • 20. POLYTHEISM Ganesh (Ganapati) *One of the Hindu gods - an elephant-headed god. *god of wisdom and learning, as well as the remover of obstacles, and consequently the sign of auspiciousness. *said to have written down the Mahabharata from the dictation of Vyasa. He is the lord (Isa) of the Ganas or troops of inferior deities, but more well-known as the son of Shiva and Parvati. *in the most common representations of Ganesh, he appears as a pot-bellied figure, usually but not always yellow in color. In his four hands, he holds a shell, a discus, a club, and a water lily; his elephant head has only one tusk.
  • 21. MONOTHEISM  Belief in one god, which is accountable for all the things happening in the world including the world’s creation and existence.  Scholars argue that as human societies affiliate with a few of the gods in the pantheon, they have come to practice exclusive worship of several deities that was promoted with the ascension of a singular chosen deity to supremacy.
  • 22. MONOTHEISM  Hume (2015) believed that the differences between polytheism and monotheism led to the changes of the human mind, wherein rationality is more associated with monotheism while tolerance is to polytheism.  Ex: Christians and Muslims
  • 23. INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION Also called as Organized Religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established.
  • 24. CHARACTERISTICS OF INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION: 1. Wide-scale religious clout The number of individuals affiliated with this religious institution is immense that it crosses political and international borders and cuts across social status. 2. Hierarchical leadership and membership Followers of this type of faith system are relegated to socio-political posts within the system, which provides ranking and status. This implies that access to the divine may not be given to every member but is a privilege of a select few. The decisions for the welfare of the religious group are also made by those who hold power while members are expected to follow them.
  • 25. CHARACTERISTICS OF INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION: 3. Codified Rituals Processes of interacting with the divine and with fellow members are guided by written rules and regulations that have the power of the law , such that a member’s inability to comply results in the imposition of sanctions.
  • 26. INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION  Growth of neolithic societies = rise of institutionalized religions.  As the societies grow more complex, the systems of worshipping the divine became more structured.  The declaration of a country’s official religion is premier example of how a religion is institutionalized.
  • 27. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE  The 1987 Philippine Constitution Article III Section 6 states that “The separation of Church and state shall be inviolable” Article III Section 5: 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.  However, despite such provisions, the religious culture of the Filipinos have oftentimes empower the religious sectors to influence the political affairs of the country.
  • 28. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE  *In ancient Societies, the church and state are synonymous as the leaders of the church are also the political elite which, also referred to as Theocracy or the rule of divine. Ex: Japanese society believed that their emperor was the direct descendant of a god. *Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians regarded their pharaohs and kings as god-kings, as they were believed to be earthly incarnations of the divine.  As states developed into more complex political units, the church is regarded as a separate entity from the state.
  • 29. TYPES OF RELIGIOUS PRACTITIONERS  Religious practices are performed by the individuals in varying capacities. Four main types of religious practitioners: Shaman Sorcerer and witch PriestMedium
  • 30. SHAMAN  also known as a community healer  position usually occupied by a male who has fairly high status in his community.  also involved in other nonreligious activities in his community, making his religious function an occasional preoccupation.  Shamanism was observed in most parts of Asia . In the Philippines, it has been practiced in the province of Siquijor.
  • 31. SORCERER AND WITCH  poorly regarded in their societies due to the perceived malevolence that they inflict on individuals  have very low social and economic status and often ostracized by members of the society.  sorcerer uses “materials, objects and medicines to invoke supernatural malevolence”  witch can accomplish malevolence by means of “thoughts and emotions alone”
  • 32. MEDIUM  well favoured by the members of hisher community as heshe is involved in healing rituals while in a possessed trance.  capable of performing divination to predict future courses of action.  most mediums tend to be females who perform other roles when not in religious practice.
  • 33. PRIEST tends to be a male whose sole preoccupation is to officiate religious ceremonies and rituals. due to his status in religious hierarchy, he is highly regarded by community members.
  • 34. TYPES OF RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES  Humans interact with the divine in various forms. Major forms of religious activities 1. Magic 2. Divination 3. Sorcery and Witchcraft 4. Prayers, Feasts, and Sacrifices
  • 35. MAGIC  constitutes the “manipulation of supernatural forces for the purpose of intervening in a wide range of human activities and natural events”  deals with solving a current problem by seeking the intervention of the divine through the performance and offering of gifts Ex: the Native American practice of rain dance to invoke deities to release rain
  • 36. DIVINATION  intends to gain from the divine practical answers for any concern that may range from war plans to marriage choices. Ex: I-ching - a Chinese numerical system that is believed to predict future occurences. - highly popular during the Warring States Period of China as military leaders utilized it to strategize campaigns.
  • 37. SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT  popularized by modern literature (Harry Potter novels), it have been depicted by media as a socially accepted activity.  usually marginalized and ostracized as they perceived to be bringers of malevolence and misfortune.
  • 38. SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT  Sorcerer – inflicts harm on individuals by the use of materials such as dolls, wands and medicines. Ex: Voodoo – use materials related to the victim (hair, pieces of clothing) to cast sickness and pain to them.  Witchcraft – promotes the same effect as the sorcerer with a mere difference in method as the witch craft only uses emotions and words of the practitioner to impact its victim. Ex: Kulam sa hangin – a Filipino belief which inflicts harm on the victim through curses uttered by a practitioner.
  • 39. PRAYERS, FEASTS AND SACRIFICES  promote a direct interaction with the divine, as individuals or groups communicate their thoughts and desires to the supernatural through uttered requests (prayers), celebrations (feasts), and gifts (sacrifices).
  • 40. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS Human groups create various religious organizations depending on the political and economic norms of their society. Anthropologists associate religious organizations to the concept of cult.
  • 41. CULT  A small group of individuals who have extreme religious beliefs and practices. “Cult is not a group of people, rather it is an organized system associated with cultural beliefs and practices which also make it a social structure” – Anthony Wallace, an anthropologist Four types of Cults: 1.Individualistic Cults 2.Shamanistic Cults 3.Communal Cults 4.Ecclesiastical Cults
  • 42. CULT FOUR TYPES OF CULTS: Individualistic Cults Shamanistic Cults Communal Cults Ecclesiastical Cults
  • 43. CULT  The degree of complexity of the organizations is related to the extent by which labor specialization is enforced in the society.
  • 44. CULT I- Individualistic Cults S- Shamanistic Cults C- Communal Cults E- Ecclesiastical Cults RELIGIOUSSTRUCTURE SOCIETY COMPLEXITY
  • 45. INDIVIDUALISTIC CULTS  Practiced in food-collecting societies where equality is central to the group’s culture  Individuals are able to access the divine without restrictions or need for an intercessor.  Practice no role specialization further foster the capacity of individual to communicate with the supernatural.  Not an exclusive organization as it can be merged with other form of cults. Ex: Crow Indian practice of vision quest – a Crow Indian male goes on a solitary journey to gain a divine relation to his nature and identity.
  • 46. SHAMANISTIC CULTS  Similar to the structure of individualist cults except that this type believes in shaman or medicine man.  Present in most egalitarian societies that are based on economies focused on foraging, horticulture, and pastoralism.  Functions of shaman includes: *healing, intercession and punishment  Authority is based on the participant’s belief on the shaman’s religious experiences.  Capacity to heal is gained through training from older shamans  Legitimacy of power is temporary depending on his perceived efficiency.
  • 47. COMMUNAL CULTS  Similar to shamanistic cults, it allows a group direct access to the divine except for situations that needs shaman and witch’s expertise.  Often present in societies with labor specialization wherein, group of individuals has direct access to scarce values and resources based on their economic contribution. Ex: Pastoral Societies – favour men as they are the ones involved in animal herding. Wherein, men are also given more access to religious activities and rituals.
  • 48. ECCLESIASTICAL CULTS  Have full time religious practitioners – Priests  Often present in highly stratified societies where individuals have unequal access to values and resources.
  • 49. The belief in the supernatural is a cultural universal as the need by humans to understand their environment and self persists. Due to economic and political differentiation, humans tend to create varying religious norms and practices. Religion is a mirror f one’s society as it reflects the social dynamics experienced y its members. An understanding of the variance of religion promotes tolerance and acceptance across societies.
  • 50. Understanding Culture, Society, and Politics GROUP 1 Aguas, Francis E. Pantaleon, Rovic C. De Leon, Coleen D. Del Rosario, Mariez D. Malabay, Marry Rose M. Pineda, Wendy D. Mr. Ariel Sobrevilla Subject Teacher