Theoretical Perspectives on Religion

Religion is used as a tool for discriminating social groups. Even though most religions are practically the same, group identifications will usually overlap witn religious identification. This cause the conflicts between religious groups are against each because of social, political and economic reasons and it’s not based on religious reasons, which for the most part doesn’t support conflict. Ђ Some major wars where started because of religious groups thinking that their religion is more superior and try to push there views on society through violence and overtaking. For example, the crusades were a huge religious conflict Catholic Europe against Muslims, pagans, and heretics. Some religious groups have too much power and tend to abuse that ower to push there beliefs on our society. Viewing religion in an interactionism perspective, we look to see how religion interacts with society in everyday life; positively or negatively.

Interactionism perspective tries to see how religion affects the daily lives of individuals and how they interpret their religious experiences. Richard T. Shaffer states that, “In studying the social order, whereas functionalist and conflict theorists both analyze large-scale, society-wide patterns of behavior, theorists who take the interactionist perspective eneralize about everyday forms of social interaction in order to explain society as a whole. Interactionists are especially interested in shared understandings of everyday behavior. (Schaefer 17) Here are some examples of interactionist perspectives on religion in society: Religions bring people together and create friendships that can affect everyday life. Religious people believe that they will be rewarded by behaving properly by being granted an afterlife in paradise and punish those who break the rules with placing them in hell for eternal burning. Ђ Religion can bring families together but may also cause older generation push there beliefs on the children.

Looking at society with different perspective helps us get a better understanding of religion as a whole and how it effects our society. Whether it’s a functionalist, conflict, or interactionism perspectives, we see the good and bad effects, and the way religion interacts with society. So keep an open mind when analyzing different aspects in our society. Resourses Schaefer, Richard T.. Sociology: A Brief Introduction, 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 2011..

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