American Essay In Religious Sociology

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Green defines religion as “a system of beliefs and symbolic practices and objects, governed by faith rather than by knowledge, which relates man to an unseen supernatural realm beyond the known and beyond the controllable.” According to Maclver and Page, “Religion, as we understand the term, implies a relationship not merely between man and man but also between man and some higher power.” As Gillin and Gillin says, “The social field of religion may be regarded as including those emotionalized beliefs prevalent in a social group concurring the supernatural plus crest and behaviour, material objects and symbols associated with such beliefs.” Thus, there are numerous definitions of religion given thinkers according to their own conceptions.

As a matter of fact the forms in which religion expresses itself vary so much that it is difficult to agree upon a definition.

They simply consider them as forces in their universe.

Thus, belief in the non-sensory, super-empirical world is the first element of religion.

While belief in supernatural powers may be considered basic to all religion, equally fundamental is the presence of a deeply emotional feeling which Golden Weiber called the “religion thrill”.

If we analyse the great religions of the world, we shall find that each of them contains, five basic elements: (1) belief in supernatural powers, (2) belief in the holy, (3) ritual, (4) acts defined as sinful and (5) some method of salvation.

It can include singing, dancing, weeping, crawling, starving, feasting, etc. Each religion defines certain acts as sinful and profane (unholy).

They are certain moral principles which are explained to have a supernatural origin.

Religion goes back to the beginning of the culture itself. While most people consider religion as universal and therefore, a significant institution of societies.

It is the foundation on which the normative structure of society stands.


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