Contrary to the study of theology, the sociology of religion does not undertake to asses or determine the validity of religious beliefs. Theorists infer that methodological atheism is critical in comparing varying dogmas in religion.
Emile Durkheim identified with the positivist traditions and viewed the study of the society as being both scientific and dispassionate. He defined religion as being an expression of social beliefs and values.
Sociology of religion evaluates the interactions between organizational religion, practices, and beliefs. The evaluation of these elements is based on the realization that the religious values of each society are distinctive.
Unlike Durkheim who saw religion as being a stabilizing factor in the society, Marx Weber viewed religion as a precipitator of social changes as it advocates for hard work, commitment, and ethics.
Sociologist notes that religion has been in existencesincehuman beings came to existence and offer clues on the origin of life.Understanding diverse cultural values thus require sociologist to have an in-depthknowledge of religious values andbeliefs (Christiano et al. 15).
Sociologists undertake to explore the practices, beliefs, rituals and the experiences of a specific society that creates the cohesive bonds between culture and religion (Christiano et al. 27).
Both functional and substantive theories have in the past been used in the study of religion. Nonetheless, individuals such as Karl Marx, Durkheim and Sigmund are included in the functional theories as they offer a better understanding of religion (Christiano et al. 8).
Implicit religion is the commitment that people or a community has, whether they take a religious form or not. It focuses on both religion and the ethos of secular expression. Implicit religion infers that there is a huge difference in belonging and believing.
Secularization creates the debate that there are ongoing disenchantment anddecline in the role of religion in shaping socialbeliefs and attitudes. The trend has also created the need to study the role of religion in contemporarysociety (Christiano et al. 64).
Civil religion refers to the beliefs, values, habits, and traditions that influence the identity or definition of community. In the USA, it creates a sense of being unique and superior as compared to other groups.
Durkheim notes that earlyhumanbeings not only related to other human beings but also with environmentalobjects. He offers a basis of evaluating the role of religion in providing social security and stability.
The USA is a melting pot as there is the inability to wholly contain the diverse religious values in the country as it is the case with the stereotyping of Muslims.
The creation of different religiousgroups and churches in the US has allowed for the expression of religious identity. Contrary to the setting where there was increased stress on Christianity as being the foundation of the country, there has been the inclusion of Islam and other religions.
Denominations are defined as organizations that allow for the free interaction of people (Christiano et al. 95). In church station, it has allowed for the coming together of Americans with similar religious ideologies. Consequently, there has been a rise of many churches and religious institutions.
In the past, there have beenefforts to deal with the informal Protestant establishment .the events led to the creation of policies to allow for better representation of the religious diversity in the country (Christiano et al. 95).
Religion has emerged as one of the factors that drive American diversity and one that needs to be upheld. It has seen the embracing of Islam with the objective of countering the stereotypes in religion.
Christiano, Kevin J., William H. SwatosJr, and Peter Kivisto.Sociology of Religion: Contemporary Developments. Rowman& Littlefield, 2015.
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