Sociological Theory DFT Essay

Submitted By gpaula
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Can religion affect a society?
A Review of the Literature
Gloria Paula
City College of New York City

Because of religion people decide what is wrong from right. Without religion people wouldn't fear disobeying God and they would act as they please. Although our nation is an "secular" nation many people still believe in a religion in order to get on the good side of God. Religion is what stops our criminal numbers from skyrocketing. The world as we know it would not exist without the miracle of science. Some may remain skeptics but science makes breakthroughs at light speed. The mainstay of humans today depends on science, medical and technological discoveries. From artificial organs to the iPod you have plugged in your ears, science benefits us every day, we just don't realize it. From the need to light up a dark area we have moved from fire to Thomas Edison's light bulb, from needing transportation we've come from the wheel to the car you drove today. It would be absurd to say that science has not benefited mankind. Science can bring peace and make war

Can religion affect a society? A Review on Literature
The debate on the role of religion and civil society takes place within the discourse of sociology. Seligman (1992:2) acknowledges that the roots of the debate on civil society do lie partly in social philosophy. Religion is socially determined, that is, religion influences and is influenced by society. The debate on the position of religion and civil society is ongoing. At times, this debate is seen as a discussion between two independent entities opposed to one another and, at others, this debate acknowledges the coherency of the two. The former stance can be labelled ‘religion and society’. In the latter stance, the statement ‘religion in society’ would be more appropriate.
Religion and society are closely connected. Although differentiation between the two is possible, complete separation seems impossible. It seems that the discussion of the hierarchy of the two leads to certain perceptions. Is it society that gives rise to religion or is it rather religion that gives rise to society? Or is it more correct to formulate the inseparability by saying society is religion and religion is society. Nevertheless, it is clear that the fate of religion and society is intertwined. Religion is something essentially social (Durkheim, cited in Robertson 1969:53). The one cannot exist without the other. Religion gives birth to all that is essential in society (Durkheim, cited in Robertson 1969:48).
Human beings create the world within which they exist. Peter Berger (1967:4) explains this ‘world-constructive’ ability further: human beings create society, which entails all manmade elements (material and nonmaterial culture, including society and religion) (Berger 1967:7). Religion is part of the result of the construction of society. Only within society can religion continue to exist (Berger 1967:7). But by the process of what Berger calls “objectivation” (1967:9), the product of humanity’s intent takes on a life of its own and stands independent of its creator. In other words, the humanly produced world attains the character of objective reality’ (Berger 1967:9). Natural order becomes cultivated or civilized order.
This free independent existence of the product of humanity’s creative ability, namely society and religion, continues further to determine human behavior through what Berger