Discuss The Purpose Of Religion In Society

662 words - 3 pages

The anthropologist Anthony F.C Wallace has defined religion as “beliefs and rituals concerned with super natural beings, powers and forces” (1966) like ethnicity or language, religion may be associated with social divisions within and between societies and nations. Participation in common rites may affirm, and thus maintain the social solidarity of a religion’s adherents. Religion helps people to understand conditions and events they could not explain by reference to gain experience. According to the founder of anthropology of religionEnglishman Sir Edward Burnett Taylor, he believed that our ancestors and contemporary nonindustrial people ...view middle of the document...

In so doing it motivates people to follow the customs of their society even in the absence of practical insight about how their actions may benefit, example; farmers suffering the effect of a prolonged drought may after several failures be too discouraged to dig yet another well until a “water witch” assures them of the presence of water at some location.
Also religion reduces anxiety; in addition to benefit to society at large, these are psychological benefit for the individual in the practice of religion people don’t have as much control lives or circumstances as they need to feel secure. When this is the case the performance of rituals for control through supernatural means can alleviate debilitating anxiety. In frightening situations religion can be a source of strength in enabling one to stand up to one’s fear and overcome them.
Furthermore there is also an integrative function of religion; Emile Durkheim viewed religion as an integrative power in human society. Religion whether Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and so on offers people meaning and...

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