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Gender and Religion

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Submitted By asupaluk3y09
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Many feminist sociologists argue that religious institutions and beliefs help legitimise gender inequality. Like Marxists, feminists argue that religion is a source of domination and oppression. However, unlike Marxism, they see religion as a product of patriarchy, rather than capitalism. They argue that religion is patriarchal in that women are exploited by men and seen as subordinate. Feminist sociologists are interested in how women have become subservient and how religion has promoted patriarchy. This view is not just shared by female and feminist sociologists. Anthony Giddens argues that; “The Christian religion is a resolutely male affair in its symbolism as well as its hierarchy. While Mary, the mother of Jesus may sometimes be treated as if she had divine qualities, God is the father, a male figure, and Jesus took the human shape of a man.”
Religious texts tend to tell the stories of men rather than women, for example, in the bible, it tells the story of Jesus and in the Qur’an it tells the story of Prophet Muhammad. Women are mentioned in the religious sacred texts but feminists argue that when religious texts do, they often reflect anti-female stereotypes. The story of Eve is an example of this; she was the cause for humanity’s fall from grace and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. However, the stories in religious texts that do contain women portray them with an important role such as Mary, the mother of Jesus and the three women who helped Jesus after he resurrected. Feminists would argue there are many examples of women’s submission in religious texts such as “Genesis 24:11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.”
Functionalists would argue that both feminists and Marxists are wrong and religion is good for society. They believe it helps to integrate individuals

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