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Sociology of Religion

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By cakelady1104
Words 2014
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Marx, Durkheim, and Weber - A Contrast of Philosophies on the Sociological Benefits of Religion

Throughout the history of the study of sociology, philosophers and sociologists have been attempting to explain the true nature and origin of Religion as a social concept. In this paper, we look at the works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber and their analyses of the origins of Religion and how society has impacted and shaped the concept of a religious life. Where Marx looked at religion and its exercise as a major aspect of the bourgeoisie class, Durkheim approaches from a purely scientific stance. Weber, however, approaches the sociology of religion from a more holistic viewpoint, discussing the soul, the mysticism and cosmology of religion, and the innate germ of religiosity within the human being just waiting to be activated.

The Sociology of Religion encompasses so very much of an individual's existence that it becomes difficult to separate it from other aspects of life. This is exemplified most easily in the writings of Karl Marx who, as a communist, believed in an agrarian society where all individuals were equal and a panacea-type existence derived only from the need of one to another was lived. In Marx's "Communist Manifesto", he talked about how he believed that religion was something of the bourgeoisie who felt themselves elevated above all others in society. While Marx utilized the term "bourgeoisie" to mean the upper class and all capitalists, it is more accurately descriptive of the middle class in socio-economic terms (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2013). Marx. also means those who want to maintain a certain ego/standard of living that is built on the backs of the common laborer. What Marx did not and probably could not realize is that man has a need to excel and achieve - to move up within society and be of value.

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