Unlike rationalists, however, Foucault saw no element of progress in this process. However, while Marx sees god as an idealization of human nature, Durkheim sees god as society itself, in several respects. This points to the falsity of the secularization theory. Functionalism[ edit ] Unlike symbolic anthropology and phenomenologyfunctionalism points to the benefits for social organization which non-scientific belief systems provide and which scientific knowledge fails to deliver.
For example, classificatory schemas for social groups were based on tribal differences. What elevates things to the level of the sacred, to form the religious beliefs? Although people commonly assume that Marx saw no place for religion, this assumption is not entirely true.
To this end he studied Chinese, Indian and Judaic culture, the religious institutions as well as the economic and political. Comparison of Weber and Durkheim in the area of Religion by Margaret Stowe A comparison of the views of Max Weber and Emil Durkheim in the area of religion and its role in shaping social behaviour and history shows that the two thinkers have a different method, language, and resulting theory.
Clans were groups originating from a common ancestor.
The power within the totem and the group ritual is sacred. Weber examined the effect of religious ideas on social development in the context of economics and politics.
Franklin, a Calvinist, showed how Capitalist style business dealings were justified within the new Protestant teachings. The inability of science to offer psychological and emotional comfort explains the presence and influence of non-scientific knowledge in human lives, even in rational world.
It is the opium of the people. Rationalists see the history of modern societies as the rise of scientific knowledge and the subsequent decline of non-rational belief. In the Sociology of Religion, Weber lays out his thesis that people pursue their interests, and that religious leaders and structures help people achieve those goals.
Weber saw the great world religions as establishing a more universal God and relied on ideas of heaven and hell to ensconce its social effect rather than the Totemic spirits, studied by Durkheim, which objectified moral values. Also, the caste system was based on tradition, hindered the occupational guild mentality and was anti-rational.
He also talks about how all of the first systems of representation were religious in origin p. In this way, Durkheim attempts to show that religion forms the epistemological basis for human experience. This was Naturalism, the personification of these natural objects through metaphor and images.
For Durkheim religion involves a more mechanical social participation, but for Weber the motive of the individual with regard to religious activity was key. The call to abandon their illusions about their condition is a call to abandon a condition which requires illusions.
Existential questions about the mysteries of human existence, about who we are and why we are here, have become less and less significant. In elucidating a sociology of knowledge, Durkheim uses the history of religions to show how religions mirrored the way society was structured.
For example, Charles Y. Rather than seeing only the opposing views of Durkheim and Weber in the area of religion perhaps it is possible to see the unity of these two worldviews. Belief systems are seen as encouraging social order and social stability in ways that rationally based knowledge cannot.
He showed that the increasing economic pursuits encouraged by the rise of Capitalism, starting with the Reformation in the16th century, is rooted in the Protestant ethic and the new moral values that arose during that time.
The study suggests that religion is headed towards "extinction" in various nations where it has been on the decline: Clearly a major difference between Weber and Durkheim in the area of religion relates to their individualistic versus holistic theories, respectively.
Michel Foucault[ edit ] Michel Foucault was a post-structuralist who saw human existence as being dependent on forms of knowledge — discourses — that work like languages.
Modern industrial society had eliminated God and Society as God provided a secular substitute for religion. Some of the symbols that the priests systematized were rules that the community must follow in order for the gods to obey the magicians, or to act favorably towards the people.
By participating in religious ritual, the individual feels a part of the group, clan or society as a whole. Durkheim deified Society because he was afraid of the moral vacuum created by the decline of traditional religion in modern society.
For Durkheim, social solidarity was the basis of his sociological study of religion.Sociology of religion is the study of the beliefs, Classical, seminal sociological theorists of the late 19th and early 20th century such as Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx were greatly interested in religion and its effects on society.
All three main sociologist writers Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim offer different perspectives on religion and how important it is to society. Some of the theorists chose to have a positive view whilst others argue the unimportance of religion. Marx, Weber and Durkheim on Religion by Jeramy Townsley I wrote this essay in response to an exam question during my doctoral work in social theory in The ideas of three early sociological theorists continue to strongly influence the sociology of religion: Durkheim, Weber, and Marx.
Even though none of these three men was particularly religious, the power that religion holds over people and societies interested them all. They believed that. A critical comparison of Marx and Durkheim's theories of religion. Uploaded by Adam O'Connell. Documents Similar To A critical comparison of Marx and Durkheim's theories of religion.
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STUDY. PLAY. The sociological traditions of Marx and Durkheim view religion totally different, yet they agree that religion and religious institutions play a powerful role in influencing a society and the lives of its members (Olson, ).
It is against this backdrop that they both discuss religion from a functionalist.Download