The Importance Of Religion In Our Life !!
Our society is a religion dominated society. Religion has been defined differently by our sociologists. According to Comte, “religion involves consensus and agreement between groups.” Durkheim suggests that in worshipping God, men are in fact worshipping the society. In our country, one of the important features of religion is religious toleration.
Essay And Article On : What Role Does Religion Play In Our Life ?
Religion advocates universality and it is all agency of social control: It is regarded as the ultimate source of social cohesion. It shapes economic, political and domestic institutions. It has performed some welfare services to humanity. Religion has contributed greatly to the growth of literature, art and music. According to Marx, “religion is the opium of the people.
It has also resulted in wars, devastation, communalism and genocides… Our society is a religion dominated society. In our society hold of religion over the masses is very strong. Here everything is done in the name of religion. Even misdeeds are committed in the name of religion. Both in the rural and urban areas people believe in religion and worship gods and goddesses.
sects of religion
There are many sects of religion, each one preaches! its own faith and ideology without creating any obstacle to others. Religion has been defined differently by our sociologists. According to Maciver and Page, “Religion, as we understand the term, implies a relationship not merely between man and man, but also between man and some higher power.
Hence it normally invokes a sanction which may be called sup asocial whether it be primitive, ghost fear or the present wrath of God or the penalties of an afterlife, of torture in hell, or merely the sense of being out of tune with the infinite when it’s supposed laws are disobeyed.” Religion according to Ogburn, “is attitude towards super human powers.” According to Arnold W.
Green, “it is a system of beliefs and symbolic practices and objects governed by faith rather than by knowledge, which relates man to unseen supernatural realm beyond the known and beyond the controllable”. Sociologists think that religion has played an important role in the formation of societies. It provides the unifying principles to every society.
According to Comte, religion involves consensus and agreement between groups, and between individuals. “It contains within itself intellectual aspect, dogma and love,” It addresses itself simultaneously to the intelligence, the emotion and will. Emile Durkheim argues that all societies divide the world into two categories: the sacred and the non-sacred.
He thinks sacred things must be symbols, which represent something. To understand the role of religion in society the relationship between sacred symbols and the things which they represent must be established. The ‘totem’ is a symbol; it is the sign by which each clan distinguishes it from all others. Durkheim argues that if the “totem” is at once the symbol of God and of the society, is that not because the God and the society are only one? Thus he suggests that in worshipping God, men are in fact worshipping society.
Society is the real object of religious veneration”. Durkheim argues that social life is impossible without the shared values and moral beliefs which form the ‘collective conscience’. In their absence, there would be no social order, social control, social solidarity or cooperation. In short there would be no society. Durkheim’s ideas remain influential, though they are not without criticism.
His views on religion are more relevant to small, non-literate societies, where there is a close integration of culture and social institutions and where members share a common belief and value system. They are less relevant to modern societies which have many subcultures, social and ethnic groups, specialized organizations and a range of religious beliefs, practices and institutions.
Religion, has been in existence in the human society from time immemorial. Religious practices, beliefs, rituals have great impact on our life. Religion has a healthy, elevating’ and socializing impact on the society. But religion also has certain indirect effects which are by and large dysfunctional. There is hardly a phase of human activity on which religion does not have its impact.
Religion has remained with us for its goodness. One important feature of religion in our country is religious toleration. It is left to the will of the people to accept or follow any particular religion. Religions always talk about the betterment of humanity. Religions advocate universality, i.e. upliftment of all, not any particular community. Religion is an agency of social control. It disciplines human behavior.
Performance of rituals and ceremonies gives a sense of collectivity to the society. It provides model for living. It also specifies the acts to be done or not to be done. The belief in inner voice and the law of Karma has its impact on human action. Our activity is always guided by these principles. Man is an emotional creature. In times of his sufferings religion serves to soothe his emotions.
Faith in God compensates him and sustains his interest in life. He interprets any misfortune as ‘Will of God’ and bears his frustration. Religion is regarded as the ultimate source of social cohesion’. There are some social values which maintain social cohesion. It is religion that asks man to renounce unsocial activities and requires him to impose limitations upon his wants and desires.
One of the most important functions of religion is discipline. It is religion alone which is responsible for subordinating barbaric anarchy and for teaching reverence and obedience. Besides this, religion shapes economic, political and domestic institutions. Religious rites are performed on many occasions as birth, initiation, marriage, sickness, death and so on; and they are intimately concerned with family and kinship interests and with political institutions.
Religion is regarded as the central element in the life of civilization. Religion performs some welfare services to humanity. The scriptures are great literary works and storehouse of knowledge. Religion also creates the habit of charity among the people. People have opened many charitable institutions like hospitals, rest-houses, temples to help the needy and the poor.
Religion has contributed greatly to the growth of literature, art and music. In our country, both in Hindu and Muslim religions a vast literature has grown to give the different interpretation of the religious scriptures. Sometimes religious themes are inspiration for some artists’ finest paintings. Sometimes ‘praises’ of God has led to the creation of some of the world’s finest music and dance form. Thus religion is the supremely integrating and unifying force in human society.
But it has also some drawbacks. To Karl Marx, religion is an illusion which eases the pain produced by exploitation and oppression. In his words, ‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
Religion acts as an opiate to dull the pain produced by oppression. It is simply a misguided attempt to make life more bearable. Religion has resulted in wars, devastations communalism and genocides’. Europe in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, witnessed great unrest due to religious conflicts.
The wars between the Christians and Muhammadans in Europe resulted in death of thousands of people. In our country, the religious antagonism8 persisted despite the Bhakti movement. The communal disharmony in our country brought about finally the partition of our country. The communal thinking is still there in a section of the society. The intellectuals have yet to provide the proper guidelines for a better use of religion in the service of national integration.
Aid to Vocabulary:
2. Sup asocial-beyond, transcending social limits
3. Elevating-bringing to a higher position
4. Veneration-regard with deep interest
5. Cohesion-the act or condition of sticking together 6. Scriptures- sacred writings
7. Genocides-the mass extermination of human beings, esp. of a particular race or nation
8. Antagonism-a strong feeling of dislike or hatred.
Points to Remember:
I. In our society hold of religion over the masses is very strong. 2. Sociologists have defined religion differently.
3. Comte and Durkheim’s views are very Significant in this respect.
4. Religions always speak about religious toleration and betterment of humanity.
5. Religion is an agency of social control.
6. Religion is regarded as the ultimate source of social cohesion.
7. Religion shapes economic, political and domestic institutions.
8. It has contributed greatly to the growth of our literature, art and music.
9. Karl Marx thinks religion is an illusion which eases the pain produced by exploitation and oppression.
10. Religion has resulted in wars, devastation, communalism and genocide.
So this was an essay on religion in our life.
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