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Studies on sociology of religion have been gaining prominence in the contemporary society. This is attributable to the increased need for an explicit understanding of the role of religion in enhancing the development of noble social practices. Indeed, sociology that studies human origin, societal setting and interaction capacity has credible connection with religion.
This is evident since religion provides individuals with basic moral and spiritual incentives or principles that shape their decision-making ability. Religion also inculcates structure-oriented principles that influence an individual’s social, economic and cultural practices or actions.
According to scholars, there is a strong relationship between religion and sociology. The relationship is based on principles and operating guidelines that cannot be isolated. For instance, religion enables individuals to acquire basic ethical and moral values that are essential for social growth.
The scholars also relay diverse classical and contemporary theories of sociology that give clear understanding on how sociology relates to religion. The theories that center on secularization, civil religion and multiculturalism show how sociology of religion is significant. This shows how religion has a bearing in shaping social capacity and wellbeing of persons. It also aids the understanding on why most leaders are advocating for the cohesiveness of religion in the context of globalization.
Definition of sociology of religion and its imperativeness
As defined, sociology of religion studies beliefs, practices and organizational forms of religion that influence individual’s decision-making. The concept adopts the tools and techniques that are applicable in the discipline of sociology (Furseth & Pal 1). The definition focuses mainly on the key interactive elements and life ideals that take place between individuals in social perspectives.
It recognizes the role that religious beliefs, practices and ethical guidelines play in shaping individuals social set up. Another school of thought defines sociology of religion as the study of religion in the social context that applies the same theories that facilitate studies on economics and social phenomena.
This affirms the idea that the construction of human beings is under social ideals and principles. It also explains the notion that religion has no significant or inherent difference from general philosophy. Imperatively, sociology of religion has immense interest in religion and its effects on societal development. Sociology also has interest on the society’s influence on individual’s religious lifestyle (Furseth & Pal 4).
That is most individuals are keen to understand how religion and sociology complement each other in ensuring holistic advancement of individuals. This is vital in enhancing social, economic and cultural integration, especially in the contemporary society. Indeed, the definitions aim at enhancing the understanding of secularization, civil religion and globalization that are key issues affecting social integration.
Discussion on sociology of religion
Scholars affirmed that religious principles and values form key ingredients that influence social integration and understanding. They stated that societies that operate without embracing religious ideals are at the verge of collapse or disintegration.
Such societies or individuals cannot cope with the noble social demands and expectations that require immense human understanding and complete eradication of secularism. It is imperative to note that building a cohesive society under social ideals is dependent on the human values that people share. It is also dependent on the individual’s choices and actions. These influences how well they are able to interact and record exemplary growth socially and economically (Furseth & Pal 6).
The standards that are vital in ensuring social growth are part of religious principles and ethical values that demands respect for human dignity. The principles shape up individuals thinking capacity and perception on various issues. In the contemporary society, religion presents various norms and principles that individuals are under expectation to conform to (Cipriani 2).
The principles vary in various faithful groups, for example, Christians and Muslims due to their different beliefs. The beliefs and principles under the categories affect individual’s action plans on diverse issues that affect their lives. This is evident since a good number of people tend to adopt their religious practices and operate under the set norms. These practices influence how they relate, interact with others, execute duties and coordinate activities.
The subject’s importance
The study on sociology of religion is of great value to various individuals in the contemporary society. Firstly, it aims at equipping individuals with credible information on the interrelations between sociology and religion. This is fundamental since societies are evolving no more, and social practices are expressly dependent on an individual’s actions or decisions (Cipriani 3).
The actions that are influenced by religious, cultural and economic ideals define an individual’s wellbeing. Consequently, the study is important, as it will enable individuals to understand how religious practices and principles influence their social growth. This is essential since religious values and ethical standards facilitate mutual understanding.
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They foster peace and cohesiveness that is crucial for social and economic advancement in the contemporary society. It also seeks to facilitate the need for embracing civil religion ideals as material virtues for societal growth.
Cipriani (4) noted that understanding of the concept would help in cushioning the spread of secularization that threatens to erode the splendid gains made in the social sector. Secularization whose practice is in the increase does not embrace religious beliefs. The worrying practice adopts secular norms that lack moral and ethical values that are critical for social growth.
Due to this, sociologists affirm that it could get worse unless religious leaders get into spirited campaigns for spiritual awakening (Johnstone 6). The leaders need to reaffirm the importance of religious guidelines that appertains to dress code, communication and choice of entertainment.
They also need to create awareness that key religious virtues that include love, kindness, honesty and generosity are central elements that contribute in the enhancement of social stability. These elements are vital if meaningful gains are to be made in the social sector in various nations. These will inculcate a sense of togetherness and the need for adoption of noble practices in life.
Rational of the Theory
The study rationally provides credible information on sociology of religion in the contemporary societies where secular humanist beliefs are gaining prominence.
This is vital in ensuring the restoration of structure-oriented religious beliefs. This will foster cordial engagement and interaction with others (Johnstone 9). The information focuses on key issues that affect social integration in most settings that include secularization, civil religion and multiculturalism. The issues are critical since there is a belief that they form the key forces that shape human action.
Indeed, religious ideals are elements that focus on developing individuals spiritually by inculcating noble Christian ideals that include love, care, understanding and peace. It aims at eradicating secular and unethical social practices that do not foster peace through systematic spiritual awakening. This explains why the two elements are regarded as related concepts.
Cipriani, Roberto. Sociology of Religion: An Historical Introduction. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2000. Print.
Furseth, Inger & Pal Repstad. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives. Aldershot [u.a.: Ashgate, 2007. Print.
Johnstone, Ronald L. Religion in Society: A Sociology of Religion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.