He defined religion as, With symbols Geertz meant a carrier that embodies a conception, because he saw religion and culture as systems of communication.[79]. – evolutionary biologist and atheist crusader Richard Dawkins. [57]The daily life of an ordinary person is connected to the sacred by the appearance of the sacred, called hierophany. It’s more like a useful sample, drawn from my extensive experience talking shop with experts in religion, both in classrooms and outside them. Primitive people used human dreams in which spirits seemed to appear as an indication that the human mind could exist independent of a body. [34] He saw religion as a reflection of the concern for society. According to Marx, the human mind and human consciousness as part of matter. Even though none of these three men was particularly religious, the power that religion holds over people and societies interested them all. He described it as mysterium tremendum (terrifying mystery) and mysterium fascinans (awe inspiring, fascinating mystery). The BrainPickings post purported to be a primer on major theories of religion. “But Justin Bieber isn’t even a novelist,” you protest. It’s first and foremost the tools of socialization, including ritual and myth. [62], Eliade sought and found patterns in myth in various cultures, e.g. Like the concept of religion itself, it is the product of, among other influences, the Age of Exploration and Empire (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), the Protestant Reformation (sixteenth century), and the Augustan Age (eighteenth century). [66] Like Frazer and Tylor he has also been accused of out-of-context comparisons of religious beliefs of very different societies and cultures. The view that religion has a social aspect, at the very least, introduced in a generalized very strong form by Durkheim has become influential and uncontested. This article only treats influential theories about religion that are open for empirical verification or falsifications i.e (attempts to) scientific theories. So I recently stumbled across this post from BrainPickings.org, about how to explain religion. The man is a non-expert in religion. Keywords: distinctiveness of religion, function of religion, metatheory, ontology of religion, origin of religion, religion, structure of religion, theories of religion Archaic men long to return to lost paradise, outside the historic time, as explained in Eliade's book Eternal return (Eliade) to escape meaninglessness. For example, Weber famously argued that Protestantism – and no other religion – gave rise to capitalism. [37] [38] Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. He asserted that moralism cannot be separated from religion. He also introduced a number of key concepts in the sociology of religion. In 1972 he wrote that “cultural analysis is (or should be) guessing at meanings, assessing the guesses and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better guesses.” Collective effervescence, in turn, reinforced a community’s sense of the sacred, or things that were “set apart and forbidden.” For example, in most Christian communities, Sundays are the sabbath, “set apart” from the rest of the week. Freud asserted that religion is a largely unconscious neurotical response to repression. Influential functional theories have been proposed by Karl Marx (focusing on the economic background) , Sigmund Freud (focusing on neurosis as a pscychological origin of religious beliefs), and Émile Durkheim (focusing on the social function of religions). He asserted that Confucianism opposition against both extravagance and thrift made it unlikely that capitalism could have originated in China. There is unlikely to ever be a completely satisfying theory of religion. [29] The view that monotheism is a more evolved than polytheism has been disconfirmed by evidence: monotheism is more prevalent in hunter societies than in agricultural societies. They can be divided into specific compensators (compensators for the failure to achieve specific goals), and general compensators (compensators for failure to achieve any goal). While I have to say I don't like many of the views that are expressed in the text (Marcia Eliade and E.E. In a classless society, religion will not be needed and it will disappear. This means that most religious views will not be treated here. Like, ever. [21] Religion is not a necessary part of human culture. With illusion Freud means a belief that people want very much to be true. [60] He wrote than man had a nostalgia (longing) for an otherworldly perfection. Daniel Pals. The sacred i.e. For example, precipitation may be invoked by the primitive man by sprinkling water on the ground. Evans-Pritchard did not propose a theory of religions, but only a theory of the Nuer religion. "I find Nine Theories of Religion to be the best condensation of essential theory available. Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) was a celebrated anthropologist who penned one of the most widely cited, and comprehensive, definitions of religion of all time. The Voice of Scientific Authority Is Aghast…and Clueless. [80], The rational choice theory has been applied to religions, among others by the sociologists Rodney Stark (1934 – ) and William Sims Bainbridge (1940 – ). This view is however contradicted by the existence of certain religious groups, like the liberation theology.

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