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Religion – Social Institutions (SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 Okay, so another aspect to consider is Religion.

    00:04 So there is the topic of religiosity which refers to the extent of influence that a religion has on a person’s life.

    00:11 We have so many different religions that are so different.

    00:14 And we have some that are very very similar.

    00:16 And we have some consistencies across religion.

    00:19 So there are couple of types of religion that we’re going to look at or types of organizations.

    00:23 The first are the ones that fall in the bracket of Ecclesia.

    00:27 And this is a dominant religious organization that includes most of the members of that specific society.

    00:33 So you really don’t have… I don’t want to say to have a lot of say.

    00:36 But essentially 95 % of your society, your community, you’re the population in your area belongs to this dominant religion.

    00:45 So it’s kind of really again social norms if you’re not part of that religion.

    00:50 Now, you have the church, which is a well-integrated into the larger society.

    00:54 So the majority of people would be part of this religion. And they can enter through birth But you can also can join.

    01:01 So it’s a little bit more it will less stringent and you’re not sort of force into it and is not assumed that you’re part of this church. But if you’re… for example, if you’re Catholic or Christians, sorry… if you’re born into that you’re essentially Christian.

    01:15 People can join the Catholic church but it’s not forced.

    01:20 So there's obviously if you look around the world there's certain cities where the church, the Catholic church, is very strong and it’s almost like it’s, like the classiest set up but it’s still you have the option to leave to join. So it is a little bit different then the first.

    01:35 And you have a Sect which is distinct from the church and a little bit distinct from the larger society. But it just the break off. So you have different types of Catholicism and you can have the little the breakaway where they’ve twit the religion a little bit and they create a sect. And the same rules apply basically that you can join a lot of times membership is through birth.

    01:55 But again it’s a smaller slice of the pies, it’s smaller proportion of the population.

    02:00 And then you have your fringe Cult which is far outside of society’s norms.

    02:06 And maybe, fairly short lived and sometimes it’s deemed “crazy”.

    02:09 So you hear, not all of them are crazy, never generalizing here.

    02:12 But some of them are at first thought to be extremely odd saying, “This is an odd religion. Why they’re thinking this? And why they acting this way?” And that doesn’t align with our social norms that we have here.

    02:24 It doesn’t align with the church. And this is an odd thing.

    02:29 It’s funny that we should call at this and call it potentially crazy or fringe because the original, the initiation of the Catholic faith was not it was a cult.

    02:42 It was something that was completely against the norm and it’s turn in to one of the dominant religions today.

    02:47 Over the years, religion has been affected by social change.

    02:51 So that’s a good thing and that you want the religion to sort of match and align with what society is saying.

    02:59 So we’ve had Modernization.

    03:01 This is partly in point to the access to easier access to information.

    03:06 Which means that there’s a little bit less emphasis on religion itself.

    03:10 So if you think a 100 years ago, the ways in which information was passed on was you attending church and you reading the Bible on a regular basis.

    03:18 and hearing sermons and being involved.

    03:21 And now in our world of modernization it’s difficult, we aren’t always home on a Sunday.

    03:26 We are doing so many different things. You can access information anywhere, There is gospels on TV, there is church on TV, there is so many different ways to access this information. And so you seem a little less engaged.

    03:39 There's also secularization which is the weakening of the political and social power and influence that this religious organization now have versus 5000 years ago.

    03:50 150 years ago, the church was the almighty. And the church would govern most of the people a lot of the time. And actually was more powerful than even the government itself.

    04:00 And so everything would run to the church. They had a lot of power.

    04:04 They acted as priest, they acted as politicians, they act as health officials.

    04:10 There's a lot that they would do and that obviously has been diluted to where we are today.

    04:16 So as a result, in today’s society, people have sort of follow the religion less to the letters.

    04:26 So they’re not following with exactly the way maybe it was intended originally and they’re not following it to a T.

    04:31 The flipside of that is those who are fundamentalist.

    04:34 And this is the Theory of Fundamentalism, is where people adhere strictly to religious beliefs. And they believe, that this is the way the religion was intended. This is the way you should follow and anything deviating from this is not right.

    04:50 Now, the problem with that is because it is so strict, it can lead to social problems.

    04:54 And it can lead to those who don’t agree -- if you don’t agree with this religion then you are against this religion and can lead to a lot of social head bashings.

    05:02 So we have a full range of ways social change has impact in religion and its delivery.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Religion – Social Institutions (SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Understanding Social Structure.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Ecclesia
    2. Church
    3. Group homogenization
    4. Sect
    5. Religious conformity
    1. Church
    2. Ecclesia
    3. Fringe group
    4. In-group
    5. Cult
    1. Fundamentalism
    2. Modernization
    3. Cult
    4. Secularization
    5. Decline of that religion

    Author of lecture Religion – Social Institutions (SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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