Defining religion

definitions of religion


defining religion.

There have always been problems with defininf religion, as nobody can agree on it.

  • Max Weber - impossible to define relgion until the study is concluded if at all.

Definitions of religion -

  • Durkhiem - 'unified system of beliefs and practices related to sacre things.' a moral unity called a church.
  • Karl Marx - 'Religion is the opium of the people' (brings happiness in a bad world) 'oppressed creature.'

Glock and Stark - Core dimensions.

  • Belief
  • Practices
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • consequences
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types of definition

Inclusive definitions -

meaning system / belief systems, very broad, football can be included

Exclusive definitions -

Belief in supernatural forces which affect human beings.

Buger and luckmann.

inclusive definition. Humans attempt to formulate all embraisng systems of meaning so Marxism could be a religion.


A set of beliefs, refers to and looks for validation in a dimension beyond the empirical - technical relm.

Functional definitions. focus on what religion does.

Substantive definitions. try to understand what religio is.

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