Definitions of Religion


Substantive Definitions

Focus on the substance or content of religious beliefs. e.g Max Weber - religion is a belief in a superior or supernatural power that is above nature and can't be explained scientifically.

X This leaves no room for beliefs that have a similar function to religion but dont involved a God.

X Accused of a Western bias because they exclude religions which don't have a Western idea of a God, such as Buddhism.

Functional Definitions

Defines it in terms of social or psychological functions that a religion may play for a person. Durkheim defines religion in terms of the contribution it makes to social intergration, rather than a specific belief in God.

:) This


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