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Sociology of Religion

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By using only the theological and philosophical perspectives, some of the great philosophers of antiquity were concentrating on looking at imaginary or ideal societies, rather than the determination of the reality existing in society. For this rationale, it is feasible to argue that the philosophers were keen on coming up with constructs on the ideal form of religion, which differs sharply with the sociological perspective on the study of religion. The disparity emanates from the fact that the sociological perspective focuses on analyzing the actual religious operations in society, whereas the non-social perspectives focus on the analysis of what is the “ideal” religion.The social scientific perspectives include anthropological and psychological perspectives, which focus on the problems or the nature of beliefs. The difference between this perspective and the sociological perspective is the fact that the social scientific perspective involves studying the existing religious institutions, and finding how these institutions relate to other social institutions (Johnstone, 2007). On the other hand, the social scientific perspective looks into the differences existing in the religious practices and beliefs across different cultures. With these considerations it would be necessary to indicate that the anthropological perspective in the study of religion focuses more on the concept of meaning through using symbolic, cognitive and functional approaches.It is possible to identify religion as the human quest for the sacred, or the response to and experience of the sacred or holy being. There are three ways through which individuals could be able to express religion, which include practical expressions through action, in fellowship and in thought. From history, myths, institutional forms, ethnic prescriptions and rituals, among other considerations, there is the possibility of extracting different forms of religious expressions. Through religion, individuals in society can be able to establish moral codes that are likely to be applicable in controlling behavior. Additionally, the people, through religion, develop a sense of community. Contrary to the sociological perspective considerations of the origin of religion, anthropological explanations indicate that the origins of religion are based on empirical observations (Johnstone, 2007). Some of the nineteenth century anthropologists believed that
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