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This module discusses three ways in which religion affects and is affected by society.

Since religion is part of human society, it will also, like all other institutions, display certain social dimensions. Below, we will be looking at three of these dimensions.

Religion belongs to the group

The group into which a child is born, includes religion as part of its accepted lifestyle. Centuries before the child was born, the group has already decided what type of supernatural being or beings is to be worshipped and how this worship is to take place. The group has also long ago decided what kind of behaviour has received supernatural approval or disapproval.

A simple example in this respect may be the issue of food that can be either permissible or impermissible to eat. To some religious traditions the consumption of all meat is forbidden, whilst to others only certain kinds of meat, such as pork, may be prohibited. The same will be true of what ethical norms should be shared. In this regard it may be permissible in some traditions to have more than one wife or husband while in others monogamy will be strictly prescribed. The group also plays a decisive role in determining religious symbols. For example, the symbolic meaning of elements like water and fire will greatly vary from tradition to tradition and from group to group. Such symbols only acquire meaning once the group has reached agreement on the matter.

Religion is learned

Although it is true that new religions are founded and that religious changes do occur, it is equally true that most people find themselves at birth in an established religious pattern. We should remember though, that no individual is born with fixed religious convictions. The fact that most children follow the religious convictions of their parents, is due to social influence rather than to biological factors. Once the individual starts growing up, he or she begins to learn about religion and religious behaviour from his or her society.

Examples of these include how to participate in religious activities, how to communicate with a divine being and how to undergo prescribed rituals and ceremonies. Love for or fear of one or more supernatural being, for instance, needs to be learned. The individual must also learn to become familiar with the content and meaning of certain symbols. Nobody is automatically aware of the definitions of symbols such as "soul", "angel", "devil" or "god". It is only under the guidance of the group that these symbols become meaningful.

Religion can change

As time goes by, societies tend to change. Since religion forms part of society, it is only natural that it will then also be affected by social change. Religious behaviour and understanding are developed by humans in the way in which, in their opinion, harmony may be achieved with the wishes of the supernatural or with divine truth.

However, being part of an ever–changing society, religion is often confronted with the reality of and need for change. If the changes facing religion does not affect the basic principles on which a certain tradition is founded, the likelihood of that religion adapting to a changing society could be considerable. An example that could be mentioned in this regard is the position of women.

The position of women, particularly in Western society, has in certain respects undergone major changes from what it has been a century or two ago. Although in general still far behind the changes that secular society has brought to the position of women, some religious traditions have taken note of these changes. Where it was before almost unthinkable to have women ordained as priests, this has happened in certain religious traditions - in 2015, Rev Libby Lane became the first female priest in the Church of England to be ordained as a bishop. Since these traditions did not have the submission of women as one of their building blocks, it was possible to adapt to a changing society. However, change in the attitude towards women have not as yet filtered through to all religious traditions.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
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Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Learning about religion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 18, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11780/1.1
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