A Sociology of Religion
Religion is a set of customs and beliefs that come up with symbols that unite human beings with their spiritual creator. Religion takes different forms in every society. While some dwell on beliefs, others dwell on practice. There are many religions in the world. The most recognized ones being Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Religion had a tacit mandate to play in the ancient society. To begin with, it was the foundation of social order in the universe.
People believed that religion was essential and needed to be implemented in every strong civil society. Cicero once described religion as not only the basis of any civil society, but also as the source of all good and comfort in the society. When people’s religion gets tampered with, they begin to behave in a queer manner, and all their opinions turn to be ill. This, therefore, means that the major role of any religion is to purify, restrain, and control the whole human society.
The influence of the religion in the life of any individual is to some extent personal. Transformations do take place from within irrespective of one’s faith. Society consists of individuals. If the individuals are not morally upright, then the whole society can be described as a rotten society. If the total numbers of immoral people outdo the numbers of moral people, the society at large, suffers from long lasting of immorality. Various religious traditions taught to the society, therefore, shape the lives of its members. Most conspicuous religions in the world teach their followers about compassion, love, and importance of forgiveness.
Forgiveness for instance, reflects on understanding of the values of each other’s rights and values. Religious traditions are, therefore, the foundation of harmony in the whole world. The ideas taught by religious traditions seam obvious. However, when they are critically analyzed, they tend to have deeper meanings. During tuff times in life, religious traditions reduce mental burden. Buddhists for example, believe in karmic law (law of causality). They, therefore, console themselves during hard times that, all the hardships they undergo are as a result of their past mistakes. Religion has, therefore, shaped the modern world in that, it advocates for morality in the society.
Moreover, religion plays a vital role in matters concerning politics. In most scenarios, religion has a crucial part to hold in any government. The close relationship between government and religion is indeed inevitable. For instance, much of the Western World history, revolved mostly on the influence of Catholicism and, Protestant schisms. This is because; both the institutions have a role of regulating social behaviors. Hinduism, belief on a caste social structure, has immensely affected history of Indian history. Moreover, the belief presents a noteworthy challenge to developments in the whole subcontinent. It is because of religion that most of the countries enjoy democratic governments.
From the foregoing discussion, it is true to make a general conclusion that, despite the numerous religions in the world, they all have one agenda of controlling social behaviors. Religion is the backbone of any social order within the society. It has, therefore, tried as much as possible to create a relatively favorable environment for the whole human society. Moreover, religion has had a great impact in the political world. Religion has, therefore, not only shaped the world socially, but it has also shaped it politically.