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Paper Topic:

Religion in society

The Sociology of Religious Organizations

A group is defined as a number of individuals assembled together or having some unifying relationship (http /www .m-w .com , n .d , n pag ) Hence , in the sociological context , a group is an assemblage of persons whose relationships with one another are based on a common identity and shared expectations (http /www .wwnorton .com , n .d , n pag

Human groups are categorized into primary and secondary groups . Primary groups are small affiliations of people connected by emotional ties such as the family and the peer group

(http /www .ncert .nic .in , n .d n . pag ) Meanwhile , secondary groups are human organizations that foster formal and indirect relationships among its members (http /www .ncert .nic .in , n .d , n . pag ) Religious organizations political parties and professional clubs are examples of secondary groups . Human groups in general have the following characteristics (http /www .ncert .nic .in , n .d , n . pag

Requires the membership of a number of individuals

Membership is either formal or informal

The members of the group must have a common affinity and

There must be a relatively stable relationship among the members of the group

Religious organizations meet the above-mentioned characteristics of a group . Religious organizations cater solely to its members , who undergo formal membership procedures (completing application forms , membership interviews and training and regular group sessions . Religious organizations also promote unity among its members by providing them with companionship and a sense of belonging (http /www .hewett .norfolk .sch .uk , n .d , n . pag ) Rituals also serve as common experiences that result in camaraderie (http /www .hewett .norfolk .sch .uk , n .d , n . pag ) Relationships among the members of a religious organization is stabilized through the promotion of organizational norms and values that uphold collective ideals over individual desires (http /www .hewett .norfolk .sch .uk , n .d n . pag

Religion is a system of beliefs , symbols and rituals , based on some sacred or supernatural realm that guides human behaviour , gives meaning to life and unites believers into a community (http /www .sociologyinourtimes3e .nelson .com , n .d , n . pag ) Given this definition , religion uses beliefs , symbols and rituals that adhere to the supernatural to answer questions such as why people exist , why people suffer and die and what happens after a person 's death (http /www .sociologyinourtimes3e .nelson .com , n .d , n . pag ) Religion serves three crucial purposes in any society (http /www .sociologyinourtimes3e .nelson .com , n .d , n . pag

To provide meaning and purpose to human existence , which includes events such as injustice , suffering and death

To promote social cohesion and a sense of belonging , particularly among its believers and

To implement social control by exerting tremendous influence on the establishment of social norms and laws

In to achieve its objectives , religion must must meet the five functional prerequisites of group life stated below

Recruitment and reproduction


Producing satisfactory levels of goods and services

Preserving and

Maintaining a sense of purpose

Among these five , the most essential to religion is...

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