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functionalist and marxist appr

            Before we can look at the Marxist and Functionalist theories of Religion we must first have some understanding of what religion is. For many, world religion is becoming something alien, only 3% of the population of Britain attend Church. Religion is, however, much more than simple Church attendance, Religion is something that has never been high amongst the British working-class. We must take this fact into consideration. Now we have a multicultural society. However Religion is a major part of the National curriculum in education. And daily, within schools children are encouraged to perform prayers and conform to this. Nonetheless, though we are not looking into the issue of secularisation we are looking at the functionalist and Marxist accounts of religion. However we must define Religion. There are many definitions and distinctions of Religion. When defining Religion there is two main types of definition to consider, both broad and narrow these are both functional and substantive definitions of the structuralist view. Functional definitions can be criticised for being too inclusive. Substantive definitions can be criticised for being too exclusive. The clearest definition of Religion, I think is this one by Roland Robertson. "Religion refers to the existence of supernatural beings that have a governing effect on life" Robert Robinson. This means that Religion refers to the existence of beings that transcend nature, that is, they do not conform to the laws of nature. These supernatural beings are superhuman; they can perform tasks that no creature on earth could possibly perform. Religion is comprised of a mixture of elements that provide a purpose and common understanding throughout society. The basis of Religion consists of shared beliefs and customs to form a basis of moral code and justification within a society. Religion also involves practices or rituals.

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