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Societal Change Through Religion Protestantism and Buddhism Building awareness of social changes through religion

Jan 12, 2016



  • Societal Change Through ReligionProtestantism and BuddhismBuilding awareness of social changes through religion.

  • IntentionBring about awareness and development of religionTo build a stronger community Foster tolerance, acceptance, and diversity

    Support other work and research Meditation/yoga in schoolsStudent attention and mindfulness

    To inform and create programsBehaviorAcademic Social studies and history

  • Audience The audience for this presentation is: Religious groups, churches - Universalist ceremony Protestant and Buddhist churches and temples Schools

    Community Groups: Political movements Volunteer work and programs Fundraising

    Religious Education (schools and churches) Social Studies, History Music Reading Character programs

  • Social Change Through Religion

  • What is religion?According to Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Rodney Stark: ControlSupernaturalGod(s)MagicBeliefs and RitesFaithSacred Charisma

  • Disjoined Definition of Religion A disjoined definition of religion will be accepted Cover three main ideas:The supernatural or natureBehaviors or practicesUniversal truths of meaning

    Both Stark (2004) and Weber (1963) support and agree that there is no true or possible conjoined definition of religion because of its complex intellectual conventions and its understanding coming out of perception and perspective, which shades the subject involved (p. 1, xxvii). Durkheim (1995) on the other hand defined religion mostly around beliefs and practices, which are united through a moral community (p. 44).

  • Disjoined Definition of Religion In finding middle ground and combining the ideas before a unified definition of religion would be

    The beliefs and practices about the existence and nature of the supernatural and ultimate meaning.

  • ProtestantismA monotheistic religion that believes in one God that is a holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, although some Protestant groups disagree (Stark, 2007 p. 293, 322). Jesus is the founder and main religious figure in Christianity who was born of Virgin Mary in Bethlehem (p. 282-288). Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and led a life of purity, service, love, forgiveness, and without sin (p. 283). The Bible is the main text for all Christians and is made up of two large sections the Old and New Testament. Christianity is made up of three large branches Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants.

  • ProtestantismProtestantism derived out of the reformation in the 16th century, which protested and rejected the movement of the Catholic Church. Protestantism believes in salvation through the doctrines of justification by grace through faith (Stark, 2007 p. 293). There are many denominations of Protestantism, which hold different beliefs towards sacraments, a demonstration and sign of inner spiritual feelings. The main purpose and practice of Christians is to know, love, and serve God by having faith in the true God and resurrection, doing good works, and participating in sacraments. The main doctrine of Christianity includes the Apostles Creed and the Ten Commandments (Stark, 2007 p. 292, 293). Most Christians also practice those beliefs through prayer, Bible study, church services, good deeds, and celebrating holidays. The largest differences center on denying purgatory, rejecting praying to Saints, ideas around the priesthood, sacraments, free will, papacy, and authority given to Scripture alone.

  • BuddhismBuddhism is a pantheistic, universal, and godless religion (Stark, 2007 p. 241). Siddhartha Gautama who later became Buddha and the founder and main religious figure of Buddhism grew up as a prince who later denounced his royal family and upbringing to search for enlightenment through meditation (p. 237-238). The main text is called the Tipitaka, which means the three baskets.The life purpose and main practices that affect the human situation is gaining enlightenment and obtaining the release from the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation through the doctrines of the three jewels, for Noble truths, and utilizing the eightfold path (Stark, 2007 p. 238-240). The three jewels govern all Buddhist practices and consist of the faith in Buddha, faith in law taught by him, and the community following his teaching (p. 239).

  • BuddhismThe four Noble truths, which includes: truth of misery that describes life as suffering; truth of desire, describing that craving for happiness and pleasure within us creates the suffering; truth that desire may be overcome; and the method for eliminating that desire comes from following the eightfold path (p. 240). The eightfold path can be divided into three major concepts such as wisdom, ethics, and meditation. Wisdom is made up of two of the eight paths including right view or vision (experience and perception) and right thought (awareness). Ethics is made up of three of the eight paths including right speech, right action, and right livelihood. Meditation is made up of the last three paths of eight that include great effort (intention and purpose), right mindfulness, and right concentration (meditation) (p. 240). The concept of the afterlife includes reincarnation and the goal of obtaining nirvana, which is where the ego is extinguished, as it becomes and unfolds into full conciseness that is thought to be indefinable and inexpressible. (Stark, 2007 p. 240)

  • BuddhismBuddhist philosophy centers on the concept that suffering is brought about through craving and desire (p. 240).Buddhist doctrine teaches that, Salvation does not come from God or Gods, but from ones own efforts. (p. 243) It is a doctrine of salvation by works alone. (p. 243) Religious authority is then given to practice and Dharma. This religious authority and practice can be broken up into different sects of Buddhism, which all follow different precepts or rules. Similar to most religions the five main precepts, which most Buddhist sects follow would include: not killing, not stealing, not lying, no intoxicants, and no sexual abuse (Durkheim, 1994 p. 82). By following these rules and practices outlined above, Durkheim (1995) reiterated that Buddhism is a religion, even though it is godless, by accepting the existence of sacred things, mainly, the four Noble truths and practices that are derived from them. (p. 35)

  • Differences and Similarities of Buddhism and ProtestantismDifferencesConcept and belief of GodBuddhism is pantheistic, Protestantism monotheisticSalvation, suffering, and afterlifeScripture and textsSimilaritiesThe Golden RuleBuddha and Jesus rejected extreme asceticismBelieve in a life after deathSimilar forms of worship and ritualsPrayer, meditation, and songs

  • Classical TheoriesDurkheim, Emile (1858-1917) Sociologist Weber, Max (1864-1920) Sociologist Stark, Rodney Current Sociologist of Religion How religious practice influences societal changeHow community, organizations, congregations, and education influence societal changeEconomic and political influences societal changeBuddhism and Protestantism affects on social changeDifferences and Similarities of Buddhism and Protestantism on the affects on social change

  • Religious Practice andSocietal ChangeRituals, morals, and ethicsMoral communityConnection and human relationshipConformity Faith According to Durkheim (as cited in Stark, 2007) the purpose of rituals is strengthening the ties between the faithful and their God, what they really do is strengthen the ties between the individual and society the God being only a figurative representation of the society. (p.14)Education and evolution

  • Community, Organizations, Congregations, and Education Churches that create an organizational community receive new life, energy, and momentum through the emphasis of ritualized structure and practices.Stark (Stark, 2004) explained that most religions generate congregations which are groups of adherents who meet regularly for religious reasons. (p. 116) Traditional congregation, un-churched and include folk religions, audience religions, privatized religions, client religions and creedless religious groups

  • Community, Organizations, Congregations, and Education A cultural foundation formed by religious communities and churches with the intent of offering stability impacts society. In churched and unchurched religion creeds and congregations play important transformative roles by practicing and participating in rites and rituals, which communicate morals and ethics where education then starts to play a role in helping communities and religious organizations create and maintain moral and ethical standards.

  • Community, Organizations, Congregations, and Education Durkheim and Pickering (1994) explained that we must perfect and purify our virtues through education (p. 29). Weber (1963) explained the process of education happening through intellectualism that was handed down through individuals influenced by a winning prophet or permanent helper meaning apostles, disciples, comrades, or followers (p. 60, 120). Educations role in religion is critical because it is a system created out of a community and organization that supports a congregations ability to instill, support, and teach morals and ethics, which effect society.Regardless of the type of community, organization, or congregation the ability for education to impart knowledge, religious ethics, and morals is and will continue to be important play a key role in directing social change. A community, educational system, and religion all have strong economic and political influences on societal change as well.

  • Economic and Political InfluencesAccording to Durkheim and Pickering (1994) economic action is not the most primitive social phenomena, but religion is because

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