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Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations

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Introduction

Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations (40 marks) Gender, religious participation and religious organisations are all linked together, involving religion. Gender is a major part of religion, and it is believed that women are more religious than men. Religious participation is also a big part of religion along with religious organisations. A number of studies have proven different views on the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations. There are a number of religious organisations including; churches, sects, denominations and cults. A number of studies have some that women are more religious then men. Whatever women's influence and status may have been in religious organizations, studies have consistently shown that women are more religious than men. Miller and Hoffmann (1995) report that women are more likely to express a greater interest in religion, have a stronger personal religious commitment and attend church more often. ...read more.

Middle

Thompson (1996) states that 'they may not have economic and social standing if others in society, but sect members have the promise of salvation and the knowledge that they are enlightened. Glock and Stark (1969) identify a number of different types of deprivation in addition to the economic, all of which are more likely to apply to women. They suggest that people who form or join sects may have experienced one of even a number of these. Cults involve a highly individual, privatised version of religious activity. This is mainly (although not exclusively) involved with the promotion of a notion of personal improvement. Even where wider issues are addressed, the solutions offered tend to be couched in personal terms. This private sphere of cult activity relates to traditional gender roles for women which are based in the private arena of the home. Women are also more included to see in themselves a need for self improvement. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although membership is open to all there is no sect-like test of merit. Denominations tend to be disproportionately middle-class. They have a professional clergy but their organisational hierarchy is much less complex than that of the church. Hierarchy is more developed that that of sects. Worship is relatively formal, with less ritual than a church but less spontaneity than in a sect. Cults are usually open to all and welcome those with a sympathetic interest. Cult organisation is likely to be loose. Their may be a charismatic leader but hierarchies re usually discouraged. Due to the wide range of cults, there is no common orientation to the wider society. Many cults don't demand high levels of commitment from their followers. They simply ask that people be open to the experiences they offer. Overall, gender, religious participation and religious organisations are linked in some way, not always good though. Studies show that women are more religious than men, especially when bringing up children. A number of religious organisations allow people to choose their preferred organisation, and depending on the organisation, their involvement in that organisation. ...read more.

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