• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In an essay of not more than 1200 words, discuss the claim that the most compelling reason for studying religion today is to reach a better understanding of contemporary society.

Extracts from this document...


In an essay of not more than 1200 words, discuss the claim that the most compelling reason for studying religion today is to reach a better understanding of contemporary society. For me, the word 'religion' conjures up images of wailing fat ladies dressed in their Sunday best singing at the top of their lungs about the glory of God. Of course, this image comes from my childhood when I attended the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica every Sunday, rain or shine, with my grandmother. For her, Church, Christianity and God was a way of life; a set of principles she believed in and lived by. For others less convinced, the idea of religion or 'being religious' is as far fetched as aliens and UFO's. Throughout the centuries, religion has played an important part in shaping the political landscape of most modern societies and one reason for studying religion is to understand how and why certain societies developed in the way they did. ...read more.


Of the 119,067 residents, 12 per cent are of Pakistani heritage, five per cent are Black or Black British, 14 per cent Indian heritage and 63 per cent White. Twenty per cent of the residents were born outside the European Union. Thirteen per cent of the population is Muslims, nine per cent Sikhs, four per cent Hindus and 53 per cent Christians. This means that schools and other public places have had to restructure their curriculum or modus operandi to accommodate the freedom to practice other religions as stated in the constitution. In one predominantly Slough school, the decision was taken three years ago to set up a committee to observe and identify ways in which the school could better serve students' religious needs. Out of this initiative, those who practiced Islam were allowed a time and a private room during the day for prayer. The canteen menu was also redesigned to include a variety of vegetarian dishes to accommodate dietary needs and students were allowed to wear symbols of their religion such as dreadlocks and the hijab. ...read more.


Others still, like the Heaven's Gate group believed that they were to wait for a sign from heaven and a space craft would come to take them away. Karl Marx, who studied the impact of religion on society, concluded that religion shows the connection between the need to have an afterlife to look forward to especially if their lives have been difficult. Marx's approach to the study of religion was objective and sociological. In his observations he arrived at the conclusion that 'Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people'. Religion and politics have come full circle as in today's society there are laws which govern the recognition of a new 'religion'. For example, a legitimate religion has the right to claim tax exemption and must promote the moral and spiritual welfare of the community. It is my opinion that although there are other reasons for studying religion, the most compelling reason by far is to better understand and cater for the diversity of modern society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Religion in the Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Religion in the Media essays

  1. Assess the sociological for / against view of secularisation occurring.

    David Martin sees this view as concerned with decline in the power, wealth, influence and prestige of the church (Martin, 1969). Steve Bruce argues that the state churches have lost their power as they have become more distant from the British state (Bruce, 1995).

  2. Why Studying World Religions is Important

    The course gives an overview of the history of the religion, and what has happened through centuries. It shows us what we believe in, how we understand creation, and then gives us an understanding of creation. The course also gives us an explanation of de-creation, re- creation, the covenant, nationhood, and division.

  1. Are the 10 commandments still relevant today?

    would have said it was very relevant because everyone did what Jesus said, but because society moves on, not that many people care anymore. I think this commandment is quite important to me, I wish I could stick to it, but its so hard with everything else going on and our busy culture nowadays.

  2. Discuss the merits of theories of secularisation with regard to religion in modern Britain

    decline in significance if other institutional mechanisms arose in society to take-over its basic functions. To a certain extent this has happened in Britain, but we can see from various examples around the world (such as in Iran) that: a.

  1. How has religion changed?

    describe how religion is changing their lives, but they can realise that it is. Analysis of interview I interviewed two different people, one was a very religious Muslim and the other person did not follow in any religion or believe in the existence of a god like being.

  2. Assess the view that deprivation is the main reason for the growth or new ...

    Marginalisation can occur for the poor and members of some ethnic minority groups who may feel that they have been denied the prestige, the occupational status, income and opportunities which they deserve. Again this points to the fact that people in this situation feel disprivilege and so join NRMs to make up for this.

  1. "Modern Britain is a secular society" Discuss

    One of the very first sociologists, Emile Durkheim, anticipated secularisation. He said that the Church and religion are being replaced by Government. What was meant by this is that, the role and functions that the Church once served are now being supplied by the Government.

  2. Is There A Decline In Religion...In Today's Society?

    What is the evidence against secularisation? Many interpretivist sociologists suggest these statistics should be treated with caution. The validity of statistics is also in doubt because people who attend church are not necessarily practising religious belief whilst those who do believe may not see the need to attend.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work