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

Consider the role religion plays in the lives of women.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider the role religion plays in the lives of women In order to consider the role religion plays in the lives of women in the 21st century society, it is necessary to note the decline of female importance in modern and ancient faith. It is important to note that women have not always been subordinate to men in religion but this second-class status is fairly recent. Karen Armstrong notes that women were considered central to the spiritual quest, as archaeologists have uncovered, across Europe and Asia, effigies of naked, pregnant women seeming to depict fertility and life. Armstrong argues that male aggression exhibited through the invasion of these societies by male dominated cultures from the northern hemisphere brought the end to the 'Mother Goddess' with the establishment of monotheism. Women's bodies are also felt to be dangerous by many religions. Menstruation and pregnancy are thought to 'pollute' religious rituals. Muslim women who are either pregnant or menstruating are not allowed to enter the mosque or touch the Koran. Also female presence may distract men from worship. Bird highlights that sexuality is an important issue in many religions. ...read more.

Middle

He claims that this is why women were son prominent in many religious sects such as the Seventh Day Adventist Church (Ellen White) and Christian Science (Mary Baker Eddy who was inducted into the US National Women's Hall of Fame). Women are more likely to join sects than men and Bruce (1995) suggests at a ratio of 2:1. This maybe because women are more likely to experience to deprivation than men and this group is known to be more likely to join sects. This deprivation maybe social (women in poorly paid professions who lack prestige and power due to patriarchy) or ethical (where women see the world to be in a state of moral decline). Thompson (1996) notes that 'sect members have the promise of salvation and the knowledge that they are enlightened' and women are more likely to see a need within themselves for self improvement as women, in my opinion, are less egotistical than men. Cults often offer a more privatised version of religious activity and are therefore favoured more by females who submit to a more traditional gender role. However in some cults such as Rastafarianism, women are encouraged to have a much more traditional role in the home. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be fair to comment that women faith plays a different role in different women's lives according to their faith and upbringing. For example, fundamentalist Muslim women will have a different take on religion than a woman that belongs to a modernised, secular society. However, I think that religion is dominated by a patriarchal rationale. This means that men use religion as a social force to maintain and justify their social dominance. This male centred approach to religion is rooted throughout the majority of world religions, as noted by Holm and Bawker. However, it must be noted that religion should not be viewed with an ethno centric approach. Watson works on the veiling of Muslim women found that they did not find such attire oppressive but more liberating that men wouldn't judge them on there looks but on their personalities. Watson commented that sociological findings should not be viewed simplistically if studying a religion that is not their own. In a postmodern society, women are finding different places for religion within their lives. Some find it reassuring, some as an expression of male control and others as an activity to fill spare time but in modern day society it should be, according to interactionalist theory, up to the individual how they expressed their religious observances. ...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 Sociology 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 Sociology essays

  1. Free essay

    The changinf role of women in society

    Source I totally disagrees with the statement "Without the first world war British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918" as it tells us how many people's views were left unchanged by the war. Source F is a more controversial statement as it says "Women do

  2. Pitted against Patriarchy

    Within the Nationalist community of Northern Ireland, the position of women tended to follow the ideology of the South where within Catholicism and Republicanism women were idealized in both public and private through the cult of the Virgin Mary and Cathleen ni Houlihan or Mother Ireland, but subordinated domestically and politically, confining the women to private spaces.

  1. Defining religion.

    scheme Role of religion in society Functionalism o Religion forms part of the value consensus in society o Religion operates for the general good in society o Religion benefits individuals as well o DURKHEIM: reinforces the 'collective conscience', sacred power gives credibility to common values, duties & obligations; it's a

  2. Psychology of Destructive Cults

    Furthermore, often a method called psychological stripping is used. Gard sites a specific instance of a cultist who was a member of a group lead by a man named Ron: "If you got out of line or if Ron felt like bringing you down to nothingness, you had to stand

  1. The ancient civilizations of Central and South America

    After this battle Cuzco was created into the capital city of the Incas, and their civilization continued to grow from this point. 4 One part of Inca society that allowed them to conquer lands so successfully was the way they treated the people that they eventually conquered.

  2. Foucault: History of Sexuality/ A Reading.

    was the constitution of archives of the truth of sex inscribed within medical and psychiatric discourses. Within modern societies this intersection of confession with scientific investigation constructed the domain of sexuality as problematic and thus needing interpretation and therapy. In short the object of investigation became to uncover the truth

  1. "Compare the presentation of the exploitation of women in "Memoirs of a Geisha" by ...

    This desperation of acceptance clouds the reality of such a situation without her realising it. So, for her a trip to Gion is an excursion, a day out and not a separation from what she knows and love. When she finally realise that she is no longer going to return

  2. In what ways did the lives of women change in the USA in the ...

    Although some of these things may have been considered immoral back then, they were indeed very moral to women of all ages. All of these changes signified a new found freedom among women. They no longer felt the need to be conservative and secondary to men.

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