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By the end of the 20th century there came about a phenomenal change in the definition of religion. The function-structure and social integra-tion aspects of religion were abandoned. A rather different approach to religion is represented by Clifford Geertz in his essay "Religion as a Cultural System". He defines religion as follows: Religion is a (1) system of symbols which acts to (2) establish power-ful, pervasive, and long lasting moods and motivation in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) cloth-ing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the mood and motivations seem uniquely realistic. In the above definition there is a breakthrough in the under-standing of religion. Geertz has raised certain questions by defining religion. "He argues that instead of looking at the social functions of religion we ought to explore what religion means to people, how it helps to make sense of the world and how it gives a meaning and di-rection to human existence. We should study religion itself, not its social causes and the ultimate aim of such an investigation ought to be how the world and human existence appear meaningful to the be-liever." Actually, the shift in the approach of religion emerged out of the work done by Evans-Pritchard on Nuer. In this study Evans-Pritchard came out with some conceptual formulations which helped him un-derstand the great religions of Europe, particularly, Christianity. The study also stressed that religion, in fact, is a body of meanings, sym-bols and social processes. The new approach promoted by Geertz and other contemporary anthropologists influenced the present social anthropology. Com-menting on the shift in the understanding of religion, Eriksen writes: The approach advocated by Geertz and foreshadowed by Evans- Pritchard has been very influential in anthropological research on religion in recent decades. This shift in perspective is a part of the general change in anthropological thinking mentioned earlier, whereby the main trends have swung from an interest in functions, structure and social integration which was dominant until the 1960s, to a concern with the interpretation of meaning, symbols and social process. In the study of religion, it is found, among other things, there is a growing interest in relating meaning to experience and in understanding cosmologies.
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Here is your sample essay on Indian Religion
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Here Is Your Sample Essay On Indian Religion

Words: 370    Pages: 1    Paragraphs: 10    Sentences: 16    Read Time: 01:20
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              By the end of the 20th century there came about a phenomenal change in the definition of religion. The function-structure and social integra-tion aspects of religion were abandoned. A rather different approach to religion is represented by Clifford Geertz in his essay "Religion as a Cultural System". He defines religion as follows:
             
              Religion is a (1) system of symbols which acts to (2) establish power-ful, pervasive, and long lasting moods and motivation in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) cloth-ing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the mood and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
             
              In the above definition there is a breakthrough in the under-standing of religion. Geertz has raised certain questions by defining religion.
             
              "He argues that instead of looking at the social functions of religion we ought to explore what religion means to people, how it helps to make sense of the world and how it gives a meaning and di-rection to human existence.
             
              We should study religion itself, not its social causes and the ultimate aim of such an investigation ought to be how the world and human existence appear meaningful to the be-liever. "
             
              Actually, the shift in the approach of religion emerged out of the work done by Evans-Pritchard on Nuer.
             
              In this study Evans-Pritchard came out with some conceptual formulations which helped him un-derstand the great religions of Europe, particularly, Christianity. The study also stressed that religion, in fact, is a body of meanings, sym-bols and social processes.
             
              The new approach promoted by Geertz and other contemporary anthropologists influenced the present social anthropology. Com-menting on the shift in the understanding of religion, Eriksen writes:
             
              The approach advocated by Geertz and foreshadowed by Evans- Pritchard has been very influential in anthropological research on religion in recent decades.
             
              This shift in perspective is a part of the general change in anthropological thinking mentioned earlier, whereby the main trends have swung from an interest in functions, structure and social integration which was dominant until the 1960s, to a concern with the interpretation of meaning, symbols and social process.
             
              In the study of religion, it is found, among other things, there is a growing interest in relating meaning to experience and in understanding cosmologies.
Religion Essay 
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