Religion has been studied for many years because it significantly influences people and history. In modern world various types of faith are presented to people. Some are very popular and massive, while others are only small formed local groups. Many religions today have different ideas so that modern people can look at these religions from other contexts. Everyone can choose a belief in one God, that is, monotheism, and you can observe those where there are a lot of them – polytheism. Thus, religion has broad contexts and can be studied and understood differently.
If characterized by religion, it is a specific group of people who live according to their own beliefs and have their traditions. Religion is explained by its rules offered to people and that they must follow (Malory 2). By joining a specific religion, a person changes his way of life and begins introducing various things characteristic of particular religions, which can manifest in clothes, habits, food, and other things. Religion is a separate structure with a hierarchy that gives its people special privileges and opportunities. For many people, religion becomes an opportunity for self-realization and a place that provides them security and comfort.
Studying religion should use the idea to separate academic approaches. Some researchers suggest basing their moves on existing ones, for example, using Edward Tylor’s methods. Tylor’s systems are mainly based on considering religion in a specific sociological and ethnic context (Malory 4). Functionalism of sociology, ethnography, and phenomenology The leading general approaches proposed for studying theology (Malory 4). Such practices make it possible to understand and choose one’s course to learn religion.
Considering religion and all its aspects, the Functionalism of sociology and ethnography helped me. These two approaches allow a better look at individual beliefs and their specificity to a particular society. In particular, the Functionalism of sociology will enable us to consider religion positively, especially conservatism (Malory 7). Functionalism sees only the positive in faith and does not analyze it from several angles. Accordingly, that approach speaks of religion’s importance as an indicator of ensuring stability in human life. The strength of Functionalism explains why people choose to live according to the principles of specific religions.
Ethnography opens a more expansive space for studying individual religions and their origins. This type of practice allows you to understand all the details of faith through your direct immersion in the social and cultural space of the community. In particular, it shows the origin and formation of traditions that became part of a separate religion. It is essential to understand that individual regions have their faith and features, which used to have differences between religions, which, accordingly, better reveals ideas for the researcher (Malory 4). This type of research is usually relevant for small religious communities based in a specific territory.
Thus, religion is a rule and principle for certain groups of people with shared ideas. It is also essential to look at religion from different contexts to understand and study its implications. In addition, the study of faith makes it possible to consider the worldview and way of thinking of people who are direct members of various religious communities. The study of religion and its history allows us to understand multiple historical events from a spiritual angle and the consequences we have now.
Nye, Malory. “Decolonizing the study of religion.” Open Library of Humanities 5.1 (2019).