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Sociology of Religion (Essay Sample)


need to answer the question to what are the advantages and disadvantages of belonging to a certain church, mosque or synagogue versus just having your own spiritual belief.


Sociology of Religion
Contemporary studies in social research have tried to depict religion’s public influence by placing much emphasis on collective or individual religious actors. Within such a unitary model, religion is comprehended as a uniform feature of a given individual or a collection of people. However, recent studies have demonstrated that religious expressions outside the domain of religious congregations differ by content to a large extent. Of course, there is a palpable human and sinful face to the religion given that religions are characterized by human organizations and confederations, which are very susceptible to sinful activities. One may question whether individuals within the religious associations comprehend this reality more than those who prefer to practice their own spiritual beliefs. In attempts to practice spirituality outside the realms of religious institutions, not all people are likely to contend with the notion of being indeed ‘religious.’ Rather, there are people who state that they only desire to live moral lives, perhaps one centered on God, but based on their own personality and individuality (Roberts &Yamane 2011)
One may rethink the whole idea of associating to a particular faith or owing allegiance to churches, synagogues, mosques, and many more. Self-spiritual belief, on the other hand, encapsulates some sense of freedom from unnecessary dogma. The proponents of this realm contend that a person can be oneself before God. Another implication here is that one has sampled several religious beliefs and integrated them into one single life. The resulting religious perspective is one where an individual subscribes into many religious faiths, for instance Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, but without any definite confinement to either of the religions. This way, one has an opportunity to conjure what best shapes their lives without having to subscribe to any of the religious faiths as that would be very much confining. Self-spiritual belief means that a person’s spiritual belief is not represented by any particular creed (Roberts &Yamane 2011)
The proponents of religious organizations and associations contend that exercise of own spiritual belief poses several disadvantages. Though being spiritual is healthy, the fact that one is "not religious" may imply that faith is a fundamental issue between the individual and God. While faith may seem like a question between God and man, it is not in any way just a question between one and God. Perhaps, the main reason for such a proposition is that a self-spiritual person may imply that they are relating to God alone; hence no room for anyone from the outside can suggest when the person deviates from the spiritual track (Ammerman 2007). People appear to think that they are perfect in almost everything, spirituality being no exception. On the other hand, lack of allegiance to any one religious community means lesser opportunity of encountering challenge from any tradition of experience or traditional of belief. In fact, it means less chance to perceive when one is being misguided, perceiving only a fraction of the picture, or even wrong (Martin 2012).
Consider an individual who desires to emulate Christianity on their own. Maybe such a person has heard that Christianity brings financial success which, of course, is a popular idea nowadays due to the riches some Christians have amassed. If such a person had some allegiance to the mainstream Christian organization such as a church, he/she would be reminded that suffering forms an essential part of life even to the most devout followers. In the absence of wisdom found within the community of believers, such an individual is likely to deviate towards a skewed perception of Christianity. When the dreams of success fail to materialize, the individual may soon abhor God for failing to meet their expectations.
Despite the efforts to be as spiritual as one can become, mistakes still occur, and it is important for one to share in the wisdom of a religious tradition. It is plausible that as people who remain unchallenged, religi...
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