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Religion is personal experience. But, when varoius personal experince agregating, its will be social phenomena. To understand this pheneoma, we can use social theory that developed by some socialogist.

But, sociology is just one side of religion. Socilogist declaires that their study just for explain sociological aspect of religion. They can’t explain spiritual aspect. A humility that should be appreciated. This is my resume for Sosiologi Agama a book by Dr Sindung Haryanto.

This book collect various methode to understand social aspect of religion, from classic untul postmodern.  In classic era, religon study spearheaded by Augustue Comte, father of Sociology. His study continued by Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and then Karl Marx.

They have own uniqueness. Comte focus to explain social function of religion as solidarity tool. He siad that religion like a social glue. As a father of this field, Comte give foundation concept by offering three step of society development: teology society, metaphicila society, and scientific society.

Durkheim try to explain basic form of religion. Based his study in Aborigin religion in Australia, Durkheim claim that basic form of religion is totemism. In simple definition, totemism is worship to God by worship certain symbol. He said that religion is evolution subject.

In Suicide, one of his book, Durkheim explain the relationship between religion and suicide. He said, suicide rate in Potestnt comunity  higher than Ctaholic comunity. Catholic have more solidarity, have neat structur of Church, orgnized to solve pilgrim problem. But Protestant more inividualist. So, when they have a problem, feel more press.

Durkheim statemnt is very interetsing for me. But, he got critic from ohter sociologist, becase religion is not single cause of suicide. Durkheim considered fail to identification other cause. So, his statement is too simple.

As an economist, Weber try to explain relation religion with economic ativity. One of the most importont statemnt of Weber is, some religion more relevant with capitalism and some religion is not.

He explain that Portestan, especially Calvinisme sekte, support their pilgrim to hard work. In Calvinism  hard work assumed as way to subserve to God. They belief that not everyone choosen by God. To be selected, they must be superior person.

In religion study Karl Marx have most uniqe opinion. He saw religion negatevely. In capitlistic society, he said, religion used by borjois to ratify their opression. Capitalist use relgion to build false conciousness in labor society. This mechanism makes the workers think that poverty is the will of God.

From this analysis Marx conclude that religion is hamper social revolution. So, he said, religion is like opium.

In various study up there, we can view that social aspect of religion is so complicated. Sociologist just explain a view aspect.

So, lets learn more. In next post, i will resume postmodern sociologist perspective. 🙂

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