As we talked about in class last week, there are many different religions and different rituals that each religion decides to take part in. The sociological perspective helps people who don’t practice the same religion as someone view that religion in a more open-minded way with emphasis of understanding the religion and exploring other religions. Patterns begin to show that people are aware and unaware of. The 2nd chapter of Religion titled, The Provision of Meaning and Belonging, says, “A community of believers maintain a meaning system and mediates it to the individual” (page 25). This reminded me of the first chapter that talked about how religion is individual and social at the same time. Being influenced by the social aspect of people who have the same beliefs as you plays a role in one’s individual decision in what to believe in.
Something interesting to me was the relationship between religious meaning and worldviews. Meaning is, “The interpretation of situations and events in terms of some broader frame of reference” (page 26). With everyone having the same worldview, having religious worldview is more complicated then that. “In modern society, religious meaning systems compete with many other worldviews. Individuals are less likely to use any single comprehensive meaning system but may apply religious meanings to segments of their lives.” (page 27) Meanings are chosen for certain things and have different meanings but all in all have the same norms. With social and individual religious decisions made every day for different people, overall, all meaning systems are based on an intersection of self and social group. (page 31) Meaning systems are everything in religion because whatever that ritual means is the way people will view you or the god that you worship views you. In essence, the emphasis of meaning is everything in religion and you have the be aware of everything you are doing and know the meaning of everything you are doing in religious practices.