Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 20 September 2021

p. 192. What religion doeslocked

p. 192. What religion doeslocked

  • Thomas A. Tweed

Abstract

“What religion does,” continues the discussion of definitions by listing criteria for deciding which one might be most useful, and then it notes that adequate accounts describe not only what religion is but also what it does. At this point a definition is offered that aims to show how religion functions. Religion provides a sense of identity and orientation, and it is a force for social cohesion. It is sticky. It creates bonds within the group, cohesion, and bonds outside the group, adhesion. A socially effective religion will cohere, but not so much as to prevent members from making bonds with those of other faiths. Religion also provides personal meaning and wields social power. As an example of how it exerts power, the chapter examines the way that religion both supported and challenged racial injustice in South Africa.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.