Religion is a social taxon. It is a system of belief that is often expressed in terms of family resemblance. It can also be defined as a belief system that offers meaning to human life. The term religion has various different definitions that are not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, some sociologists claim that the concept of religion as a functional system is misleading. They say that organisations that promote social integration are not necessarily religious; neither are belief systems that provide meaning to human lives.
Religion is a social taxon
Social scientists have taken a reflexive turn towards the concept of religion, arguing that religion is a social institution, not a form of life. Instead, it is a means by which certain groups further their own interests and aims. Religion is a social taxon that encompasses a variety of practices and beliefs, both ancient and modern, that are common to human societies. These include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. This article discusses differences and similarities between these religious practices and beliefs, and considers the controversy surrounding religion.
It is a form of belief
Religion is a set of beliefs, practices, and social institutions relating to holy, spiritual, or divine things. Its purpose is to unite humans into a larger social community that is governed by moral values. In many cases, religion is based on the notion that superhuman beings possess some supernatural power that can influence human life or influence the environment. Religions usually use a set of culturally prescribed means to gain contact with these entities, and the methods vary depending on the nature of the superhuman power and the accessibility to it.
It has institutional structures to manage those people
Religion is a social institution, based on beliefs and practices. Like other human institutions, religion has institutional structures to manage its people. In order to be successful, religious institutions must have both an ordinary and supra-empirical social form.