However Rudolf Otto was highly influenced by another philosopher known as Friedrich Schleiermacher who argued that religion was a matter of feeling rather than reason. Substantive definition of religion outlines religion in terms of its content referring to subject matter such as belief in God or in spirits. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. A substantive definition is concerned about the content of religion and the influence it has on the individual. ( Log Out / The functionalist definition on the other hand questions what the religion does for those who participate in the religion. Change ). Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 47.) E.B Tylor. The substantive definition is asking what the religion is in order to define it. He avoids talking about single deities and beliefs and concentrates on the person. However most important question raised here is that why can’t people just accept Tylor’s and Otto’s definition about religion and be done with it, because it causes unnecessary debate. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. R., 2007 The Study of Religion: An Introduction to Key Ideas and Methods, Bloomsbury Publishing, Oxford Dictionary, 2014, Definition of Numinous, Online, Available from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definiton/english/numinous, December 2014, Keith Luker, 2007, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship EPK, available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQiK_hMVC2k, accessed December 2014. Tylor provided a substantive definition of religion through looking that what people believe in rather than what religion does for them. ( Log Out / There are three main approaches to defining religion, in sociology: Substantive Functional Social constructionist Max Weber (1905) used a substantive definition of religion, seeing it as a belief in a supernatural power that is unable to be scientifically explained. He argues that religion cannot be defined as a worship of the creator God who sustains the world, because this definition only covers theistic faiths that believe in personal God but what about those (non-theistic) religions. ( Log Out / No good purpose would be served by adding further examples of stipulative substantive definitions, since the quoted examples are representative of the common ways in which religion is defined for … These are Animism, which the belief that spirit lies in trees, rivers ancestors etc, polytheism is the belief in a plurality of Gods i.e. One of the earliest Substantive definitons was given by Tylor. Substantive definitions adapt a widespread view of religious belief in a God. Otto interacted with a lot of people around the world because he was really interested to see how religious experience changes people. Seeks to identify what it is that makes certain responses to death and suffering religious and others not. Another modern philosopher provides similar definition to religion is known as Rudolf Otto. In order for Tylor to define religion his work caused him to make a distinction between 3 varieties of religious traditions. Tylor was an Anthropoligist which was actually a driving force behind his defintion as he knew he had to meet the needs of all different types of people and their belief systems. For Otto their had to be something more than just a feeling. It also makes clear reference to supernatural entities (God) or transcendent being. This led him to give the definition of religion as ‘belief in supernatural beings’. Religion as a word is clearly part of Wittgenstein’s language games as it means something different to the individual. Substantive definition of religion outlines religion in terms of its content referring to subject matter such as belief in God or in spirits. He is effectively saying this is the only way to experience a faith which I believe to be an incredibly narrow minded view on religious belief. An example of this would be something that keeps the community together. One of the earliest Substantive definitons was given by Tylor. According to this religion is about subject matter. Whether this change is good or bad is still to be questioned. Accepting a substantive definition of religion means looking at religion as simply a type of philosophy, a system of bizarre beliefs, or perhaps just a primitive understanding of nature and reality. Nevertheless both substantive and functionalist definition about religion can be board, as long as you can relate anything considering religion. Basing the definition of religion being required by modern society I would have to say that the functionalist definitions are the closest to the modern definition of religion. Oxford: Blackwell, 1970, p. Yinger (1961) believes religion is a belief system that provides an individual with a set of beliefs and practices which help individuals deal with the ultimate problems of human life. ( Log Out / Peter Berger made an understandable distinction between ‘substantive’ and ‘functionalist’ definitions of religion.
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