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UNIT 2. Sociology of Religion: Spirited Away?



SUB-UNIT 2.1. God and shopping


J Task 1. Make up 2 groups and compare these pictures, find and discuss the following questions:

1) What events are pictured?

2) Can you find differences / similarities concerning the events?

3) With the help of those pictures try to give the definition of the term ďreligionĒ. What criteria have you used in making your definition?

Present the results of your discussion in class.

Picture A: Picture B:


Picture C: Picture D:


Picture E: Picture F:


Ö Task 2. In 1947, 1981, 2000 a special survey was conducted in Great Britain in order to get data about the religious behaviour in the society. Respondents had to choose among the following possible answers. Try to do the same, comment on your choice:

- There is a personal God

- There is some sort of spirits or life force

- There is something there

- I donít know what to think

- I donít really think there is any sort of God or life force

Compare your point of view with that of the group-mates, do they reflect any general tendencies taking place of your country? Then get acquainted with the results of the survey conducted in Great Britain:

Table 1 Belief in God in Great Britain, 1947-2000,%
There is a personal God
There is some sort of spirit or life force
There is something there NA NA
I donít know what to think
I donít really think there is any sort of God or life force NA
Other -- --
Note: NA=not asked
Source: S.Bruce (2001) God is Dead: Secularization in the West, Blackwell, p138

Ö Task 3. What conclusions can you draw? Do you consider the religious situation in Great Britain to be more or less similar with that in Belarus? Can it be characterised by:

- a growing/shrinking (=falling) number of people belonging to a certain church?

- a rise/decline of conventional religion?

- an increasing/decreasing number of atheists (people who believe there is no God) and agnostics (people who believe that it is not possible to know whether God exists or not)?

- a rise/fall in the interest in unconventional religion (not traditional)?

Ö Task 4. Read the first part of the article and try to anticipate the topic of its whole body:

a) a countervailing (=compensating) tendency of unconventional religions;

b) the role of alternative medical therapies;

c) reasons of the decline of the organized religion;

d) the establishment of Christianity in Great Britain.

In your opinion, what problems will be tackled there? What ideas mentioned in the first part make you think so?


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 1494

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