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  • 1. Project 2:Religion in AmericaPresented by Group 3:Deniz Childir, Jorge Gomez, Ashley Huynh,Julie Kutner, Natasha Landes, MonicaRenteria

2. History Religion, in one form or another, hasbeen found in all human societies sincehuman societies first appeared.Archaeological digs have revealed ritualobjects, ceremonial burial sites, andother religious artifacts. Formal religion emerged in America inthe 1600s, as European colonists cameto North America seeking freedom fromreligious persecution.Sources:;, 2010 3. DefinitionA religion is an organized collection of beliefs, culturalsystems, and worldviews that relate humanity to an order ofexistence. There is an estimated 4,200 religions all around theworld.Many religions utilize narratives, symbols, and sacredhistories in order to help place meaning to life and the universe.From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, peoplecan derive morality, ethics, religious laws.Often, religions may have organized systems of clergy, adefinition of what constitutes adherence or membership, andspecified places of worship. The practice of a religion may alsoinclude ritual acts, sermons, commemoration or veneration of adeity, gods or goddesses, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance,initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation,prayer, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects ofhuman culture.Source: Fasching and deChant, 2001. 4. Functionalist PerspectiveEmile Durkheim described religionas an aid in understanding withthings that surpass the limits of ourknowledge.Further, he defined religion as, aunified system of beliefs andpractices relative to sacred things,that is to say set apart andforbidden, beliefs and practiceswhich unite into one single moralcommunitySource: Durkheim, 1915. 5. Functionalism and the Role of ReligionSource: Chris Deakin, 2013, 6. Conflict PerspectiveKarl Marx believed that religion is anopiate for the masses as well as beingin place to maintain social inequality.He believed that those who were poorwere kept sedated by religion, like a drug,and the bourgeoisie maintained theirupper levels of stratification, while thepoor accept their fate on religious terms.Source: Marx, 1964. 7. Roles in Religion The major participants in theinstitution of religion include clergy, ahigher power, and the people whopractice the religion. A conflict perspective examines therole of women in American religion.This view believes that women do notshare the same elevated position ofclergy as men do.Source: Flory, 2010. 8. Evolution Over time, the institution of religionhas been drastically changed.Many religious groups have startedoff small in the past centuries butas time progressed, numerouscommunities have now expanded. As an example, there are manytemples and religious buildingsthat exemplify this expansion. Atheists rates in America aredecreasing as more people areturning to religion.Source: CNSNews, 2013. 9. Religion inAmerica,currently:77% ofAmericansidentifythemselves asbeing Christian.More than 16%dont identifythemselves asreligiouslyconnectedindividuals.Source:,2014. 10. Religion and theGovernment Americans have the freedom of religion.We are discouraged from mixing religionand government. For example, children in public schoolsare not taught religion, as opposed tochildren in private schools, where manyare required to take religious classes. One way to improve the religiousfreedom we enjoy is to encouragereligious diversity in schools. Thisencouragement could help tolerance fordifferent religions continue to grow. 11. ConclusionFor the majority ofAmericans, religion is a centralpart of their lives. Religion isthe core of their being and thebinding of society.Durkheim viewed religionas an integrative force and aglue for societies. Regardlessof what a group of personsbelieves, religion plays anunderlying role in unification. 12. ReferencesU-S-History. History of Religion in America. Retrieved from (2010). God in America: One: A New Adam. Retrieved from, Darrell J. and deChant, Dell. (2001). Comparative Religious Ethics: A NarrativeApproach. New York: Wiley.Durkheim, Emile. (1915). The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. (Joseph Ward Swain,Trans.). New York: Macmillan.Deakin, Chris. (2013). Functionalism and the Role of Religion. Retrieved from, K. (1964). Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and SocialPhilosophy. (T.B. Bottomore, Trans). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Flory, Richard. (2010). The Long View of Womens Roles in Religion.Retrieved from, Michael W. (2013). Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% ofWorld Population by 2020. Retrieved from (2014). Americas Most Religions by State (Besides Christianity).Retrieved from