Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber each devoted some t…

Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber each devoted some time to writing about religion and society, including questions such as the following: Review , and answer the following questions: Be sure to incorporate at least 2 outside resources, and cite your sources following APA format. Boundless. (n.d.). . Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/religion-0012a374-36c5-4342-b187-15b13aa53bad/



The Role of Religion in Society: Perspectives from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber


Religion has always played a significant role in shaping societies and individuals’ lives. Sociologists have explored the relationship between religion and society, examining the religious beliefs, practices, and institutions that shape social structures and behaviors. This essay will focus on the perspectives of three influential sociologists: Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. Each of these sociologists provides unique insights into the role of religion in society.

Durkheim on Religion

Emile Durkheim emphasized the collective nature of religion and its role in creating social solidarity. According to Durkheim, religion serves as a powerful force that binds individuals together and promotes a sense of community. In his work, “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life,” Durkheim argues that society invests its collective beliefs and values in a sacred object, which he refers to as a totem. The totem symbolizes the collective consciousness of the community and serves as a unifying force.

Marx on Religion

Karl Marx, on the other hand, viewed religion as a form of social control that perpetuates inequality and serves the interests of the ruling class. Marx famously stated, “Religion is the opium of the people,” suggesting that religion acts as a soothing agent that distracts individuals from the harsh realities of their lives. In Marx’s view, religion functions to perpetuate the status quo by maintaining a false consciousness among the working class, preventing them from recognizing their exploitation by the ruling class.


Boundless. (n.d.). Religion and society. Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/religion-0012a374-36c5-4342-b187-15b13aa53bad/

Smith, C. (2003). The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life. University of California Press.

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