Sociology Of Religion By Thinkers

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 Sociology Of Religion By Thinkers

Max Weber is the most prominent thinker who established an independent branch like ‘Sociology of Religion’ in sociology by doing a very subtle scientific study of religion. Weber had started studying Calvinism of Protestant religion in his student life. On the basis of his practical experiences, Weber became convinced that religion is not only related to the system of worship and beliefs, but the essence of religion is its policies or ethics, which affect the economic and social behavior of the followers of a particular religion. Does On the basis of this hypothesis, Weber presented his views by studying various religions of the world and mainly Protestant and Catholicism, which were published in his world book ‘Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’. . This book became a guide for social scientists studying religion. Under this, the method used for the study of religion was a new understanding of Weber, due to which Max Weber is also called the ‘father of sociology of religion’. In the background of Weber’s thoughts, it is also necessary to understand the conditions that inspired Weber to adopt a new approach to religion. First of all, Baden (Baden), a student of Weber, had concluded after his study that compared to the students who believed in Catholic religion, the students who believed in Protestant religion were more trying to get admission in industrial education institutions. Secondly, Weber also observed that in times of economic and political crisis in many countries of Europe, the people who believed in Protestant religion strengthened their economic condition through hard work while the followers of Catholicism could not do so. Thirdly, in the countries of Europe where the influence of Protestant religion is more, the development of capitalism was more in comparison to those countries where the number of people who believed in Catholic religion was more. All these conditions inspired Weber to study all the major religions of the world to understand the effect of religious practices on the behavior of a person. After extensive study of various religions, Weber came to the conclusion that ordinary people are influenced by religion only because of their worldly aspirations. They are not influenced by religion because they have some special attachment to big religious ideas. Along with finding out the influence of religious ethos in different societies, Weber specifically tried to know whether there is any co-relation between the ethos of Protestant religion and the development of capitalism. This study of Weber is the main basis of his ‘Sociology of Religion’. From this point of view, it is necessary to understand the main features of capitalism as described by Weber and the interrelationship of economic system and religious factors by understanding the ethics of Protestant religion.


essence of capitalism

(Spirit of Capitalism)


  In most part of his book ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’, Weber has thrown light on the problem of how the policies of Protestant religion or puritanical ideas have affected capitalism? To explain this, Weber told that capitalism is a major feature of modern societies. It is true that capitalist economy has existed in many historical stages but the nature of modern capitalism is different from the old capitalist system. Weber was first aware of the nature of modern capitalism from his family. He got to see a unique combination of ethics related to individualism and economic practices in his family. Weber’s uncle Carl David was a respected entrepreneur.

  There were qualities of hard work, lack of show off, kindness and rationality in his behavior and living. These were the qualities which were present in all the big industrialists under modern capitalism. As a result, Weber began to believe that modern capitalism is a special type of morality, which includes many ideas. According to Weber, it is a special quality of the man of the modern industrial world that for him hard work is a duty and he believes in accepting its fruits in this life. The basis of personal satisfaction of a man in capitalism is that he should do his business with hard work – not with the feeling that he has to do that work under compulsion but with the feeling that he himself wants to do it. Weber has written that “A person is expected to feel the duties related to his livelihood and he also does it, no matter what field the activity is related to.”


  There is a saying in America that if something is worth doing, it should be done in the best possible way. According to Weber, this adage is the essence of capitalism because this concept is not related to any supernatural purpose but to the success achieved by the individual in economic life. To clarify the essence of capitalism, Weber compared it with another economic activity, which he named ‘conservatism’.

Paramparabad is a special situation in economic activities in which people want to do minimum work even after getting more returns. They like maximum comfort during work and do not want to use new methods of work. In the condition of traditionalism, people get satisfied with simple income for living and make such efforts from which sudden benefits can be obtained. Their relations with customers and employees are personal.


  Accumulating wealth in an unprincipled manner is also an aspect of economic conservatism. 24 All these features are diametrically opposed to the essence of capitalism. Weber’s view was that the economic activities of Southern Europe, the privileged groups of Asia, Chinese officials, the aristocrats of Rome, and the landowners east of the Elbe River were conducted in order to obtain sudden profits, in which they abandoned all moral considerations. Was . There was also a lack of logical efforts in their activities, due to which those activities cannot be equated with modern capitalism. Defining capitalism on this basis, Weber wrote that “modern capitalism is a set of interrelated institutions based on rational economic effort, not the effort of speculators.” 25 This means that the legal form of business corporations, Organized exchange system, production of goods on rational basis, organized system of sale, credit system, mutual dependence based on private property and division of labor are the main features of modern capitalism. According to Weber, these characteristics related to the essence of capitalism have been the properties of Western societies only. In many other societies too, there have been people who ran their business very rationally, who worked harder than servants, who lived a life far from pomp and who used their savings to expand business. Even after this, the influence of these capitalist characteristics continued to be found in western societies to a greater extent than in other societies. The reason for this was that in the West these qualities did not remain personal qualities but developed into a general way of living. In this way hard work, business rationalism, public credit system, continuous appropriation of capital and voluntary acceptance for labor is the essence of capitalism. On the contrary, trying to get sudden economic benefits, considering hard work as a burden and a curse, run away from it. Accumulating wealth in an unprincipled way and being satisfied with normal income for living are traditional economic trends. Weber has also highlighted the characteristics that are found in societies influenced by the modern animist system. In brief, these characteristics can be understood as follows:


  (1) Scientific mode of business management – The main feature of modern capitalist system is that it gives more importance to scientific method in business or business. Under this, new methods of business start developing in the society. Not only systematic methods are used to keep track of income and expenditure, but efforts are made to make maximum use of resources by estimating the demand for goods in the future on a logical basis.


(2) Use of Scientific Techniques in the System of Production – Weber is of the opinion that people doing business in capitalist societies always use such techniques by which they can achieve maximum success. Be able to Their objective is to consider and use such methods by which the raw material, labor and management used in the production of goods can be used more and more. In these societies, the traditional feudal ideas of the people start changing. New opportunities of employment increase in the society. Provision is made to give wages and salaries to the workers in such methods so that their work efficiency can increase. The working conditions of the workers are improved in such a way that they can contribute more and more in the process of production considering themselves safe.


  (3) Scientific Laws – In capitalist economy, the rules of the society also start changing in such a way that all the classes engaged in the process of production can get trust of each other. As a result, such laws are made by the state which can protect the interests of entrepreneurs and workers on the one hand and create a favorable environment for industrial development on the other. These laws and rules are not based on any tradition but according to the present and future needs.


(4) Free Labor and Free Trade Max Weber told that in capitalist societies every person has the freedom to choose his occupation. Weber explained that India is an example of a traditional society in which, on the basis of the caste system, each individual is bound to follow the occupation prescribed for his own caste. As a result, occupational mobility in India has reduced a lot. On the other hand, occupational mobility is more in societies with capitalistic love system because there the person is not restrained by any custom or tradition in the choice of his labor or occupation. In this situation the person is aware of his need and importance.

Twa provides an opportunity to establish balance in desire.


  (5) Organized Markets for Trade and Sale of Goods – Weber pointed out that organized markets are created for trade and sale of goods in modern capitalist societies. These markets range from local level to international level. These markets have their own special rules for economic activities. In these, loan transactions are conducted on a systematic basis and large organizations keep control over loan related activities. Weber states that the development of such markets is mainly the result of the industrial revolution in Europe. Thus Weber made it clear that the essence of capitalism is a special kind of business ethics in which the individual is not evaluated on the basis of ascribed status but on the basis of his rationality and efficiency.





Protestant ethics

(Protestant Ethic)



  After clarifying the essence of capitalism, Waver presented many reasons on the basis of which the origin of capitalism can be traced in the context of religious ethics. Before Weber, Petty, Montesquieu, Buckle and Keats had made it clear through their studies that there is a co-relation between the Protestant religion and the growth of mercantilism. Influenced by these, Weber presented the idea that different religions and their related principles (bachar) should be considered from the point of view of what kind of teachings they give to those who believe in the Father and what kind of teachings they give through the discussion of the relationship between man and God. encourage such behaviour. Weber wanted to explain how the ethics of Protestantism became a source of inspiration for those who were in favor of the rational pursuit of economic gain.


Keeping this in mind, Weber on the one hand obtained accurate information about the affairs of the Protestant religion from several priests and on the other hand clarified the effect of these ethos on the daily conduct of the people as compared to Catholicism. In the form of Protestantism, St. Paul told that “The policy of Protestantism is that the person who does not work is not entitled to food, in order to increase the glory of God, along with the poor, the rich people must engage in some business or the other.” And the greatest religious allegiance of a person is to lead a more and more active life.” Richard Baxter, highlighting the Protestant Ethic, said that “It is only for the sake of religion that God protects us and our actions.” Labor is the moral and natural end of power. It is only through labor that God’s honor can be increased by doing the highest service to him.” John Bunyan, another Christian saint, explained the ethos of Protestantism in these words: After death you will not be asked what you believed; you will only be asked whether you worked hard or spent time talking.” Based on a detailed manual solidified. According to this, wasting time in vain is a deadly sin. Life is fleeting and valuable, so one should spend every moment in a useful business to increase the glory of God. Being engaged is a sin because due to these one cannot actively fulfill the work of earning one’s livelihood according to the will of God. From this point of view, the policies of Protestantism are against the ideal of personal conduct that “the rich should do no work or that the religious focus is more valuable than the worldly obligations of the individual.”














Correlation between Protestantism and the development of capitalism

(Correlation of Protestant Ethic and Rise of Capitalism)


  , Weber found many similarities between the main features of capitalism and the study of Protestant ethics. In other words, it can be said that through his exhaustive study, Weber discovered many elements of Protestantism which could be directly related to the development of capitalism. Only by understanding these ethos of Protestant religion as explained by Weber, their relation with the development of capitalism can be known.


Establishment of Rational Values from Traditional Values – Weber’s view that conservatism found in other religions developed because the individual engaged in various rituals and methods of worship to know the secret of are . In contrast, Protestant ethics encouraged a reason that accepts God but does not waste its time delving into its mysteries. Weber is of the opinion that in some countries of Europe scientific inventions and rational thinking which promoted capitalism increased because the ethos of Protestant religion itself was encouraging rational thinking. On the contrary, in the spiritual thought of India, the realization of God through Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga and Tapasya

Tried to find the secrets. Buddhism accepted knowing the mystery of God as the way to salvation. This is the reason why Protestantism developed as a more rational and rational religion than other religions, which is a favorable condition for the development of capitalism.


  (2) Creative Attitude towards Work – According to Protestant ethics, work is worship in itself. ’ Weber clarified that because of considering hard work as a religious ethos, the followers of Protestant religion increased their tendency to work more and more, which explains its co-relation with capitalism. In Protestant religion, where work and diligence are considered important qualities of a person, the attitudes found towards work in some other religions are different from this. For example, in Roman Catholicism, work is considered a punishment that God gave to Adam and Eve. According to the beliefs of Catholicism, when Adam plucked the fruit from the tree of paradise at the behest of Eve, God sent him to earth as a punishment. God cursed them that Eve and her daughters would suffer while giving birth to children and their children would have to work hard to earn a living. It is on the basis of this belief that the followers of Catholicism see any work and sacrifice as a punishment given by God. The ethos of the Catholic religion allows only men to work while women are supposed to do household chores. In contrast, the Protestant Ethic accepts the work done by women as a special quality of them. In this way, Weber accepted the ethics of Protestant religion towards work and labor as a supporting basis of capitalism.


  (3) The Concept of Salvation – – The concept of salvation in Protestant religion is based on the beliefs of Calvinism. This concept is called the ‘Theory of Predestination’. According to Calvin’s opinion, the God who gave birth to man, the same God has already decided whether he will go to heaven or hell. Worship-recitation or any other effort by a person cannot change this determination of God. According to Calvin’s opinion, only on the basis of the success of a person’s work, it can be estimated that which person will go to heaven. In this way, the followers of Protestant religion believe that the more successfully a person completes his work, the more certain he is to go to heaven. On the basis of this belief, the followers of Protestant religion try more and more to be successful in their work and business. Weber pointed out that in many other religions, professional success is not seen as a basis for attaining heaven or salvation. In Hindu religion, a person has been allowed to do business work only during the period of Grihastha Ashram. In this way, while comparing the ethics of Protestant religion with other religions, Weber pointed out that the ethics of Protestant religion are closely related to the development of capitalism.


(4) New Attitudes towards Collection of Interest on Loans (New Attitudes towards Collection of Interest on Loans) – – Where Catholicism considers it a crime to take interest on loan, the ethics of Protestant religion allow earning money from money. . In 1545, when Calvin Church gave the slogan that money should be earned from money, since then the interest taken on loan by Protestant religion was considered appropriate. Only because of this idea, capitalism started to develop in the societies that believed in Protestant religion, while the followers of Catholicism stayed away from the transactions of loan and interest because of their morality. According to Weber, interest on loan is considered unfair in many other religions as well. For example, it is written in the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam, that taking interest is a crime. There is also a provision in the Quran to punish the person who takes usury. Weber is of the opinion that in societies where there is no tendency to earn money from money, the practice of giving and taking loans freely does not increase in those societies. As a result of this, there is not much establishment of businesses and industries in such societies. Protestantism presented a more liberal approach to debt and interest, as a result of which the importance of capital increased in the societies affected by it.


  (5) Strictures on Alcoholism – The ethics of Protestant religion forbids its followers to consume intoxicants. Weber has accepted this ban on drugs as an important reason for the development of capitalism. This is because only people who do not drink alcohol can work more efficiently in the midst of large machines. Weber pointed out that there is no such prohibition against drunkenness in Catholicism, as a result of which


Its followers do not find much enthusiasm towards work. On the other hand, the followers of Protestantism not only reduced their laziness but also increased their efficiency and enthusiasm towards work by running a widespread movement of prohibition. In this way, this ethos of Protestant religion also proved helpful in the development of capitalism.


  (6) Literacy

Encouragement to Literacy and Learning – – One of the main ethics of Protestant religion is that each of its followers should not depend on any priest or pastor to read the Bible, but should read this holy book himself. Weber says that due to this ethos, the trend of reading and learning increased among the followers of Protestant religion and as a result, the rate of literacy and education could increase among the followers of Protestant religion. Along with Weber, many other sociologists have also made it clear that the increase in the rate of education has a direct relation with social development. The reality is that the rational relations on which the capitalist economy is based cannot be developed without education. From this point of view, the ethics of Protestant religion again seem helpful in capitalism.


  (7) Rejection of Holidays – Weber pointed out that the Protestant religion’s ethos towards work is not in favor of more holidays. As a result, the followers of this religion like to do more and more work to give respect to God. They do not believe in taking more holidays due to rituals and festivals. Along with this, the number of rituals and festivals in this religion is also not much due to which its followers have to take a break from their work. Discussing Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism in this regard, Weber said that due to the high number of rituals in these religions, socially people are also allowed to take more holidays. On the other hand, people who believe in Protestant religion become successful in earning more money because of taking less holidays. This condition also helps in the development of capitalism.


  (8) Protestant Asceticism – The concept of asceticism is found in some form or the other in all religions of the world, but the nature of asceticism in Protestant religion is completely different from the form of asceticism in other religions. In various religions of the world, the relationship of asceticism, where detachment from worldly responsibilities or giving up an active life, whereas Protestant religion gives importance to such an asceticism in which a person earns money but takes the asceticism from its accumulation. This means that instead of accumulating wealth, Protestant asceticism emphasizes on using it more and more. This religion considers life to be mortal and full of mistakes. That’s why the Protestant Ethic is that as long as there is life, wealth should be earned by working more and more and wealth should be consumed to get more and more pleasure. This means that Protestant asceticism made a special contribution in increasing the production of things related to the convenience of individuals. Weber states that this ethos of Protestantism is to a large extent equivalent to the essence of capitalism.













consider cause and effect

  (Consideration of Cause and Effect)


After clarifying the above similarities found between the characteristics of capitalism and the ethics of Protestantism, Weber considered the question that which is the cause and which is the result? Weber tried to clarify that due to the influence of religious ethics, economic life became rational in some societies, while in some societies the place of rationality in economic life remained very minor. In this regard, it can also be said that the characteristics of capitalism itself can also be the reason for the development of Protestant ethics, but such a conclusion is not correct because in societies where Protestant ethics or similar ethics did not develop, there capitalist system Even after the economic development started on the basis of it, it stopped after some time. This clearly means that the ethics of religion are the cause while the development of capitalism is its result. Weber made it clear that the extent to which the ethos of Protestantism had an impact on the development of capitalism cannot be ascertained but it can be recognized as a reason as long as there is no reason for the development of capitalism. Do not find another strong base. 30 To clarify the relation between Protestant ethics and the development of capitalism, Weber told that all the religions of the world have developed in the context of certain ideas. The truth is that the role of the priests and religious leaders there is very important in influencing the attitudes and behavior of the common people. The priestly class influences the lives of common people only on the basis of the ethics of their religion. To prove his statement, Weber took the example of all the major religions of the world and showed how the ethics of these religions have affected the economic system there. For example, Hinduism and Buddhism promoted the concept of transcendental salvation and renunciation of the world, which is clearly visible in the form of a simple economy based on agriculture. The early school also could not develop the motivations necessary for the development of capitalism due to its emphasis on supernatural ethics. Similarly, after the expulsion of the Jews from Babylon, Judaism also remained the religion of the lower classes. 31 As a result, it laid more emphasis on traditionalism, rather than on business obligations. On this basis, Weber explained that

In general, ordinary people are influenced by religion only to fulfill their worldly needs and aspirations. They are not influenced by religion because they have any attachment to any major religious principles. The contribution of religious ethics in the development of capitalism can also be understood with the help of the differences between the ethics of Protestantism and Catholicism and their various influences. The ethics of Catholicism consider a life of labor as a punishment given by God. This conduct does not recognize the accumulation of wealth and worldly prosperity. In these, more emphasis has been given on the otherworldly life than on the worldly life. Also Catholicism believes in a cycle of life in which there is a law of sinning, atoning for it, getting rid of it and committing new sins again. 32 All these dharma are those which are not compatible with the characteristics of capitalism. This is the reason why capitalism could not develop much in countries like Italy, Spain and Babylon, where Catholicism is more influential. On the contrary, in those countries of England, America and Europe, where the influence of Protestant religion is more, there the development of capitalism also took place the most. From this, it is clear that the ethics of Protestant religion are the reason – which contributed to the development of capitalism by “influencing the attitudes of its followers in a special way”. It is concluded that “in searching for the causes of the events of history, it is not my object to substitute purely religious factors for economic ones. It is also possible that economic factors influence religious practices. But before considering any one of these as ’cause’ and the other as ‘result’, it is necessary to study different societies on historical and comparative basis. If considered from this point of view, then definitely religious ethics can be considered as the reason for the development of capitalism.


Criticism (Critical Appraisal) – Weber’s main interest in the discussion of the sociology of religion was to clarify how the ethos of different religions of the world had an impact on the economic activities. For this, Weber not only explained the co-relation of religious ethics and economic practices, but also made an effort to clarify the influence of religious ideas on social stratification. He pointed out how Protestant preachers, Confucian scholars, Hindu Brahmins and Yiddish Levites and Prophets each had a distinct lifestyle and how they shaped social stratification and economic activities through their religious practices. Tried to Through this entire discussion, Weber disagreed with Marx and accepted the difference in religious ethics as the reason for the difference in economic systems found in different societies. Even after this, many scholars have disagreed with Weber’s interpretation of religion. Sorokin has written that the way in which Weber has discussed religion to explain the influence of religious ethics on the development of capitalism, it seems that his analysis is not related to the sociology of religion, but is more related to the analysis of culture. . Some other critics believe that Weber’s interpretation makes it appear that the origins of capitalism are due to the ethos of the Protestant religion. * Although Weber has denied this criticism by saying that his aim is not to explain the origin of capitalism but to punish a major reason for the development of capitalism, but it is very difficult to separate these two conditions from each other. . Referring to some critics, Professor Bendix has said that in the interpretation of the sociology of religion, Weber has given prejudiced ideas at many places. It seems that while studying the ethics of different religions, Weber wanted to highlight only those ethics which could prove his hypothesis. At the same time, Weber has discussed religious ethics from the past to present reform movements but did not explain the economic achievements of the past in India, China and Israel, which according to Weber’s concept are based on a developed rationality. were based. It is also true that the development of capitalism in the West was not only the result of Protestant ethics, but it has also been related to the cultural heritage of the West. Some scholars believe that in Weber’s interpretation more importance has been given to semantics than scientificity. Even after all these criticisms, it can be said that the way in which Weber clarified the influence of the ethics of different religions to clarify the nature of economic relations through a developed methodology and deep insight, he definitely made a difference in the sociology of religion. This is an important contribution of Weber. Weber’s entire discussion was based on the use of historical and comparative methods, as a result of which it is not possible to criticize his ideas easily.





three level rule

  (The Law of Three Stages)



  This rule propounded by Comte is related to clarifying the nature of social evolution. The Great Law explains Comte’s belief in which he says that the development of society is based on certain laws.

But it happens only. Comte’s intellectual genius is proved by the fact that he formulated this law at a very young age.


  Discussing the law of three levels, Comte told that there are three levels of thinking of a person, i.e. in different societies or different periods, the person passing through different nasak stages and moving forward on the path of thinking and development, told that in each society Most of the people’s brain thinks almost in no way, that’s why the thinking of the society in a certain period of time. Can be kept under any one condition. Na Kost, discussing the Law of San levels, has written that each branch of our being passes through three different theological stages which we may call the spiritual stage, the ab-material stage and the positivist stage. Cost accepts that a person thinks about the great principles of the world based on imagination and scientific (positivist) methods throughout his life. When these different levels of thinking done by individuals turn into the thinking of the whole group, then a special stage of thinking of the whole society is determined. Simplifying the ideas expressed by Kast, Abraham and Morgan wrote that, “A person in his childhood is superstitious about supernatural power and is generally afraid of it. In adolescence, the same person is free from superstitions and becomes aware of the world.” Starts thinking on the basis of principles or accepts social values and moral norms. Reaching old age, the same person becomes practical and starts thinking on positivism or scientific ground.” 18 / These views expressed by Abraham and Morgan If we try to understand with the example of a person’s life, then we will see that in childhood people are interested in those things in which there is predominance of ghosts, pagans or imaginary divine beliefs. In youth, the center of interests of a person has started changing. And they start thinking in terms of love, struggle, economic or political principles, although even after thinking in these practical contexts, the younger generation thinks only on emotional basis, that is why Comte considers this middle stage as metaphysical or semi-metaphysical thinking level. accept as. By reaching old age, the person completely abandons fantasy and sentimentality. Practical thinking starts on the basis of social realities. He takes decisions after considering the consequences of each event or action. This can be called the positivist level of im thinking. Even if the development of thinking is seen in the context of the whole society, this sequence can be seen almost in the form of these stages. From this point of view, it is necessary to try to understand the nature of the three levels of thought propounded by Comte.


(A) Theological Stage

(B) Metaphysical Stage

(C) Positivist stage (Positive Stage)



(A) Theological Stage


In this primary stage, a person searches for causal relationships of natural or social events on the divine basis. “Propounded by Comte, this idea can be explained in the words that when a person or a society lives in this first stage of thinking, then it searches for the causes of every event that happens in the society on the basis of divine or religious beliefs. For example, we can say that if a person becomes a victim of an accident and instead of understanding the real reason for this accident, he starts considering it to be divine, anger, fate or some inauspicious omen, then this level of his thinking It will be called theistic or religious level of thinking. It is clear that this level of thinking is imaginary. Even in modern societies, many people can be at this level of thinking. For example, if during the days of examination, the students appear in the examination after reading only a few questions. When the result is out and they fail, some or all of them may think that it was God’s will that they could not pass the exam. starts connecting with God or supernatural power then he becomes divine Or lives at the level of the religious stage. Auguste Comte has classified this level of thinking into three different sub-levels, which are as follows:


1 Living Fetishism – Comte’s view is that in this primary state of thinking the individual accepts life in every root or animate object. He believes that certain supernatural forces and the soul present in things influence his behavior and results. For example, if a person gets swept away in a flood and escapes by holding on to the branch of a tree, then in such a situation, if that person starts accepting that the living soul of that tree protected him, then in such a situation we It can be said that the person is thinking in the spiritualistic state of the divine level. Comte says that this level of thinking represents the primitive level of development. Apart from the related ideas, there are some things related to which many gods not only

seems to believe that the magic of various


2 . Polytheism Comte’s statement is that in the second stage from the divine level, the religious thinking of a person starts focusing on some such supernatural beliefs apart from the life of objects and the soul and is related to many gods and goddesses. In this state of contemplation, a person starts believing in some kind of magical powers, but he also knows that all his actions in different fields are the result of the happiness or displeasure of one or the other deity. For example, Lakshmi’s anger is the reason for poverty, Indra is the reason for excessive rain or lack of rain, but wind is the reason for storm etc. beliefs are done at this level of thinking.


  1. Monotheism In this final stage of geometrical or divine thinking, Comte accepts that after a short time of accepting various gods and goddesses as the cause behind different types of patterns, the individual has this One begins to believe that all his actions are not governed by different Gods and Goddesses but only by the will of one central power or omnipotent God. In this way, when a person accepts only the power of one God as the cause of all natural and social phenomena, then he is under the state of mind of monotheism. According to Comte, in the Theological Stage, these three stages (Antheism, Polytheism and Monotheism) come one after the other. ,


  (B) Metaphysical Stage


   This second stage is a transitional stage. According to Comte, this stage of thinking started in Europe after 1300 AD and this stage did not last long. In the elemental state, the belief of abstract powers is also included in the person’s thinking along with the theory. It means that in this semi-tattva state of thinking, the person searches for the working cause of the phenomenon on the physical or real plane, but some influence of belief in supernatural powers also remains in the decisions considered by him. For example, if a person meets with an accident due to high speed driving a scooter, thinks that the cause of the accident was driving the scooter too fast or the brakes were weak, it means that he is thinking on the elemental or material plane. But in the end, if he also starts thinking that he used to ride a scooter every day, but today God had this vision, then in such a situation that level of thinking will be considered as semi-tattva. We can say on the basis of the ideas related to the metaphysical state expressed by Comte. The person or most of the members of the society consider the worldly principles as well as the adhina plane, then they express through the personality that when together they keep in adhi-natural state. Comte is of the opinion that in this stage the person’s rational capacity starts to develop and the person starts seeing some abstract forces or principles as the cause of the events except the theistic thinking. That is why Comte wrote that the metaphysical stage is the stage after the theological stage and before the positivist stage.


  (C) Positivist stage (Positive Stage)


  This third level of thinking presented by Comte is known as the positivist or scientific level. According to Comte, “The rise of the nineteenth century is the beginning of the positivist stage in which scientific observation has conquered imaginative thinking.” So does on divine basis nor does he take decision on emotional ground, but in this state the person analyzes events on the basis of observation and test. Commenting on the positivist stage, Comte himself has written that, “In this last stage of thinking, the person’s brain abandons the effort to know the cause-effect relationships of abstract concepts and events related to the origin of the world, etc. And gets involved in the search for the relations of symmetry. In this stage, importance is given to observation and testing. At the level of positivist thinking, the person reaches the conclusion that man is able to obtain facts through observation and classify them. And only by thinking on a logical basis through testing, one can understand the work-cause relationships of various events. Thus, Comte has clarified three different stages of progress of society on the basis of three levels of thinking of human-mind. Comte this Accepting the fact that every society in the world passes through these three stages of thinking, they also believe that all three levels of thinking can be found among individuals in a society at any given time.  . This means that Kost also accepted that every stage of any social thought cannot be found in its complete or comprehensive form. Based on the analysis of these ideas propounded by Bharat Comte, Raymond Aoad Aron) wrote his book ‘ Main Currents in Sociological Thought (Main Currents in Sociological Thought) developed in three levels of thought –

Tried to show different formats as well. The analysis presented by him is as follows: Stages of Thinking Intelligence Functionality Affectivity Divine Thinking Level Living Authoritarianism Military Power Egoistic Tendency Polytheism Monotheism Elemental Thinking Level Abstraction Positivist Thinking Level Positivism Industrial Society Altruistic Tendency –


  It is clear from these ideas expressed by Raymond Ayrton that Comte presented a historical outline of social change on the basis of three levels of thinking. On the basis of the above chart, we can say that the different levels of thinking that Comte clarified affect the person on the intellectual, functional and emotional plane. According to Comte, when the level of thinking in society is theistic, then the person is influenced by super-natural beliefs on the intellectual plane. In this stage, military power is found in the society and there is an increased tendency of egoism among the individuals. By reaching the last stage, scientific thinking is generated in the society and the form of societies starts changing from military power or monarchy to industrial societies. In the positivist state, the feeling of a person becomes altruistic. In this way, Comte has not mentioned the levels of thinking only on the intellectual plane, but through this principle, he has also discussed the nature of society and the nature of social relations found between individuals.





Three levels of thinking and social organization

(Three Stages of Thinking and Social Organization)



The rule of three levels of thinking presented by Comte does not only affect the intellectual level, but Comte also tried to show on the basis of the study of social history that, as the states of society’s thinking changed, so did The form of organization of the society also changed. To be in the form of social organization based on the rule of states of thinking. The change which is discussed by Comte, he calls it as progressive change. accept . The evolutionary change in the form of social organizations, Cost has done on the basis of the forms of the states, which can be understood in the context of different levels of thinking as follows


  1. Theological Stage and Divine Law


August Comte told that when a person thinks on divine or religious basis in the society, then the form of political power in the social structure remains in the form of autocratic monarchy. In this state the person (member of the society) thinks that every living being has been created by God and it is his fate to live in the status or class in which he was born. One thinks that the king is blessed by God and is the representative of God. That is why the people consider themselves as the sons of God and also believe that the order of the king is the order of God (Divine Law). Comte’s statement is that when the public obeys the king’s order as a divine order, then autocratic monarchy is born in the society. In such societies, people stay away from politics and only follow the orders of the king, they consider it their moral responsibility. Modern thinkers of sociology T. Parsons and A. Shills (Talcott Parsons and Edward Shills) have called this motivation as ‘cognitive’ or ‘inquisitive motivation’ in which the person acts only on the basis of belief. Amond and Powell have called such politics based on faith as parachial political culture.


(B) Metaphysical Stage and Priesthood


  Comte has accepted such a situation as a metaphysical level, when a person thinks simultaneously on physical and divine (on both grounds) grounds to know the cause and effect of events. Establishing a relation between this level of thinking and political organization, Comte told that when the society remains in the level of metaphysical thinking, then the priesthood is established at the level of power in the society. In the state of priesthood, the person (member of the society) believes in abstract or theoretical ideas. The person starts thinking this. The king is not the representative of God, but the priest or the rope is the representative of God. When the theory starts to accept the vacant priest as the representative of God, then only then the ideas also start to arise that the work of the state is conducted by God himself through Hat and the power of the king is also under the priest. Comte This state of priesthood was described in political history as the state of the Church State because the Church State was established only after the establishment of the city state in Western Europe. It can also be said on the basis of historical evidence of Indian society that after the primitive states, some such states were established in BC, in which priests dominated. For example, the period of Chanakya and Chandragupta can be placed under priesthood. In the state of Priesthood or Papacy, people used to invalidate the autocratic monarchy.

It begins to believe that the operation of social and political organization should be based on the advice of the priest. Edward Shills and Talcott Parsons have named this approach as Affective Orientation. Emond and Powell have called the political culture built on the basis of belief motivation as ‘Subjective Political Culture’.


  (C) Positive Stage and Democracy


On the basis of the law of three levels of thinking, August Comte told that when a person in the society observes and examines the actions of the state on the positivist ground, then the form of the political system of the society becomes Praja Tantric. Comte accepts democracy as a better or better political organization. Addressing this level of motivation as ‘Evaluative Orientation’, Edward Shills and Talcott Parsons explained that the organization of society in this level is built on the basis of merits and demerits of different systems. Emond and Powell have mentioned the effect of this appraised motivation on the political system. According to him, when individuals in a society take decisions related to the political system by being influenced by the evaluative motivation, then Participatory Political Culture emerges in the society. August Comte told that in the state of positivist thinking, industrialization of the society starts at a rapid pace, along with which democratic values are established in the society. The above ideas presented by Comte explain the mutual relations between society and the state. On the basis of these ideas, we can say that Comte also indicated the interrelationship of politics and sociology through the rule of three levels.





For sociology, one of the major contributions of Dursim is to explain the social nature of a controversial subject like religion by systematic discussion. Durkheim not only clarified the origin of religion in the social context but also gave a new direction to the analysis of religion by describing in detail the social functions of religion. Duham’s views related to the origin of religion and its functions are presented in his last book ‘The Elementary Forms of Religious Life’. Raymond Aron has written about this book, “This book of Durkheim is very important from the point of view that on the one hand, original thinking done on a strong scientific basis is seen in it, and on the other hand, this book is a clear description of Durkheim’s social motivations.” There is proof.” 29 The ideas given by Dukhim in this book can be clarified by dividing them into two main parts. The first part is related to the social theory of the origin of religion while the second part can be considered related to the functions of religion. Before Durkheim, many thinkers like E. B. Taylor, Max Muller and Frazer etc. had explained the origin of religion on different grounds. Tyler (E. B. Taylor) made it clear that the real basis of the origin of religion in every society of the world is animism. This means that the activities and beliefs which were developed to please the soul, religion originated from them only. Max Müller (Max Muller) was a prominent German linguist who, after a detailed study of many religious texts, concluded that religion originated in society as a result of the unlimited power of nature. Maxmüller gave it the name of naturalism and concluded that the belief of a living entity (animatism) in all the root and animate objects of nature is the real basis of the origin of religion. Frazer explained that by religion I mean the satisfaction or worship of those powers superior to man in whom men believe that they control or direct nature and human life. In this way, Fazer also clarified religion as a system of beliefs related to some superhuman or supernatural powers. Durkheim refuted all such ideas and told that complex like religion is based on worship or worship of soul or natural forces. It cannot be the origin of a social fact. The reason for this is that religion is a social phenomenon and its origin is the result of social factors. While giving the definition of religion, Durshim wrote, “Religion is that combination of many beliefs and practices related to sacred things.” It is a system that binds the people related to it into a moral community. It is clear from this statement that the beliefs related to religion are the result of those ideas related to purity which are social in nature. Religion is a powerful basis because it strengthens social organization by uniting people on moral grounds. Thus Durkheim does not consider the concept of God or any supernatural power essential in religion. In this regard, referring to the principle of religion told by Buddha and Confucius, he said that there is no place for God in Buddhism and Confucianism. According to Durkheim, religion The real expression of religion is not God but society. If God was the reality of religion then there would never be any change in the form of religion.

On the contrary, Satya Rath says that “this system of thoughts which is called dharma and the place of writing is necessary for the life of the individual in every age.”

– has been converting to get energy. This means that the origin of religion and the nature of religion can be understood on social basis only. According to Diem, “Society is the God and the kingdom of heaven is nothing but a glorified society.” Durkheim related religion. Thoughts were presented after studying the Arunta tribe of Australia. At the time when Durthis studied this tribe, till that time this tribe was in its primitive form. In this situation, Durkheim studied the beliefs found in this tribe on the basis of representative sampling to find out the ancient processes. On the basis of his study, Durkheim told that the important essence of religion is that it has divided the whole world into two parts. Out of these we call one part sacred and the other as profane. According to Durkheim, all religions are related to the ‘sacred’ side only. From this point of view, it is necessary that to understand the social theory of religion presented by Dukhim, first of all the concept of ‘sacred’ and ‘ordinary’ should be understood. In the words of Durkheim, the sacred things are those which are protected by many prohibitions while the ordinary things are those which are tried to be kept away from the sacred things by many prohibitions. 36 This implies that the sacred objects represent a collective consciousness or are accepted by the whole group. All beliefs and activities related to these sacred objects organize people into a moral community. The profane, on the other hand, The nature of objects is exactly the opposite of the sacred objects. In the words of Durkheim, “Unholy objects are those whose touching is prohibited and the general feeling is that one should stay away from them even if there is no punishment.” “On the basis of Harana, some scholars believe that faith, customs and practices develop on the basis of religion, which have been clarified by Durkheim as sacred things. The statement of some other scholars. That Durkheim found in nature People’s attitude towards the things that are known is also clarified as sacred things that can lead a person from good to greater good. “‘ Duryom also clarified that the concept of sacred and ordinary things can be different in different religions. He says that the circle of sacred things is not the same for all, but its form is the same in different religions. – May be different from other. He also clarified that all religions of the world are related to sacred things but it does not mean that all sacred things are religious, although all religious beliefs and practices are sacred. Many types of beliefs, practices and activities are born to keep the sacred away from the ordinary or impure. We call the totality of these beliefs, practices and activities religion. It is clear that sacred things or purity The notion of collective consciousness is a reflection of the collective consciousness and that is why the individual begins to consider himself subordinate to it. Many such festivals and religious rituals are still seen in primitive societies, which explain the influence of collective power. Originated from the notion of purity Ho Durkheim explained on the basis of totemism how the beliefs give rise to religion. Describing totemism as the primary form of all religions, Duim made it clear that on the basis of beliefs related to totems, the sense of distinction between ‘sacred’ and ‘ordinary’ started in primitive societies. From this point of view, the difference between the holy and the ordinary can be understood only in the context of the meaning of the totem and its characteristics. What is a totem? Explaining this, Duim said that totem can be just a piece of animal, plant, shiny stone or wood like ordinary objects, which is accepted by a group as a sacred object. The power of the object which is accepted by the people as totem and the beliefs related to it remain generation after generation even though the person dies after some time. Dukhim told that some people believe so. Worship of Totem is also a symbol of worship of God, but such a view is not accepted. ” According to Duchy ” the totem is purely impersonal . It does not have any history or name and beliefs related to it are expressed in many actions. “Defining totem from this point of view, he re-wrote totem is a belief in a mystical or sacred power or a principle that prescribes punishment for the disobedience of prohibitions and involves the moral responsibility of the group. “Dursheim again made it clear that” we should not understand that totem is a religion of beliefs related to some animal or some specific images (images), but it is an unknown and impersonal power which is accepted by all who believe in it together. are.”

Tam includes many such characteristics that clarify the beliefs related to it as a religion. The characteristics of totemism are as follows:


(a) The substance or creature which a tribe or group considers as its totem, it begins to consider itself as a mysterious, sacred and supernatural relationship. In the context of Indian tribals, this feature told by Durkheim can be easily understood. The Toda tribe living in the Nilgiri Mountains of South India consider the buffalo as their totem. The Toda people believe that on the day of the Great Flood, a buffalo climbed the Nilgiri mountain begging and a Toda was hanging from its tail. In this way buffalo is the first ancestor of the Toda tribe, which these people consider as a sacred object and perform many such practices, which are considered religious practices.


  (b) It is believed that by virtue of its mystical associations the totem protects the group. Durkheim states that it is believed in the Arunta tribe that their totem protects the group as well as indicates future calamities. Similar beliefs related to totems are found in many other tribes like Arunta tribe.


  (c) The feelings of the members of a group towards the totem include fear, reverence and respect. That is why it is prohibited to kill or harm the totem. People who believe in a particular totem prefer to get its picture tattooed on their body and on some special occasions, special reverence is shown towards the objects related to the totem. In order to maintain the sanctity of the totem, many prohibitions become prevalent in the group and those people who violate these prohibitions are punished in the group.

  According to the mystical relation that a tribe has with a totem, the concept of purity is born in the society.


On the basis of these characteristics, Durvim told that a special morality develops on the basis of sacred beliefs. This morality affects the nature of collective consciousness. In this way, the totem itself represents the moral life of the group, so as a social fact, the totem itself should be considered as the original source of all religions. The nature of the totem is social, not supernatural. From this point of view also, the basis of religion is not any supernatural power but the society itself. On the basis of appropriate interpretation of totem, Dursheim made it clear that in Australia’s Arunta tribe, different groups on the basis of totem consider certain specific beliefs and activities as sacred and remain related to each other and stay away from events considered unholy. Live In this tribe, on the occasion of social festivals, when all the members of a gotra (people who believe in their origin from a totem) gather at one place, then each member finds his personal power very secondary in comparison to the collective power. . As a result, a person bows down before the collective power. A feeling of fear, reverence and devotion towards the power of the group begins to arise in his mind. It is clear from this that collective consciousness is included in the concept of purity and that is why individuals accept the system of beliefs arising out of purity as religion. Elucidating this, Durkheim wrote that “one world (society) is one in which a person’s daily life is passed in a monotonous manner but the other world is one which he cannot enter unless he is related to something extraordinary.” It should not be done by power in which it should not forget its existence. First world simple. (Profane) and the other world is sacred. In the discussion of 38 social facts, Durkheim made it clear that every general social fact does some useful work for the society. Durkheim also considered religion as a general social fact and mentioned its many functions for the individual and the society. He told that religion increases social unity by increasing collective consciousness in the society, it strengthens a moral system in the society; Encourages the process of integration, makes a special contribution to maintaining the social structure, protects the existence of the moment righteous person by preserving useful social values and increases social participation. These functions of religion also explain its social nature. Thus it is clear that on the one hand, all the functions of religion are related to binding the people of the group in moral bonds, and on the other hand, through these, the unity and strength of the group increases. In this way, religion is not a discriminating factor but a major basis for increasing social organization. This fact explains the social nature of religion.




  By clarifying religion as a social fact, Durkheim presented a more practical approach, but many scholars have severely criticized Durkheim’s views on religion. First of all, it is said that Durkheim based his views on religion on the Arunta tribe of Australia and assumed that it is a tribe that represents ancient processes. The reality is that the Arunta tribe cannot be considered a tribe representing ancient processes. the heat of

It is true that when the basis of Durkheim’s study is not based on reality, then his conclusion cannot be considered correct in any way. Goldenweiser says that Durkheim’s conclusion that totemism is the main basis of the origin of religion cannot be believed. There are many such societies in the world in which the existence of religion and totem are separate from each other. Secondly, there cannot be much confidence in the statement that it was only on the basis of the distinction between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘ordinary’ that such a complex phenomenon as religion developed. Durkheim’s conclusions appear even more implausible if the distinction between the sacred and the ordinary is made in the context of tribes. The reason for this is that the tribes in their primitive life could not give a systematic form to religion by analyzing such a complex phenomenon as ‘purity’. Thirdly, in the origin of religion, Durchim has given more importance to society or social factors than necessary. Durkheim’s statement that ‘society is the real god’ seems very exaggerated. ‘ It is very difficult to agree with the equality that Durvim has clarified between society and God to prove the authenticity of his statement. In the end, on the basis of psychological processes also, the views related to religion do not seem to be correct. To say that ‘the origin of religion is only the result of the impulses of the crowd or group’, is a wrong approach. The social functions of religion that Dukhim has mentioned, their nature is also not all-pervading and eternal.

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