Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Rev. Jan H. Rapar, Th.D., Ph.D.

I. Sociology of Religion
A. Definition
Voltaire, the eighteenth century French philosopher, said, "before I discuss anything with you, you must define your terms." Making definitions are very important for the sake of clarity. So, in order to understand and to be able to analyze the essence and the task of the Sociology of Religion, it is first necessary to define the terms that are used, before we start dealing with the material itself.

Etymologically, the word sociology is composed of two words: a Latin word socius, meaning associate or companion, and a Greek word logos meaning word, a set discourse, a thing uttered or talk; therefore it simply means talking about companionship.

The term sociology was invented by Auguste Comte, the nineteenth century French philosopher, who inherited much from Bacon, Descartes, and Hume. Comte coined this term to describe a new science which he proposed to found. "He believed that the sciences follow one another in a definite and logical order and that all inquiry goes through certain stages, arriving finally at the last, or scientific stage." Robert Bierstedt remarked, and "he thought that it was time for all inquiries into social problems and social phenomena to enter this last stage and so he recommended that the study of society become the science of society."[1] Thus, the first definition of sociology was the science of society. But like many other terms, the development of the modern science has changed the first meaning and definition of this term, and in current parlance now means the scientific study of human group life, or the scientific study of human social behavior, or the scientific study of the nature and growth of human group life or society.

Religion is a function of human life admitting of many definitions owing to the wholly personal interpretation of its experience. Many scholars have been inclined to define religion as belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power. But "a sociological definition of religion cannot rest solely upon such concepts as belief in the supernatural."[2] In accordance with Rudolf Otto, Joachim Wach said that the most workable definition still appears to be short and simple is as following: "religion is the experience of the Holy."[3] According to Thomas F. O'Dea, the definition of religion in terms of functional theory is "the manipulation of non-empirical or supraempirical means for non-empirical or supraempirical ends."[4] Thomas Ford Hoult suggest the following definition of religion:

Religion is the belief in, and the attempt to relate favorably to (a) values thought to have some transcendental importance, and/or (b) ultimate power or powers thought responsible for all, or some significant aspect of, the fundamental order of the universe.[5]

In sociology, religion is viewed in terms of human social behavior or social interaction and is studied with reference to the general concepts of sociology. So, the sociology of religion can be defined as the sociological study of the religious institution.

B. The Place of the Study
Although the sociology of religion is a study of religion but it is not a subdivision of the discipline of religion. Sociology of religion is the study of religion in terms of sociological concepts. It is a subdivision of the discipline of sociology. Divisions of sociology come about because of interest in specialized field. Established subdivisions of sociology include sociology of religion, sociology of medicine, sociology of education, sociology of law, sociology of industry, sociology of literature, sociology of art, sociology of politics, and sociology of science. Some of these subdivisions have been more highly developed than others; some have yet to achieve full recognition as subdivisions with textbooks and courses, or journals specifically devoted to them. The sociology of religion is actually one of the oldest subdivisions of the discipline of sociology.

C. The Important of the Study
The study of sociology of religion is important for a number of reasons. Through sociology of religion people are able to under­stand the origin of viewpoints and attitudes that influence their own behavior and the behavior of those around them. The study of sociology of religion will help alleviate prejudices and stereotypes and make one more flexible in adapting to novel situations. Also, the study of sociology of religion can enable one to predict and control behavior, and finally, by forecasting trends in religions group behavior, sociologists may help religious leaders plan for the future ministry.

II. Religion and the Characteristics of Human Existence

Religion is still very important in contemporary society. Religion has been one of the most powerful forces in the history of mankind. Many people have died for their religious beliefs and many nations have gone to war because of religious disputes. Psychological study of the mind of man shows that man would fain to sacrifice himself, and, if necessary, he is ready to die for his beliefs.

In Indonesia, religion continues to occupy an important position in public life. It is clearly seen in the following Indonesian Religions' data:

Muslim .................. 128,462,176 [88.2%]
Christians .............. 12,861,271 [8.84%]
- Protestant = 8,505,696
- Catholic = 4,355,575
Hindu ................... 2,988,461 [2%]
Buddhist ................ 1,391,991 [less than 1%]

Source: The 1980 Population Census.

A. The Three Fundamental Characteristics of Human Existence
There are three fundamental characteristics of human existence; contingency, powerlessness and scarcity. Concerning the three fundamental characteristics of human existence, Thomas F. O'Dea said:

Contingency, or the "uncertainty context", refers to the fact that all human ventures, no matter how carefully planned or expertly executed, are liable to disappointment. And since such ventures are often characterized by a high degree of emotional involvement, such disappointment brings with it deep human injury. Even in our advanced technological society, fortune remains a capricious and uncertain goddess and it is still true that "the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley."

Powerlessness, or the "impossibility context", refers to the fact that not everything men desire can be attained. Death, suffering, coercion--these characterize our existence. The evils we suffer from those vulnerabilities to which our flesh is heir and those which we inflist upon one another wittingly and unwittingly mar our existence and deprive us of satisfactions and happiness.
... Men must live in a society, and a society is an orderly allocation of function, facilities, and rewards. It involves both a division of labor and a division of product. It requires imperative coordination--that is, some degree of superordina­tion and subordination in the relations of men. Moreover, societies exist amid conditions of "scarcity"--the third fundamental characteristic of human existence. The require­ments of order in scarcity cause differential distribution of goods and values, and thus relative derivation.[6]

B. The Functions of Religion
O'Dea said that "since religion has continued to exist from time immemorial it obviously must have a function, or even a complex of functions."[7] The role and function of religion in connection with the three fundamental characteristics of human existence is seen "as assisting men to adjust to the three brute facts of contingency, powerlessness and scarcity (and, consequently, frustration and deprivation)."[8]

According to O'Dea, it is possible to distinguish six functions of religion:

First, religion, by its invocation of a beyond which is concerned with human destiny and welfare, and to which men may respond and relate themselves, provides "sup­port", "consolation", and "reconciliation". Men need emotional support in the face of uncertainty, consolation when confronted with disappointment, and reconciliation with society when alienated from its goals and norms. Defeat in the pursuit of aspirations, disappointment and anxiety -- religion provides important emotional aid in the face of these elements of human condition. In doing this, it supports established values and goals, reinforces morale, and helps to minimize disaffection.

Second, religion offers a transcendental relationship through cult and the ceremonies of worship, and thereby provides the emotional ground for a new "security" and firmer "identity" amid the uncertainties and impossibilities of the human condition and the flux and change of history...

Third, religion "sacralizes the norms and values" ... contributing to "social control"; legitimates the allocation patterns of the society, thereby aiding order and stability; and aids in the reconciliation of the disaffected.

Fourth, religion ... may also provide standards of value in terms of which institutionalized norms may be critically examined and found seriously wanting... We see this function of religion in its clearest form in the Hebrew prophets. Hence we call this the "prophetic" function....

Fifth, religion performs important "identity " functions .... Individuals, by their acceptance of the values involved in religion and the beliefs about human nature and destiny associated with them, develop important aspects of their own self-understanding and self-definition. Also, by their participation in religious ritual and workship they act out significant elements of their own identity. In these ways, religion affects individuals understanding of "who they are" and "what they are".

Sixth, religion is related to the growth and maturation of the individual and his passage through the various age grading distinguished by his society .... In infancy, one must learn some degree of basic trust in other human beings; later one must develop some ability to function autonomously to stand on one's own feet; and later still alone must learn to defer satisfactions and to discipline impulses in the pursuit of socially approved ends. Religion sacralizes norms and ends; it supports the disciplines of society in important respects; it offers support in uncertainty, consolation in disappointment and defeat; it contributes to the developing identity ot the individual.

So, it is clearly seen that religion gives individual with his groups psychological support. "Religion ... identifies the individual with his group, supports him in uncertainty, consoles him in disappointment, attaches him to society's goals, enhances his morale, and provides him with elements of identity.[10] Religion helps individual makes sense of a confusing world, overcoming pain, fear, and anxiety. Moreover, religion supports social norms and value and also maintains social unity and atability. Durkheim was so impressed by the ability of religion to maintain the unity of society when he said:

There can be no society which does not feel the need of upholding and reaffirming at regular intervals the collective sentiments and the collective ideas which make its unity and its personality. How this moral remaking cannot be achieved except by the mans of reunions, assemblies and meeting where the individuals, being closely united to one another, reaffirm in common their common sentiments. ... What essential difference is there between an assembly of Christians celebrating the principles dates of the life of Christ, or Jews remembering the exodus from Egypt or the promulgation of the decalogue, and the reunion of citizens commemorating ... some great event in the national life?[11]

Durkheim has observed an concluded that the idea of society is the soul of religion.[12]

Regarding the function of religion to society, O'Dea said:
It acts to reinforce the unity and atability of society by supporting social control, enhancing established values and goals, and providing the means for overcoming guilt and alienatio. It may also perform a prophetic role and prove itself an unsettling or even subersive influence in any particular society.[13]

C. The Contributions of Religion
The contributions of religion to society are actually not only positive but also negative. O'Dea said that "the contributions of religion to society may be either positive -- they may support its continued existence or they may play a part in undermining it."[14] According to J. Milton Yinger, "religion can also be a disturbing and revolutionary element."[15] Most of the negative character of religion can be found in primitive religion. But the negative character cannot compare with the positive functions of religion. It will be clearly seen in the following discussion where the influence of religious ideas and institution comes into question.

III. The Influence of Religious Ideas and Institution

The influence of religious ideas and institution in three important institutionalized aspects of human life -- the family, economic and government -- has not always been recognized. From the sociologist's point of view, religion is actually shaped by each of these institutions and in turn has its influence on them.

A. Religion and the Family Life
The influence of religion on the family life is considered first because the family is the basic social institution. It is called the basic social institution because of its important functions of procreation and socialization, and because of it is found, in some form, in all societies. Actually, "for a very long time the family and the relation between the sexes was one of the most taken-for-granted aspects of society."[16]

There are four fundamental aspects of family life: the structure of the family, selection of marriage partner, relationship between family members, sexual behavior and procreation. In general, many religions are greatly concerned with these matters.[17]

A major questions that comes up in discussions of the family is its structure. As men move from culture there are many variations in family structure. In this context, the structure of the family refers to the number of mates of both sexes involved in a marriage. The variations in family structure is found to exist in several different forms.

Polygamy is plural marriage or the marriage of a person of either sex to more than one spouse simultaneously. This structure consists of two forms: polyandry and polygyny. Polyandry is the marriage of one woman to more than one man at the same time. Polygyny is the marriage of one man to more than one woman at the same time. In some societies there are economic or social advantages in having more than one wife, and the man who is able to accomplish this will occupy a high status position. So, polygyny serves as a status symbol. Polyandry is practiced in culture where life is difficult, land is scarce, and wives represent an economic burden.

Regarding the polygyny and the polyandry in view of religious values, Hoult said,

The early Mormons and ancient Jews ... illustrate religious approval of polygyny, or the marriage of one man to two or more women. The Mohammedan Koran specifies that a man may marry as many as four wives, and most nonliterate religions -- where they express any concern about the issue -- sanction polygyny. Indeed, in terms of world-wild historical perspective it seems safe to assert the polygyny marriage has been the form most commonly approved by religion. Much less common is polyandry, or marriage between one woman and two or more man at the same time. This is the form upheld by the religion of the Todas of India, and it is still sanctioned by the folk gods of Tibetans. Female infanticide, resulting in a shortage of adult women, is praticed by both groups.[18]

Monogamy is a marriage in which one man is married to one woman at a time. Western sociologist's said that this structure is practiced in the western world. But today, monogamy is the most common type of marriage and the only legal form in modern secular societies; even in societies where polygyny is preferred, most marriage are monogamous. This is the form upheld by most forms of Christianity and by modern Judaism.

Hoult said,

Monogamy , or the marriage of one man to one woman, is of course the family structure upheld by most forms of Christianity and by modern Judaism. There are still a few dissident Mormons who believe in polygyny, but their very sparseness is symbolic of the widely accepted traditional view of Christianity that marriage should be between one man and one woman and that the union should be lifelong.[19]

Monogamy as the fundamental principle and the ideal structure of Christian marriage is based upon the teaching of the Bible: "... for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" (Matthew 19:5 RSV). The expression, the two shall become one flesh, shows that the Christian marriage is a union of one man with one woman.

In many societies selection of marriage partner is governed and controlled by rules of endogamy and exogamy. And endogamous rule dictates that the marriage partner must marry within a specified social group. Negative sanctions are applied to those who marry outside the group. And exogamous rule dictates that the marriage partner must marry outside a specified social group of which he is member. Negative sanctions are applied to those marry within the group. The endogamous and exogamous groups may be, for example, a religion, a race, or a social class.

Religious endogamy is actually the form upheld by most forms of religion.

Hoult explains,
Many religions -- Catholicism, historical and modern Orthodox Judaism, small Christian and non-Christian sects, and a number of the branches of Lutheranism and Mormonism -- give full sanction only to marriage between fellow-members of the religious group.[20]

There are two principal methods by which a marriage partner may be acquired. The first is by arrangement, where partner selection is really a prerogative of the family. The second is by free choice of both parties, where mate selection is usually based on romantic love. This second method is found in the industrialized countries. The first method is often related to kind endogamy.

Hoult said that,
Among ancient Jews, Levirate marriages were arranged between a man and his sister-in-law when the latter's husband died without having a son, and uncle-niece marriages were not uncommon and had religions approval. Such marriages were associated with the Jewish desire to prevent property from passing into the control of rival clans.[21]

Relationship between family members, between husband and wife and to their children, are often neglected by religion.

Hoult has observed that,
Most religions have little to say about this subject, but when they do, the concerns expressed are usually confined to generalizations about the duties of spouses to one another and to their children.[22]

The most conspicuous exceptions is Christianity. Marriage is a union of man and woman, and this union should be based on love (Ephesians 5:25-33 RSV). This love is not only to be seen in a marriage life but it also necessary prior to the marriage. This means that Christian marriage is based on free choice of both parties. Those who marry do so of their own free will. In Christian marriage, the marriage partner recognizes that the other person is the divinely provided. So, reference for the partner in Christan marriage should deepen as new lessons of life are learnt. Christians believe that marriage is a holy state wherein husband and wife should manifest lifelong respect for one another.[23]

Parents are primarily responsible for the overall care of their children. Parents play a major role in shaping the attitudes, values, and beliefs or their children and in influencing the kind of relationships that they will develop with other social agencies and institutions. Because of this responsibility, the children must love, honor and obey their parents.

Hoult said that,
In Confucianism ... the ideal human relationship is believed to be the filial piety of child for parent. The logical extension of filial piety is ancestor worship; the Chinese practises of building ancestral temples, of burial and mourning, and of impersonating the deceased are all expressions of continued parental respects.[24]

In Christianity, the relation between parents and children is best described by Paul :

Children, obey your parents in Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6 : 1 (RSV)

It is clearly seen that children have to obey, honor and love with sacrificial love their parents, and parents are ordered to love and to care for their children.

Actually, "the close familial relationships stressed by Christianity are quite common, but by no means universal."[25]

Human beings are not only creatures but also biological, and as such have a sexual appetite and drive that must be satisfied. Society is responsible for the regulation of sexual relationships. Some religions have no concern in this subject. Hoult has observed that,

Among Zuni Indians ... sex has no religious meaning and consequently sexual transgressions are not thought serious and adultery is not a crime.
The Arunta, Lutricha, and Ilparra bushman tribes of Australia and the Trobriand Islanders are even more casual than the Zuni about sex .... They show some worry about sex, but for them sexual matters have no religious connotations.
Modern humanistic religions, too, have relatively permissive values about sexual conduct. Such values are in keeping with the highly secularized nature of the humanistic point of view. ... Most spokesmen of modern humanistic religions, such as the Unitarian, do not officially condemn homosexuality, masturbation, or other traditionally disapproved sexual practices. Similarly, they do not often condemn adultery or illegitimacy as sins in themselves, but primarily as transgressions against people who might be psychologically or materially injured under certain sociocultural conditions.[26]

Judaism and Christianity have a special concern with sexual relationships. Hoult explains,
In sharp contrast to the casul sex attitudes described is the much better-known concern with all types of sexual behavior found in Judaism and traditional Christianity. Although the exact source of Judaic views is not known, they certainly represent the extreme of great concern with sex. In addition to the expected and well-known condemnation of adultery and the admiration of virginity, ancient Jews also specifically condemned homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13), transvesticism (Deut. 22:5), intercourse with animals (Deut. 27:20-23; Lev. 18:23), and illegitimacy (Deut. 23:2). The extreme ascetic strain in Judaism may be detected in the fact that even nakedness was condemned (Lev. 20:10-21), and men who had necturnal emissions were regarded as uncleaned forced to undergo ritual baths (Deut. 23:10-11). In later Judaism, heterosexual bahavior within marriage was regarded as God-ordained, but remained as an obstacle to revelation and as basically unclean act due to Adam's sin.
Christianity inherited many of the Jewish views about sex, particularly the idea that bodily processes are obstacles to spiritual attainment. There are specific New Testament condemnations of homosexuality (Rom. 1:2; I Cor. 6:9) and sodomy (I Tim. 1:9-10). Moreover, the Apostle Paul believed that chastity was best form of behavior and that one should marry only if his sexual desires were so compelling that he could not refrain from expressing them. One must marry, said Paul, only to keep from burning. One must preserve his body inviolate, he said, no that the pure Christ could dwell within when he returned to earth -- and His returned was expected imminently. Matters involving the flesh, Paul asserted, were products of Satan's desires.[27]

In many societies and religions, sexual relationships serve the immediate practical purpose of replacement of members through reproduction, "and the attitude persists in the opposition of the Catholic church to artificial birth control."[28]

Concerning procreation Hoult said,
Religious values regarding procreation also very tremendously. At the extreme of no concern are those humanistic religions which regard procreation as a matter of individual desire, and the nonliterate religions in which the true function of sex is yet unknown. At the extreme of great concern are those religions, like the Tikopian and the modernist Protestant, which (for different reasons) uphold the use of contraceptives. More common, is the ancient Jewish and modern Roman Catholic condemnation of contraception.
Missouri Synod Lutherans believe that the one-, two-, or three- children family system is contrary to scripture.
The Hutterites, a sect located in the north central part of United States, are representative of the smaller Christian groups which also accept literally the biblical command, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). Another extreme is suggested by the Shakers, who did not believe in reproduction at all. The Shakers felt there was no need to jeopardize one's spiritual standing by indulging in wordly activities since all worthy people would live forever when Christ returned.[29]

Enough details have been mentioned to illustrate the influence of religions ideas and institution of the family life. The following discussion is regarding the influence of religion on Economics life.

B. Religion and the Economic System
The development of capitalism is an important part of human activities which revolutionized Western society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and has produced our present technopolitan world. Capitalism is an economic system by which capital or wealth used for the production of goods is owned by private individuals.

The success of early capitalism has been linked with the Protestant doctrine and especially of Calvinism. "Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is the best known of many works on the subject."[30] Although the Weber thesis is still widely debated[31] but almost all social scientists have felt his influence.

According to Leonard Broom, Philip Selznick and Dorothy Broom Darroch, "the influence of Protestantism on capitalism may be summed up in three words: work, acquisition, and individualism.[32]

Work. Protestant (specifically Calvinist) doctrine held that a person was either condemned by God everlasting hell or chosen to live in a the House of the Lord forever. Because believers in this doctrine could not know whether they were among the chosen or the damned, they were anxious and unsecure. Strict self-discipline, rejection of worldly pleasures, and righteous success through hard work came to be viewed as evidence that a person was among the chosen. Hard work thus led to relief from religious anxiety. To work was to pray, and work was a mission or calling.
Acquisition. Hard work and self-disciplines helped the capitalist win out over competitors and led to the acquisition of wealth. Since Calvinists were supposed to avoid worldly pleasures, be thrifty, and waste nothing, they could not spend their money on themselves. They could, however, use it to expand their bussinesses, since success in work was interpreted as a sign of God's blessing. In addition, no matter what Calvinists achieved in this world there was no guarantee of salvation. Therefore, they could never relax.
Individualism. Calvinists believed that each person stand alone before God and should trust only God because even a Calvinist's closest friends might be among the damned. Each individual could seek success as a sign of salvation, and this effort led to economic competition. A Calvinist should deal honestly and fairly with other people but still take advantage of any opportunity that comes up, even if someone else were to lose.[33]

Perhaps Weber's argument in The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism are wrong or badly need modification but in a larger sense, Weber was right: Protestantism had something very definite to do with the rise and the development of capitalism.

The capitalist spirit did not flow directly from the Protestant revolution. But there is no doubt that Protestantism influenced general attitude toward work, poverty, duty, and the value of trade and industry.[34]

C. Religion and the Political Order
The influence of religion is not only seen in the Family life and Economic system, but it is also seen in the whole political process thought it has not always been recognized.

One of the important aspects of the state to be considered in this paper is the form of government.

Actually, there are various forms of government, such as: theocracy, monarchy, oligarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, but because in the modern states, monarchy, oligarchy and aristocracy can be either theocratic or democratic, so it can be said that there are two primary forms: theocracy and democracy.[35]

Theocracy is a form of government in which the laws, authority and power are ascribed to God. Many primitive peoples believed that their rulers were considered directly responsible to gods or god and were thought to be judged by their gods or god. In other words, there were many ancient peoples who lived under a theocratic form of government in which the political structure was believed subject to the rule of gods or god. The most famous theocracy was that of the ancient Jews. This form of government may also be found in Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic societies.

In Medievall Catholicism, the Pope claimed to have the ulti­mate source of all authority and power in the chuch and over the state. This conception was called the papal doctrine of the Two Swords.

In the beginning of Protestantism, Marthin Luther developed his political thought which is known as the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms or Regiments. Through the Two Kingdoms or Regiments God governs the world. W.D.J. Cargill Thompson explains,

In these two Regiments God operates in very different ways. The spiritual Regiment is essentially an inward government of the soul whose purpose is to lend men to overlasting life. Here God rules through the Holy Spirit and the Word by which he works in men's hearts to turn them from sin and bring them into his external Kingdom.
The character of the temporal Regiment is quite different: it is in essentially an external government, a rule of force. It is concerned only with men's outward actions, not with the inward state of their souls; for its purpose is the maintenance of external peace and justice in the world ....[36]

The Puritan government of Massachusetts was also called a theocracy because Protestant preachers exercised much over civil authorities.

Democracy is a form of government in ehich all classes of people participate in ruling the state by choosing representatives. From this definition, it seems that the democratic form of government cannot be associated with religion. In this case, we have to agree with Hoult when he said,
It is little wonder that the democratic form of government has seldom been associated with religion. Democracy itself is a relatively recent social invention and is still a rather rare phenomenon. Futhermore, most religion -- including Christianity -- have frowned upon the development of the democratic way of life because (among other things) democracy, like science, is experimental, rejecting most claims to dogmatic authority or certainty.
It is an error therefore to believe that democracy and Christianity may be identified as essentially one. This is a mistake often made by Americans because both democracy and Christianity represent positive values in American culture.[37]

But to appraise this democratic form of government fairly, it is very important to consider the primary principles and characteristics of democracy.

The following principles and characterictics are universal to all kinds of political democracy:
1. The Democratic view of man:
1.1 Equality (all men are created equal)
1.2 Humanitarianism (man is capable of persuing human values)
2. The Democratic concept of society:
2.1 Individualism (to secure individual freedom/man is born free ...)
2.2 Progress (to bring society closer to the basic values of democracy)
3. The Democratic theory of government:
3.1. Majority rule (If men are basically equal, and if each has an inherent moral worth by virtue of his humanity, no individual or group can have a monopoly on truth)
3.2. Minority rights (Since absolute truth is revealed to no one, even the majority is quite capable of making mistakes. And the individual who finds himself temporarily in a minority need not automatically renounce his own beliefs and adopt the majority opinion ...)[38]

It is clearly seen that the essence of the principles and characterictis of democracy is also the essence of Christian teaching. So, it is not an error to believe that democracy and Christianity may be identified as assentially one.

The following view is well worth to quote:
The theme of Perry's Puritanism and Democracy and of Nichol's Democracy and the Churches is that Puritan Protes­tant­ism, as represented in the dissenting, splinter sects which arose after the major Reformation, provided the soil in which liberal democracy was nurtured. This point of view is sup­ported by Dawson, a Roman Catholic, who wrote these words: "In England, the pure Calvinist tradition was united with that of the Anabaptist and independent sects to produce a new movement ... which marks the first appearance of genuine democracy in the modern world ... (and for which) the Calvinist conception of the democratic aristocracy of the saints provided the inspiration and the driving force."[39]

The Democratic form of government did not flow directly from the Protestant movement, but there is no doubt that Protestantism influenced the development and the spirit of modern democracy.

IV. Conclusion

Although it is only three institutionalized aspects of human life: family, economic system, and government have been considered in this paper but they are enough to show the role and the positive influences of religious ideas and institution.

Perhaps religion was not the source of all higher cultures but it has been one of the most powerful forces in the history of mankind. It is true that religion is still very important in contemporary society.

Bierstedt, Robert. "The Science of Sociology." In Setangkai Bunga Sosiologi. Ed. Selo Soemardjan and Soelaeman Soemardi. Jakarta: Lembaga Penerbit Fakultas Ekonomi UI, 1974).

Broom, Leonard; Selznick, Philip; and Darroch, Dorothy Broom. Sociology. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.

Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. New York: Free Press, 1912/1974.

Eisendstadt, S.N. "The Protestant Ethic Thesis." In Sociology of Religion. Ed. Roland Robertson. Singapore: Penguin Book, 1984.

Hoult, Thomas Ford. The Sociology of Religion. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1958.

Irish, Mirian D., and Prothro, James W. The Politics of American Democracy. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968.

O'Dea, Thomas F. The Sociology of Religion. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Thompson, W.D.J. Cargill. "Marthin Luther and the 'Two Kingdoms'." In Political Ideas. Ed. David Thomson. Middlesex: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1982.

Wach, Joachim. Sociology of Religion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962.
[1] Robert Bierstedt, "The Science of Sociology," in Setangkai Bunga Sosiologi, ed. Selo Soemardjan and Soelaeman Soemardi (Jakarta: Lembaga Penerbit Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Indonesia, 1974), p. 22.
[2] Thomas Ford Hoult, The Sociology of Religion (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1958), p. 8.
[3] Joachim Wach, Sociology of Religion (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962), p. 13.
[4] Thomas F. O'Dea, The Sociology of Religion (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 7.
[5] Hoult, p. 9.
[6] O'Dea, p. 5.
[7] O'Dea, p. 4.
[8] O'Dea, p. 5.
[9] O'Dea, pp. 14-15.
[10] O'Dea, p. 16.
[11] Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (New York: Free Press, 1912/1947), p. 427.
[12] Durkheim, p. 449.
[13] O'Dea, p. 16.
[14] O'Dea, p. 16.
[15] O'Dea, p. 16.
[16] Randall Collins, Sociological Insight (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 119.
[17] Hoult, p. 176.
[18] Hoult, pp. 178-179.
[19] Hoult, p. 179.
[20] Hoult, p. 176.
[21] Hoult, pp. 177-178.
[22] Hoult, p.180.
[23] Hoult. p. 181.
[24] Hoult, p. 180.
[25] Hoult, p. 181.
[26] Hoult, p. 182.
[27] Hoult, pp. 182-183.
[28] Leonard Broom, Philip Selznick, and Dorothy Broom Darroch, Sociology (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), p. 334.
[29] Hoult, pp. 183-184.
[30] Hoult, p. 254.
[31] S.N. Eisenstadt, "The Protestant Ethic Thesis", in Sociology of Religion, ed. Roland Robertson (Singapore: Penguin Books, 1984), p. 297.
[32] Broom, p.410.
[33] Broom, p. 411.
[34] Broom, p. 411.
[35] Tyranny or dictatorship is not mentioned because it is an oppression or unjust use of power. For the writter it is not a form of government but a system of government or a way of using the power by force.
[36] W.D.J. Cargill Thompson, "Marthin Luther and the 'Two Kingdoms'," in Political Ideas, ed. David Thompson (Middlesex: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1982), pp.40-41.
[37] Hoult, p. 228.
[38] Summarized from Marian D. Irish and James W. Prothro, The Politics of American Democracy (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968), pp.62-65.
[39] Hoult, p. 228.