The Social Dimension of Religion


Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that connect people across the globe. There are many different religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and others. Each of these traditions has a story about the creation of the universe, as well as an explanation for how human lives are meant to end.

There are two main aspects to religion: an individual aspect and a social dimension. The individual dimension describes the behaviour of individuals who choose to follow a particular belief or system of ideas and practices. This can be manifest through rituals, piety, icons, narratives and physical structures.

The social dimension of religion, on the other hand, is where people come together in shared beliefs and values. These groups, unified by their worldview, often establish formal institutions with their own iconography, narratives and codes of conduct.

Despite their differences, these social collectives are based on the same basic idea of the true, beautiful and good as other social organizations. This three-sided model of the true, the beautiful and the good is a classic account of what any social group explicitly and implicitly teaches its members.

But it is also important to remember that this idea of a three-sided model does not include the material reality that is always present in any social group. In fact, this dimension is one of the most underappreciated dimensions in any social theory or analysis.

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