Functions of Religion:
The functions of religion institution are mentioned as under
Conception of the Supernaturalism:
The major functions of a religious institution is to orientate man in his conception of the supernaturalism. It also reveals something about God. This provides psychological importance to an individual.
Optimism and self-respect:
Religion inculcates optimism, self-respect confidence among the individuals. There are under the impression that there is reward for every good deed done in the present life. This idea makes one’s life meaningful for himself. The modern heterogeneous society due to industrialisation increase loneliness amidst thousand. Thus, religion enhances emotional integration among such individuals.
Rationalization among People:
Religion provides rationalization among people. Poverty, injustice, misfortunes, and unhappiness and failures are attributed to the will of God. This type of attitude decreases frustration and pessimism among the people and keep the spirit of life quite alive. There is always beam of light among people which encourage them to face the reality of life bravely. Lack of pessimism in life also discourages suicide as religious minded people preach this idea.
Instrument of Social Control:
Religion has been a very effective instrument of social control among the individuals groups and societies. Though the moral conduct was to please the God but they help both directly and indirectly in increasing the conformity among members of society. The religious sanctions further help in decreasing deviation from religious or social norms because religious and cultural norms to a great extent are positively correlated.
Influencing other Institutions:
Religion has been influencing other Institutions like education, political and the family. The kings or rulers were and still, in most of the cases, are considered as representative of God on the earth. Early political systems had that justification in theology. Thus, religion helps a lot in stabilizing Political system in the country.
In the same way, seeking of knowledge, education is also considered as religious duty of the human beings. Cohesion Unity among members of the family are strengthened through one’s belief in the religion. Care of the aged and parents is considered by the people are one of the religious duty
Spirit of Social Work:
Spirit of social work, mutual co-operation among the neighbours and ultimately among the members of society is further enhanced through religious institution. The spirit of philanthropy is also increased which is quite useful for a welfare and underdeveloped state, as most of the society work is done by the people themselves.
Religion – A binding force:
Religion is a binding force among different groups, i.e., it creates esprit decorps, the feeling enhanced among the believers of a religion in this way indirectly enhances unity and cohesion in society. As people share the same concepts and there is uniformity in the performance of rites, which is correct the spirit of oneness. The various group become United against any outside danger.
Recreational functions of religious institution are no less important as there are provisions of religious fairs and various other ceremonies which provide sufficient chances of amusement to the individuals. The recreations serve as an outlet for an individual’s frustration.
Religion teaches an individual to submit before the ultimate power (God), and provides a check for him from his negative acts against his fellow beings, group and society. Religion serves the functions of social welfare and orderly life both at individual and group levels.
Religion gives meaning to life:
Religion give an idea of self-respect for an individuals and meaning to his life, urging a person to believe in physical world even in adverse condition in the hope of getting reward for injustice in the next life. Religion certainly contributes to lessen the degree of insecurity, lawlessness, disorder and this organisation at the individual, groups, institutional, and societal level. There are symptoms of revival religious forces even in highly urbanized industrialization society today.