Assess the Extent to Which Marxist and Feminist Theories Help Our Understanding of Religion in Society Today (33marks)

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Assess the extent to which Marxist and Feminist theories help our understanding of religion in society today (33marks) The Marxist perspective of society is a structural conflict theory based on the conflict between the ruling/capitalist class and the working class. The ruling class also known as the bourgeoisie; who own most of society’s wealth and the means of production. The Working class is also commonly known as the proletariat who are, according to Marxist theorists, being exploited in the working industry by the bourgeoisie to gain profit. They use the Economic Determinism model to show how the economic base, which shows the means of production being owned by the ruling classes, determines the ISAs and argue that we are being controlled by the ruling class through the use of the ISAs which teach the DVS to us. Through this we have learned that as working class, we expect and accept that we will be exploited by the ruling class in terms of our surplus value. This is known as a crisis of Hegemony. They go on to say that we have internalised the DVS to such an extent that any other value system seems absurd, resulting in a state of false class consciousness. Marx believed that we will see a social revolution which will overthrow capitalism and replace it with true communism. Marxism sees religion as a feature which is only relevant in a society based on class division I.E the ruling classes and the working classes. They believe that with the beginning of true communism after the social revolution religion, in classless society will disappear. Marxists believe that religion and the institutions linked with it such as churches and the education system is controlled by the same ruling classes which control economic production. They argue that religion as a belief system distorts people’s perception of reality in such a way that benefits the ruling class. For
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