How Religions Influence “Social Change”

In this day and age, it definitely feels relevant to discuss how religions influence “social change”. “Social change” is described by McGuire as “any alteration in the social arrangements of a group or society”, and chapter 7 dives into how religion can impact a society, creating social change.

When thinking about America’s history–and the world’s history, for that matter–it is really interesting to see how specific religions, and religion as a concept, have impacted the given society. Specifically today we can see ways in which religion is impacted American politics and social stratification, which we have been able to discover more about with the Religion in the News write-ups. People discriminate toward others because of the religion that they practice and what their beliefs are. Some also choose to live their lives free of religion, which impacts the society as well. Not in a good or bad way, necessarily, but that is also an interesting aspect of “religious climate” and how it can impact a society and its people. I also think it is interesting to explore the trends we study, and to try and foresee future changes: being able to understand history and ways in which we can improve our society is extremely important. I don’t think it is a good idea to try and force social change per se, but I believe it is good to understand history and how religions have effected society, to try and understand why our society is the way it is today.