Religion on Social Change

Chapter 7 depicts the way in which religion influences social change. McGuire starts by stating “a religious idea or movement may become transformed into something very different from what it’s originators intended, and the influence of religion is often indirect” (237).  This idea interested me. She used Quakers as an example, but it reminded me of the Nazi movement and the effects that “religious” movement had on the world. While some consider this movement strictly political, I would argue that it is an example of a civil religious movement. It continues as a trend throughout history as well as the world that religious movements don’t always continue to preach what they did in the beginning.

McGuire continues her chapter with a small section on how religion supports the status quo. This section grabbed my attention as well because my religion has always been counter cultural. I have grown up being told “you are in this world, but not of this world.” This idea of religion is that it goes against the status quo and while the world continues to change, Orthodoxy stays the same. However, as we learned from the presentations, not all religions or Christian denominations believe this. Religion can be a way to incorporate modern ideas and promote them even more than they usually would be. Religion can release propaganda that can further a cause.

Like McGuire said “change itself is neither necessarily good nor bad” (237).