Living with religion is seeing the world as differing social realities. Religion as a concept has always been a point of interest in sociology and anthropology. In classical thought, religion has been interpreted in many ways. For instance, Karl Marx argued that religion is the opium of the masses – it alleviates the suffering of people and gives them hope for a better life beyond this world. Emile Durkheim asserted that religion is a collective expression of consciousness by which people perceive a force that is greater than them. Max Weber, on the other hand, saw religion as something to be studied based on the meanings attributed to it by the individual. There is a diversity of beliefs in our social world. As social beings, our identities and expressions, religious or otherwise, are influenced by the group. But regardless of a person’s religious background, finding meaning in its values and acting based on its tenets are done as individuals. And these have consequences. Religion, as a significant field in sociology and anthropology, does not seek …
As an outsider of the religion, one might ask: Is the protest a matter of independent choice for the members or are they submitting themselves to the mentality of the crowd?
While we can say that the EDSA revolution per se was also an imposition of popular meanings on the landscape, given that revolutions are constitutional violations, the particular space appropriated by INC members is one that has been intentionally and officially carved out to memorialize a significant national event. And as the space includes both a Catholic church and the statue of Mary, use of the space by any other religious group becomes first, a deliberate proclamation of the notion that such religion deserves to be mainstreamed.
The Pope’s declarations regarding [scandalous] inequality and call to reject all forms of corruption could further engender a commitment to demand transparency, and hold institutions of power accountable for their actions. (Image from pixgood.com)
What the papal visit has shown us is that collective effervescence – the upsurge of emotion that people have had in the past few days – can be harnessed on many levels. (Image from Say Anything)
Don’t let Pope Francis leave the Philippines because it seems that we need him to actually mobilize resources and inculcate changes in the country. What does it take for us to act on these short-term improvements and actually build on them in the long run? (Image from World Now)
As Pope Francis visits the Philippines, a number of scholars have expressed concern over the ways that his presence can/will further inequality in the country – with the rich having an upper hand and the poor remaining in the margins, and whether or not his visit can bring about more equitable, democratic structures.
Seeing the altar boys during midnight masses reminds of the time when I, too, served as an altar boy in pre-Vatican times. I would outwit other altar boys to be one of the priest’s “sakristan” in morning masses and do the best I can so the priest would choose me again the next time around.
As I was spending my time reading my Facebook news feed, there’s this picture of two people kissing that catches my eyes and made me think of everything I just learned in sociology and anthropology.
The point is: weddings enable and constrain, and I feel most couples prefer a ceremony that’s more enabling than constraining. The choice of some couples to defray all wedding expenses (as was the case in the two weddings I attended) is a subtle attempt of bride and groom to lessen that constraint, wield a little power, and assert their independence. (Image from tuscanaresort.com)