TheSystemizing Modality of Religion and Political or Legal Forms ofOrder
Indeed,all men live and coexist within the realms of a community. Theattachment to any given grouping that entails inclination to a commongoal and upholding of the ways set to reach such objectivesconstitutes communalism. Human beings have in the past and certainlyin the present been observed to identify with a community. It is thispredisposition that security and order are seen to be manifest in thesociety. In this discussion, I purpose to explain how religion hasapplied to supply a sense of reality to its practitioners and findout how the political forms correlate to this practice in thesociety. Religion commands the same sense of authority as thepolitical structures that are exercised in any given community.
Inthis paper, I intend to address the influence of political forms onthe beliefs and traditions of any particular community. I wish toexamine whether the cultures of the different societies are anoutcome of furthering political gains or religion has a bearing onthe development of the vital cultures that we uphold as a community.Finally, I want to determine whether religion and the political formslink at a given point to unanimously contribute to the development ofthe cultures that society lives by.
Turner(1995) narrates the basics of a ritual process in the society. Hedetails the phases that are involved in the rite of passage. Hedocuments that the first step entails the detachment of a person orgroup from an original setting in the social construction. Turner(1995) describes the next phase as the liminal period characterizedby nothingness. The third step involves reincorporation into thesociety. In all these, the cultures of the community guide theprocess so that an individual is fully reabsorbed into the society asa fully functional human being expected to operate in certain waysthat conform to the ideals of the society carrying out the rite ofpassage.
Hefurther critically mentions that the aim of the rite is to levelthose involved to attain a uniform condition, enabling them to bemade anew and additional authority bestowed upon them to ensure theycan function in their newly acquired status in the society. It is inthis sense that the persons involved in the rite develop a strongdisplay of solidarity. In these situations, people are taught theconcept of humility and lowliness. It is imparted upon them the senseof respect for authority and to remain submissive to the overallpower in any societal setup. It is notable that every person’s lifeexperience encloses interchanging contact with structure andcommunities, and to states and transitions (Turner, 1995).
Greetz(1973) documents that culture patterns supply platforms for theestablishment of the social and psychological processes that informpublic conduct. In support of religion as a cultural system, hedescribes culture as the actual creations of beliefs, ideas from theunderstanding fixed in unique forms, common expressions of notions,desires, attitudes, and judgments. He affirms that cultural acts arenoticeable like any other public act or occurrence. He describesreligion as a set of symbols that are organized to instituteinfluential, prevalent, and a lasting experience in human beings,ensuring the state of order, and which in all view seem exceptionallyrealistic.
Theorder induced by religion commits its practitioners to be subdued bythe commands of the Supreme Being featured in the life of thebeliever. It influences the conduct of the believer, and they conformin practice to whatever the Supreme Being directs them to undertake.In essence, the commands of God form the culture of this group, whichthey are bound. I infer that any individual who professes thefaith-related in any given religion submits to be under its control.It offers the believer the opportunity to live within the culture ofany given religion.
Theconstant inclination to perform the demands of religion creates aculture. Therefore, all persons who are willing to join such areligion are expected to live their former ways and adopt the ways oftheir new found faith. Like any other cultural requirement, allpeople initiated into the new religion will pass through a rite toascertain their inclusion in this new status.
Itis significant to note that any cultural pattern issues a sense oforder. On any platform, from the simplest forms of human existencesuch as a family to a more sophisticated state of the society such asgovernment, the order is paramount for the coexistence among people.No man is able to thrive in chaos, hence, the reason for having aculture that will proscribe selfish tendencies and appreciate onlyways that will ensure the integration of the society.
Religionsurfaces to fill the gap created by an absence of a rule in caseswhere there is a sense of self-actualization. As a system producingculture, religion grants its practitioners the chance to exerciseorder in the society.
Inthe many existing political systems, ascension to power is conductedfrom the law or related cultures, for the traditional systems.Besides, initiation to any given status in the society requires thata process is followed. In other words, the culture that develops thecategorization has intricately within itself established systems toconduct the initiation process. It means nobody would progress fromone phase of life to the next without being ushered in through aprocess to assume the new states. It only illuminates the fact thatman cannot thrive in chaotic situations but order. The essentialcomponent of culture is to provide order. Cultures, however, aredeveloped after a continued practice of a particular act orinvolvement in an activity long enough that it becomes the way oflife of society.
Itis important to include the thought of Evans (1976) that witchcraftbeliefs also encompass a system of ideals which control humanbehavior. For instance, he notes that witchcraft is permeating, andcontributes immensely to the activities in Zande community. Itaffects merely all facets of life in that community. He indicatesthat its inspiration is embossed on law and morals, etiquette andreligion. In this instance, witchcraft is part and parcel of theZande culture, and it is morally required that its practice shouldpositively influence circumstances so that there is peacefulcoexistence in this society.
Thiscommunity explains all conditions of their lives based on witchcraft.They believe that any calamity that befalls them or their householdor any other member of the community must be instigated bywitchcraft. In this community, witchcraft presents itself as thesocially related cause for it is the part of life that determinessocial behavior for example, when a man is bitten by a snake whilehunting or stung to death by bees while harvesting honey it isbelieved that witchcraft had an influence (Evans, 1976).
Itis important to note that community involves human beings in theirrelations to one another. And community according to Turner (1995) isfundamentally a set of categorizations, an ideal for thinking aboutculture and nature and ordering an individual’s public life. Heavers that the relations are propagative of symbols and that art andreligion are their outcomes instead of political and legalstructures.
Turner(1995) passionately observes that “Democracy in government,brotherhood in society, equality in rights and privileges, anduniversal education, foreshadow the next higher plane of society towhich experience, intelligence, and knowledge are steadily tending.”
Alsoimportant of noting is Geetz (1973) idea that the state of the worldexplains doctrine. He indicates that religious beliefs are evidenceof authority and that human beings respect the authority because theyrealize the lordship of something other than themselves. Religioninvolves the practice of rituals, and in a ceremony, the world islived under the intervention of a particular set of symbolic formsthat produces an individual’s sense of reality.
Also,Geetz (1973) highlights that “religious symbols offer a cosmicassurance not only for the believers’ capacity to understand theworld, but also, knowing it, to contribute an exactness to theirfeeling, a meaning to their emotions which assists them, resentfully,or joyfully, grimly or carelessly, to tolerate it.”
Further,Geetz (1973) reasons that all cultural acts are not religious acts,and the mark amid those that are cultural and creative or evenpolitical, sometimes is frequently not easy to implement in practicebecause symbolic forms can equally serve several roles like thesocial forms.
Comaroff(2013) records that in Tswana ritual was a method of activitypredominantly influential in fashioning and changing the structuresof the real environment. He adds that ritual is invariably theoutcome of a more or less disputed culture. Comaroff (2013) furtherobserves that historical research indicate that traditional ritualwas to act as a symbol of mislaid world of order and control when thenew setup was introduced during colonialism.
Inconclusion, I offer that religion breeds culture that controls thebehavior of human beings in the society. There are many settings inwhich culture is developed in the society. It is evident that cultureonly progresses to induce order in the set ups that they are adopted.
Also,the political forms in the society reveal the evidence of thecommunities urge to ensure there is peaceful coexistence within anygiven context. I find that religion is a significant contributor tothe development of culture a culture that subjects its practitionersto submissiveness. Most importantly, religion affords believers asense of order so that at whatever cost they keep the command fromGod.
Comaroff,J. (2013). Bodyof power, spirit of resistance: The culture and history of a SouthAfrican people.University of Chicago Press.
Evans-Pritchard,E. E., & Gillies, E. (1976). Witchcraft,oracles and magic among the Azande.Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Geertz,C. (1973). Theinterpretation of cultures: Selected essays(Vol. 5019). Basic books.
Turner,V. (1995). Theritual process: Structure and anti-structure.Transaction Publishers.