The task of building a scientific understanding of religion is a central part of the sociological enterprise. Sects are break-away groups from more mainstream religions and tend to be in tension with society. How does religion affect society as a whole (does it divide/unite)? Religion and Social Change Many of the classical sociological theories predicted that levels of religiosity in Western societies would decline due to the process of secularization. Religion has all of these benefits, but, according to conflict theory, it can also reinforce and promote social inequality and social conflict. This book, first published in 1947, presents the then-new subject of sociology of religion in systematic and historical theology and in the science of religion, in political theory and the social sciences, in philosophy and psychology, in philology and anthropology. Indeed, in one sense the origins of the sociology can be attributed to the efforts of nineteenth-century Europeans to come to grips with the crisis of faith that shook Western society during the revolutionary upheavals of its industrial transformation. This view is partly inspired by the work of Karl Marx, who said that religion was the “opiate of the masses” (Marx, 1964). For example, in Iraqi the Sunnis and the Shiites have fought civil wars because of different type of the same religion. While in other countries, the dysfunction of religion has made citizens turn on their fellow citizens. In the sociology of religion, the most widely used classification is the church-sect typology. By this he meant that religion, like a drug, makes people happy with their existing conditions. Religion has also been the source of conflicts between different types of faith such as Christian and Muslims. Religion is social reality.The persistence of religion throughout the ages is proof of its survival value. The typology states that churches, ecclesia, denominations and sects form a continuum with decreasing influence on society. Some of the major types of religion include polytheism, monotheism, atheism, animism, and totemism. Sociology » Sociology of Religion » Magic Magic Generally, it refers to ritual activity – usually without institutional supports – the execution of which, through words and actions considered powerful, intends to automatically induce changes of various types. Religions can be categorized according to what or whom its followers worship. 15.3. Sociology of Religion 1. Religion in Historical Perspective Sociological Perspectives on Religion Types of Religious Organization Trends in Religion in the United States Religion in the Future 2.