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Functions of Religion and Education

Religion can be described as a system that is based on beliefs. As pointed by O’Neil “Religious beliefs provide shape and meaning to one’s perception of the universe. In other words, they provide a sense of order in what might otherwise be seen as a chaotic existence. ” (2006, para. 2) Hence the function of religion is to influence and mould the perceptions of people. This function has resemblance to the main function of education, which is to let people know about the realities of life.

As pointed by Krishnamurty, “education has no meaning unless it helps you to understand the vast expanse of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. ” (2009, para. 2) Religion teaches us about the right and the wrong behavior and aims to bring homogeneity in society. This is yet another function that resembles the function of education. Even education attempts to teach people about what is right and what is wrong and in this way promotes a common platform of thinking in people.

But there are certain differences between the functions of religion and education. Religion aims to make people follow the rules and regulations set by the religious experts. Whereas education helps in instilling in us a thought process that forces us to question and revolt if we do not believe in something that is happening. There are many scriptures of religion that indirectly forces us to attain education so that we are capable enough to derive their real meaning.

In contrast as Glaeser pointed out, “education both increases the returns to social connection and reduces the extent of religious belief. ” (2009, para. 1) Thus the more educated a person is, the more he is bound to question the importance of fervent religious beliefs tha is propagarted by some staunch religious followers. Hence both education and religion share positive as well as negative relationships based on the resemblances and differences of their respective functions.

References Krishnamurty, J. (2009). The function of Education. Retrieved Jun. 5, 2009 from http://christyna. livejournal. com/96331. html O’Neil, D. (2006). Overview of Religion. Retrieved Jun. 5, 2009 from http://anthro. palomar. edu/religion/rel_1. htm Sacerdote, B. , Glaeser, E. L. (2009). Education and Religion. Retrieved Jun. 5, 2009 from http://ideas. repec. org/p/nbr/nberwo/8080. html

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