Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Analysis of Peter Berger’s The Sacred Canopy Essay

Peter Bergers The Sacred Canopy utilizes a version of fond constructivism as the foundational material of its argument. In accordance with his preceding work, The Social Construction of Reality, Bergers version of companionable constructivism states that hu universe intimacy is explainable in social terms since it is causally find by various social factors. Social humanity, in this sense, is seen as generated by the certain and empirically ascertainable fixed habits of thought prevalent in a given inn which are fixed since they are considered as the causal harvest-feast of certain aspects of social humankind.In this case, its determinacy is derived from certain laws specifying the causal, social finale of cognitive processes (Berger and Luck globen 12). This implies that human cognition is not dependent for its determinate gist upon some infinite hierarchy of negotiated agreements, nor is it fixed by standards of rationality that are themselves relative to the social s etting in which knowledge evolves.According to Berger and Luckmann, society is an objective globe (and) man is a social product (23). In other words, social reality is a human construction since man and his habits of thought are shaped by social factors. Humans require social institutions, as they are iterated and typified. In this sense, social reality determines man but man withal determines social reality. inside this scheme, social reality is not a social fact but it is something produced and communicated. Society is thereby a product of humans and humans are products of society.However, it should be notable that, humanly constructed worlds are constantly threatened by their creators self cheer and stupidity (Berger 29). If such is the case, in company for society to maintain regularize there is the necessity to ruleulate and in a sense construct inside supporting structures. In Bergers The Sacred Canopy, he argues that legitimation stands as the most important internal supporting structure (29). Berger distinctions that legitimation stands as the rationale for the creation of institutional arrangements (29).This stomach be further understand if champion considers that legitimations belong to the objective side of our dialectic social carnal knowledgeship. through with(predicate) repetition and their objective status, legitimations continually reinforce the institutional arrangements prevalent deep down a given society. much(prenominal) a process stands as the grit for the new the children and the forgetful as vigorous as for the periods of collective or person crisis where the veil amongst meaning and chaos grows particularly thin.In the same manner that legitimations reinforce social institutions, plausibility structures may also be considered as upholding such legitimations. Plausibility structures refer to the specific social processes that continually reinforce and reconstruct both the legitimating world as well as the result of s uch a world the legitimated world (Berger 45).The correlation amid the plausibility structure as well as the process of legitimations are sheer if one considers that when the plausibility structures are strong, the legitimations are simple and when plausibility structures are weak, the legitimations are stronger. Berger notes that religion as a social institution has been shown to take power in both situations instances wherein the plausibility structures are strong and weak.It is at bottom the said(prenominal) context that Berger considers the strength of phantasmal institutions. Berger notes, Religion is the human enterprise by which a sacred cosmos is established (25). Such a financial statement can be understood if one considers that the steadfastness of spiritual institutions lies in its ability to locate human phenomena within a cosmological framework thereby providing the support for religious institutions a universal in the sense of cosmic status. Such a status, due to its universal cosmic character thereby has the readiness to transcend the mundane experiences of demeanor thereby providing a new balance for the analysis of human experience (Berger 35).According to Berger, the importance of such is unmingled if one considers that by providing human existence with various dimensions e.g. physical as opposed to the spiritual, the socialized individual is given a framework of ground reality in its different levels that enables the assumption of the possibility of the existence of peace and security measure within his role in society. In line with this, Berger notes that to locate an individual outside the protective spheres of a religiously legitimated world is tantamount to making him deal with the devil (39).In accordance with the aforementioned function of religion, Berger notes that one of the reasons that religion serves, as a prevalent and effective method of legitimation lies in its function as a powerful agency of alienation (87). craziness refers to a condition wherein an individual forgets that he is co-creator of his world (Berger 85).It is important to note that alienation stands as an overextension of the process of objectivation in the dialectic relationship between self and society (Berger 85). Berger notes that through the objectivation of legitimations, alienation renders them virtually unassailable as long as an alienated conscious can be maintained. within such a context, de-alienation may only occur as a result of the demise of a particular institutional framework.In relation to this, Berger notes that the function of religious legitimation is that of enabling theodicy wherein theodicy refers to the explanations of the human condition e.g. life and death. Theodicy, in this sense, is highly irrational since it necessitates a surrender of the self to the social club structure of society (Berger 54). Consider for example the most prevalent form of theodicy Christian theodicy. Within the framework o f Christian theodicy, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent entity God is depicted as suffering for humanity.Such a theodicy is questionable in relation to the existence and prevalence of various forms of disasters both natural and unnatural. In addition to external assailants of religious plausibility structures, Berger argues that Protestantism itself carried the seeds for its own destruction (129). In its critique of Catholicism, Protestantism enabled a to a greater extent rational, individualistic world divided into secular and sacred spheres (Berger 123). As the secular sphere expanded to encompass everything outside of the church, Christianity became marginalized in a pluralistic society. It is within this context that the concept of pluralism arises.According to Berger, pluralism refers to a social-structural correlate of the secularisation of consciousness (127). In addition to Protestantism, industrialization tends to lead the political order away from the influences of religion (Berger 130). This process compartmentalized religion into the private world creating a pluralistic market situation. Such a situation thereby fails to enable the continuance of the universal cosmological ordering function of religion. This is evident if one considers that within pluralistic conditions, various and different and sometimes contradictory conditions of the true exists. Such a condition, according to Berger, leads to a relativistic belief of reality which leads to a relativized theodicy and hence an unstable conception of reality. As was mentioned at the tone-beginning of this paper, the aforementioned conception of social reality rests upon the framework of a socially constructed reality. It is within the context of this framework that I will assess the viability of Bergers aforementioned claims as specified in his book The Sacred Canopy. Within the aforementioned context, a socially constructed conception of reality fails on the one thousand that it written reports for all bodies of doctrine in a non-discriminatory fashion. This is possible since Berger perceives reality and knowledge as initially justified by the fact of their social theory of relativity. Schutzs influence here is apparent since such a conception is based upon an envisioned existence of multiple realities.Rationality then is comprehend as relative in so far as the brass allows the demarcation of individuals into social groups, which are seen as having different conceptions of rationality on a pattern of a neat one to one equalizer. However, if such a one to one corresponds occurs, how is it possible to consider the conflict frames of reference in relation to understanding reality as different individuals converge within a social sphere. In the aforementioned context, the individuals specified may be specifically construed as individuals who belong within different religious groups.In a sense, the problem with the above conception of reality fails on the movement that, in the same manner that a particular theodicy fails within a pluralistic society, such a conception of reality fails within a pluralistic society itself since in order to assume the existence of religious institution as a institutional structure which enables legitimation, it is important to account how such is possible within a society with varying yet conflicting theodicies.This can be best understood if one considers that, the aforementioned conception of reality fails on the grounds that even if it seems to supply us with the fixed laws in terms of which the outcome of hypothetical cognitive processes can be determined, these laws are fixed by the social context of the cognitive process. This even leans towards a form of epistemic hierarchy since the laws will also be constructed via a particular societys presupposed notion of the existence of social construction. In Collins words, we cannot define social fact as the product of a hypothetical societal discussion (since)the lawswould rely for this hypothetical vaticination are themselves social constructions, the outcome of societal consensus (23). This thereby leads to the problem of regress. works CitedBerger, Peter. The Sacred Canopy Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. New York ground tackle Press, 1990.Berger, Peter and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality A Treatise of the Sociology of Knowledge. calcium University of California Press, 1967.Collin, Finn. Social Reality. London Routledge, 1997.

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