Paper Example: Religion and Religious Gender Roles Construct

Published: 2023-02-10
Paper Example: Religion and Religious Gender Roles Construct
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Female Gender Discrimination Religion
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1888 words
16 min read

The concept of religion has been in existence since time immemorial various scholars have defined religion in various ways. For instance, Emile Durkheim defines religion as a binding system of traditional practices that has a close tie to sacred things. The conventional methods, apparently, bind together members a community that have common religious roots. Moreover, Max Lynn Stackhouse posits that religion is a detailed and unobstructed view of the world that is beyond human control (Haggard et al., 2018). The opinion is agreed upon as a unifying factor to those that believe in it. On the other hand, religious gender roles construct is socially given phenomenon. In other words, there is a particular way that society expects gender to be portrayed in religion. In the ancient periods, religion was highly dominated by the male gender, where males were considered the rightful people to perform various religious practices. The female characters did not have much ado on what transpired in the places of worship. They were forced to accept whatever thing that the male role had debated upon and ruled to be religious (Haggard, Kaelen, Saroglou, Klein & Rowatt, 2018).

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Geographical Comparison of Rome and Europe in Terms of Gender Role Contrasts

Many religious groups, including the Roman Catholic as well as the Jews, recommend men to be clergy. However, other religious groups such as the Evangelical protestant groups have a contrary view of this belief. The Evangelical protestant groups have considered the female character in the religious services from the recent past. Men and women, however, vary in terms of their commitment to religious ceremonies. Research shows that female gender is an ore dedicated gender when it comes to religion than the preferably male gender (Szwed & Zielinska, 2017). In the United States of America, for instance, a more significant percentage of the population that is more religious falls under the female gender. In Europe, a more substantial percentage female gender has a strong affiliation to religious faith as compared to the male gender (Haggard et al., 2018). However, in other countries, both male and female characters have shown an equal membership to the various religious denominations.

In Hinduism, the female gender is considered to be more active and restricted in mind to a given domain than the male counterpart. The female is also perceived to be having both destructive and constructive capabilities. Hindu also believes that the erotic power of women is so detrimental unless it is controlled by the male gender. However much a woman can manifest herself in Hindu, she must always be restricted under the authority of the masculine principle. For this very reason, the Hindu goddess when under close supervision of her spouse is constructive, but when left alone the goddess becomes destructive. In India, both the Hindu and Islam highly compel the female gender from causing destructions to their consorts when under high spiritual influence (Haggard et al., 2018). The Hindu also believe that the female is more sexually active than the male and so to prevent them from causing chaos in the society, the male gender must be in close supervision.

Even in the Buddhism fraternity, female discrimination in religion is dominant. The doctrine has a negative prejudice on the feminine gender and on most occasions, does not consider their place in religious services. The view that the early Buddhism manifested a delay in accepting women is vivid from the way Buddhism campaigned for a highly patriarchal society. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel for women in the Buddhist community. That is after the campaign for nuns in some parts of the Buddhists has taken center stage (Tannenbaum, 2017). Moreover, the Western and the Asian Buddhists are not aware of how male dominance has been into existence for all this while. Hilariously, the Western Buddhists have also taken into consideration the concern as to why there are a few women teachers in Buddhists society.

However, as compared to the many religions arising all over the world, women have worked themselves to the bone by playing a leading role in Buddhism. For this effort, Buddhism's most significant achievement in history is the assertion they made concerning male and female gender (Tannenbaum, 2017). The declaration recommended that all women and men, regardless of their status in the society, race or cultural background, have equal spiritual growth. This assertion is very prudent concerning how Buddhists and other religion initially perceived women. In Buddhist, the women gender was traditionally not permitted by the Brahmanas not to perform any religious function and to study the sacred text of the Vedas.

Political and Social Contexts of the Gender Role Contrasts in Rome and the Rest of the World

It is interesting how the emergence of feminism in our modern societies propelled for the empowerment of the female gender. The female gender has become dominant in religious activities just like the male gender. The formerly weak gender in terms of religion has now crusaded for equal opportunities in all aspects of life. According to Haggard et al., (2018) many religions worldwide have adjusted to this powerful force of the place of women in society, giving them a chance to serve. The women have been given leading leadership mantles in various denominations just like men. However, this is the very direct opposite of what was manifested in ancient societies. Wey back in our communities, which were majorly patriarchal, women were not heard of in religion. Religion indeed plays a vital role in the public affairs, and so even with the rise of birth of a democratic society, those in power have to heed to the voices of women in demanding for the equal representation even in the religion.

In the Roman Empire, women have been given the mandate of performing the festivals of the cults. The women were confirmed to be given divine assistance to uphold their ideal conduct In society. The role of women was not only restricted to the Roman cults, but also to the foreign cults that have made their importance clear to the Roman religion. Women also played an instrumental role in Roman religious activity even outside the priesthood.

Generally, the Roman Catholic has been the dominating religion worldwide. Despite the strong emergence of Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Islamic faith, the Christian religion has outdone them all in Rome and the other parts of the world (Hopkins, 2016). It is believed that the Roman Catholic is more or like a superpower that rules the world as a whole. The pope is thus considered to be a mighty being that has, within his composure, the power of blessing and cursing. Therefore, the pope is recognized by all nations worldwide, not only as a Roman Catholic leader but also as a political figure. Due respect is bestowed to the pope by other religious groups as well as the leaders of the nations in Europe and the rest of the world (Szwed & Zielinska, 2017).

How Religion has Been Affected by Gender Roles over Time

It is an undisputed fact that sociology of religion has, for over some time, been the last in addressing gender issues. The birth of gender equality in most parts of the Roman Empire, as well as other parts of the world, has sailed through the rights of women to be partakers of various religious services. The notion that women are more religious as compared to the otherwise male gender religiously has propelled religion to another level. Women have played very crucial roles in theology and this has anticipated for society where every gender is considered meaningful in its own right. Initially, gender biasness caused great havoc, where the female gender always felt discriminated in society. Despite the growing urge for equal representation of both genders in religion, there are some religions that still strongly do not believe that women should be empowered when it comes to religion. A typical example is an Islamic religion that from time immemorial has denied their women their right to led in the religious grounds. Women in this religion are highly discriminated, and the latter can only be heard of in their marital homes and not the mosques. In Islamic culture, the male gender is highly recognized and appreciated. Only the male gender can hold crucial religious positions and to teach the Koran (Hopkins, 2016).

The Christian religion, however, has a contradicting opinion from that of the Islamic religious culture. The Christians have been entirely transformed and have given their women power in their various churches. This kind of transformation has been warmly welcomed by both genders. For the last twenty years, the history of women in Christian societies has strongly been relooked into. The Holy Book used for reference by Christians, acknowledge the fact that women were part and parcel of the first followers of the son of the Highest. From the beginning of His ministry on the planet earth, the Jewish women disciples such as Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna had always accompanied Jesus to His various missions and also availed their aids when need arose. This belief has strengthened the place of women in the Christian religions. Even after the death of Jesus, women remained to be very prominent and promising in the spread of the gospel. Some scholars claim that majority of Christians in the first centuries may have been women.

Religious Changes

Religion has experienced a substantial shift from the formerly committed forms of worship to more short-focus attention on the spirituality of the people. For this reason, there has been a powerful shift of religion from a dogmatic one to a questionable kind of faith. This has also been accompanied closely by scrutinizing some of the practices that do not concur with the teachings of the various religious traditions. In ancient society, believers were forced to believe in whatever kind of religious belief that they found themselves enshrined under. The question that tried to challenge the religion were highly compelled by the various religious leaders. However, modern religious traditions work in a different version. Believers are allowed to have an in-depth study of religious beliefs of their choice and confirm if they tally with the teachings from the various scriptures.

The freedom of inquiry into religious practices has led to the emergence of many religious groups all over the world. In Christian religion, for example, has blossomed into several denominations which initially did not exist. This kind of increment is closely associated with the fact that different people perceive and analyze scriptures differently. Buddhist culture has also undergone several transformations. Remarkably is the negative shift of the Buddhist religion. Initially, Buddhism was strongly leaned on four grand pillars. However with the emergence of the modern society these chief pillars of the Buddhist religious faith have been undermined. The four components that kept the Buddhism fraternity strong were; the truth of suffering (dukkha), the reality of the cause of the pain (samudaya), the existence of the end of suffering (nirhodha) and the truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga). In general, the four underlying principle pillars of Buddhism explained the inevitable part of life which is enduring (Tannenbaum, 2017). The components thus encouraged Buddhist's to endeavor their current states of sufferings because it is not a permanent thing. Nearly all the religious groups have made some remarkable change in their perception of the female gender.

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