Culture and Religion

Culture and religion are the terms confused with one another most of the time. They have quite an intermingling tendency towards each other. Lets find out which one of these two topics has a more strong tendency and why.

Culture is defined as the system of shared beliefs, values, customs and behaviors that the members of society have in common, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning. Religion is defined as a social institution characterized by sacred stories; symbols and symbolism; the proposed existence of immeasurable beings, powers, states, places, and qualities; rituals and means of addressing the supernatural; specific practitioners; and change.

Culture is something that can exist independently in a society. It plays a strong role in the identity of a certain group of people. We recognize the young lot from elite class by their “mummy-daddy culture” so to say. Similarly Sindhis and Balochis have their own characteristic culture within their specific territory and this is how we recognize and identify them; on the basis of their language, dressing, architecture, behavior towards females and towards guests etc. But here we see that this effect of culture is quite limited and restricted to a certain land or group of people. On the other hand we see religion as a strong binding force i.e. the Muslims all around Pakistan have same religious beliefs despite their provincial or territorial differences. In this respect, we can see religion as a more powerful force for integration of different smaller cultures within a society. Religion is often seen to reinforce basic values of society, and social norms which derive from these values direct behavior of the people. So we can say that religion spreads “value consensus” in society meaning thereby that it binds all people into one system.

So I would like to conclude that religion is a more powerful factor than culture.


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