Here are some past questions from A Level Sociology Exams on the topic of religion.
Worth 8 marks.
Identify and briefly explain some of the reasons why interest in and commitment to alternative spiritual groups may be relatively “short-lived” (Item A, line 9).
Identify and briefly explain two reasons why it could be claimed that most religions reflect a patriarchal ideology.
Explain two problems in assessing the influence of religion in modern society.
Identify and briefly explain two reasons, apart from that referred to in Item A, why we might have a “false view of the religious nature of past societies” (Item A, lines 4-5).
Identify and briefly explain two criticisms of the view that religion is no longer a source of moral guidance in society.
Distinguish between a church and denomination.
Describe and briefly explain two characteristics of new religious movements.
Identify and explain two reasons why church attenders are predominantly female.
Identify and describe two consequences of a ‘multi-faith’ society for the sociology of religion.
Medium Length Questions
Worth 12 marks.
Using information from Item A and elsewhere, briefly examine why religious groups such as those referred to in Item A fail to attract men and the under 35s.
Examine some of the reasons for the patterns of church membership shown in Item A.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, briefly examine how religion can still be said to be functional for individuals and society.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, examine some of the reasons why there is “much disagreement on the meaning of the concept of secularisation” (Item A, line 1).
Examine some of the ways in which religious beliefs can promote social change.
Examine reasons for the movement to religious fundamentalism.
Examine the view that the emergence of new religious movements is a response to social disintegration and change.
Examine the extent to which religion acts as an agent of social control over women.
Examine the significance of the trends in the Item.
Worth 40 marks.
Assess the view that sociological arguments and evidence support functionalist views of the role and functions of religion in contemporary society.
“The growth of religious fundamentalism challenges the view that the world is becoming more secular.” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?
Assess the arguments and evidence for the view that the membership of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is drawn mainly from the poor and deprived groups in society.
“Modern Britain is now a secular society.” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence agree with this statement?
Assess the view that in most societies religion functions more to cause conflict than to bring about harmony and consensus.
Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations.
Using information from Item A and elsewhere, assess the arguments and evidence for the view that there is much more religiosity in society than the secularisation theorists acknowledge.
Some theories see religion as conservative force, other as a force for social change. Examine the evidence and arguments for each of these views.
“It is difficult to regard religious institutions as central to modern society.” Evaluate the arguments and evidence for this view.