Document Type : Original Article


Faculty member of the Institute of Islamic Culture and Thought


Functionalist approach draws much attention in social sciences based on which social phenomena, especially religion are studied. This approach which is rooted in positivism asserts that any social phenomenon should be studied taking into account its role and duty in a system. This paper attempts to criticize the basics and assumptions of this approach in religious studies. Thus, while the historic and scientific origins of this approach and the definitions of religion presented by functionalists are discussed here, the paper also criticizes the definitions, principles, and assumptions in this approach.