Though religion has been modified and seems to sustain a much less influential presence in modern society, it is still very much relevant for predicting certain social attitudes and behaviors.
There is a well-known sociological theory known as symbolic interactionism which views society as being composed of symbols that are used by people to develop their world view and assist in communications with one another (Henslin, 24). This theory believes that people develop their sense of self based on cultural, environmental or lifestyle symbols and then relate these to the process of building self-identity amongst broader society. Religion has been a fundamental symbol for generations, inspiring art, music, architecture, and glorious church construction. These symbols “are a great heritage of beauty to all humankind” (Diessner, Solom, Frost, Parsons & Davidson, 304). Under the symbolic interactionism theory, people with a strong commitment to recognizing and esteeming religious principles would find meaning in this pursuit by exposure to these long-standing sociological principles and design constructs. Finding a sense of self beauty through recognition of these religious symbols would theoretically assist in developing a positive self-concept measured by symbolic figures rather than through, necessarily, social interaction with others.
Traditional religious beliefs include Confucianism, a passive religious belief system that imposes learning, duty, responsibility and tolerance as part of its model (Zhang & Veenhoven, 428). Confucianism believes in self-reflection as part of daily lifestyle and acts as the precondition for improving oneself. The religious symbols such as music and church architecture provide a form of stability and an environment in which to seek perfection. It represents finding commonality with religious icons and through this effort finding their place in the world historically and in modern culture. The goal of communing with