Apparently, it's just clearly fixed by circumstance (ie, the reverse effect of religion on national and cultural tradition) played a role in the fact that such prominent social scientists, as the German sociologist Max Weber and English historian Arnold Toynbee, in his works gave so much, sometimes self-sufficient and decisive importance of religion. Weber wrote in one of his works that the interests (material and ideal), not ideas determine the behavior of people, but that view of the world, created ideas, are like arrows in the ways in which the dynamics of interest directs human activity. This distorts the role of ideas is most evident in analysis of the key points of a society in which the system becomes encrusted real obstacle to further development, leading to stagnation and decay. Weber himself, to prove their concept in detail investigated the phenomenon of Protestant Reformation and the entire Christian church, drawing attention to the crucial, in his view, the role of this phenomenon in the creation of proper conditions for capitalist development in Europe. However, recognizing an important role in religious reform cleared the way for capitalism (Catholicism really was hardly able to carry out this work), do not forget that the Reformation of the church itself was brought to life needs society already fraught with serious economic and social processes of transformation, showing himself since the Renaissance. In other words, the determining factor in the end there were always changes in life itself. But this does not mean that due to the drastic change shifts in consciousness, ideas and institutions should be considered "secondary," as it is typical for Marxists. Source: Cross River.
On the contrary, they may under certain circumstances and even should play a very important and in many ways a crucial role. Even more important, religion as a system that defines the basic principles of a civilization, gives Arnold Toynbee in his capital 12-volume publication "The study of history." The entire history of mankind, he divided the history of the individual to civilizations – ancient and modern, East and West – basing this division of religion. For example, he believed, that Christianity was that "doll", from which hatched the entire Western civilization. Application in studying the history of the "religious" principle can not be considered eligible if only because of itself, none of religious systems – in spite of its autonomy, and the reverse samodeterminirovannosti impact on society – can not be considered fundamental principle in the socio-historical and historical-cultural development. Noting that just the truth, we should nonetheless take into account the medieval Western civilization has a lot of Christianity (the symbol of faith and biblical legends to the organization of family, home, social institutions) and therefore has the right to be Christian (with the caveat that we are talking about its cultural tradition, rather than on processes or phenomena of socio-economic or socio-political) to the same extent as the Middle East Arab-Turkic-Iranian civilization can be called a Muslim, and the civilization of India and some adjacent areas – Hindu-Buddhist. In other words, religious and cultural tradition with all its accessories and institutions actually determines the characteristics of a civilization.