Religion in Sociological Perspective is an introduction to the sociology of religion core text, designed to present and illustrate the basic theories sociologists use to understand the social dimensions of religion. First and foremost, the authors seek to help students understand the perspective from which sociologists view religion. By the time students have finished this book, they should understand the central theories and methods of research in the sociology of religion, and they should have an idea of how to apply these analytical tools to new groups they encounter. The goal of this text is to be illustrative rather than all-encompassing. The Fifth Edition continues to draw on a wide range of perspectives. The text aims to help students recognize the contributions of various theoretical perspectives and the blind spots of each theory. Conflict, functional, social constructionist, and rational choice paradigms are used throughout the text. Various middle-range theories are also utilized to explore specific processes. Despite the effort to introduce many perspectives, however, we have made an effort to enhance integration of the text by using one framework throughout the book: the open systems model.
In this book, based on lectures that the author was invited to deliver in Japan, Bryan Wilson traces the dominant contours of religion as perceived by the sociologist. His themes range from the study of sectarianism, on which he is one of the relationship between religion and culture in modern societies of the West and the East.
This book is designed as a primary or supplementary textbook in courses on the sociology of religion courses offered at major 4 year colleges and universities. Due to the high level of interest in religion and religious conflict, and an increased interest in religion on a global scale, this book will also be adopted in introductory sociology, social movements, and social problems courses. Religious conflict, linked with ethnic and cultural differences are part of the everyday discussion in classrooms and on campuses around the world. This book directly responds to issues of social problems and issues prevalent in the world today in a style that is both authoritative and attention-getting. A current user of Gods in The Global Village said, "the bottom line is this is a terrific book, the best I’ve found for this course in twenty years of teaching. It reflects solid scholarship, but is written in an accessible style, and addresses what I believe are the most important issues in our world today. It offers what I want my students to learn! I look forward to the revised edition, which I will certainly use in my class."
Religions have always been associated with particular forms of knowledge, often knowledge accorded special significance and sometimes knowledge at odds with prevailing understandings of truth and authority in wider society. New religious movements emerge on the basis of reformulated, often controversial, understandings of how the world works and where ultimate meaning can be found. Governments have risen and fallen on the basis of such differences and global conflict has raged around competing claims about the origins and content of religious truth. Such concerns give rise to recurrent questions, faced by academics, governments and the general public. How do we treat statements made by religious groups and on what basis are they made? What authorities lie behind religious claims to truth? How can competing claims about knowledge be resolved? Are there instances when it is appropriate to police religious knowledge claims or restrict their public expression? This book addresses the relationship between religion and knowledge from a sociological perspective, taking both religion and knowledge as phenomena located within ever changing social contexts. It builds on historical foundations, but offers a distinctive focus on the changing status of religious phenomena at the turn of the twenty-first century. Including critical engagement with live debates about intelligent design and the ’new atheism’, this collection of essays brings recent research on religious movements into conversation with debates about socialisation, reflexivity and the changing capacity of social institutions to shape human identities. Contributors examine religion as an institutional context for the production of knowledge, as a form of knowledge to be transmitted or conveyed and as a social field in which controversies about knowledge emerge.
Christel Lane has written the first sociological study of religion in a communist and militantly atheist society. Christian Religion in the Soviet Union is the result of a detailed examination of Soviet sociological sources and the legally and illegally published reports of religious bodies or individuals, backed up by the observations of the author and of other Western visitors to the USSR. Dr. Lane attempts to assess the impact of the intellectual and material culture of Soviet society on Christian religion. She analyses the religious life in the contemporary Christian churches and sects, describing the scope of their membership and its social composition, the religious commitment of believers and their social and political orientations. Christian Religion in the Soviet Union will be central reading for students of religion in modern industrial society who are working within the disciplines of sociology, comparative religion or theology. It will also appeal to those studying Soviet society from a more general sociological perspective and to a wide readership interested in the contest between Christian religion and Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Religion is a major force in contemporary society. It is also one of the least understood social and political influences on individuals and communities. In this innovative collection of original essays and classic readings, experts explore the significance of contemporary religiosity: as a source of meaning and motivation, how it unites and divides us, and how it is used politically and culturally. Readers will be introduced to the broad debates in ways that will equip them to analyze, discuss, and make their own judgments about religion and society. This book should be read by anyone interested in understanding religion as a central source of meaning and politics, and is ideally suited for undergraduate teaching on religion and social issues and from a global perspective.
Is it true that religion is weakening in modern times, or are we facing religious resurgence? What is fundamentalism? How does it emerge and grow? What role does religion play in ethnic and national conflicts? Is religion a fundamental driving force or do political leaders use religion for their own purposes? Do all religions oppress women? These are some of the questions addressed in this book. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion provides an overview of sociological theories of contemporary religious life. Some chapters are organized according to topic. Others offer brief presentations of classical and contemporary sociologists from Karl Marx to Zygmunt Bauman and their perspectives on social life, including religion. Throughout the book, illustrations and examples are taken from several religious traditions.
'Grace Davie is one of the best analysts of religion in contemporary sociology. This book caps a distinguished record of studies of religion - first of Britain, then of Europe, then globally. This is a magisterial work, which should be read by anyone interested in the place of religion in the modern world' - Peter L. Berger, Boston University 'This book offers both an expert survey of contemporary sociology of religion and the personal reflections of one of the leading scholars in the field. Grace Davie is a good model for students and their teachers: she is clear, engaging and fair minded but unafraid to express a point of view' -David Voas, University of Manchester 'Grace Davie has written a book about what is currently happening in the sociology of religion which is clear, accessible, devoid of jargon and authoritative. Though addressed to the educated reader, it also provides an ideal text for students... If you want expert guidance about what is going on in the sociology of religion, and to have useful indications about what is going on in religion on the global scene, this book does the job extremely well' - Theology Why is religion still important? Can we be fully modern and fully religious? The Sociology of Religion works at two levels. First it sets out the agenda - covering the key questions in the sociology of religion today. At the same time, it interrogates this agenda - asking if the sociology of religion, as we currently know it, is 'fit for purpose'. If not, what is to be done? This book: • describes the origins of the sociology of religion • demystifies secularization as a process and a theory • relates religion to modern social theory • unpacks the meaning of religion in relation to modernity and globalization • grasps the methodological challenges in the field • provides a comparative perspective for religions in the west • introduces questions of minorities and margins • sets out a critical agenda for debate and research. In a single volume, Grace Davie captures the nature and forms of modern religion, the current debates in the field and the prospects for future development.
Most Sociology of Religion texts are decidedly staid and uninteresting, covering "contemporary" developments which are only contemporary only from a disciplinary perspective. They are not contemporary if viewed from the perspective of the religion's practioners (in religious and non-religious settings). The textbooks that attempt to be interesting to undergraduate students often fall short because they either try to cover too much in an encyclopedic format, or sacrifice a sociological perspective for a personal one. Many use real-life examples only superficially to illustrate concepts. Lundskow's approach is the opposite—students will learn the facts of religion in its great diversity, all the most interesting and compelling beliefs and practices, and then learn relevant concepts that can be used to explain empirical observations. The book thus follows the logic of actual research—investigate and then analyze—rather than approaching concepts with no real bearing on how religion is experienced in society. This approach, using provocative examples and with an eye toward the historical and theoretical, not to mention global experience of religion, will make this book a success in the classroom. The author envisions a substantive approach that examines religion as it actually exists in all its forms, including belief, ritual, daily living, identity, institutions, social movements, social control, and social change. Within these broad categories, the book will devote particular chapters to important historical moments and movements, leaders, and various individual religions that have shaped the contemporary form and effect of religion in the world today.
Using an unbiased, balanced approach, the 8th edition of" "this text puts religion in its social context by discussing the impact of society on religion while helpg readers understand the role and function of religion in society that occur "regardless" of anyone' s claims about the truth or falsity of religious systems.
Sociology of Religion represents a documented introduction to the history of sociological thought as applied to religious phenomena. It examines both the substantive and functional definitions of religion that are more open, pluralistic, and not inscribed in a single explanatory horizon or within a single confessional perspective. The contributors’ concerns are carefully written to show all sides of the argument. Roberto Cipriani argues for the simple definition that the sociology of religion is an application of sociological theories and methods to religious phenomena. Historically, close ties between sociology and the sociology of religion exist. The slow and uneven development of theory and methods affects the sociology of religion’s development, but the latter has also benefited from increasing precision and scientific validity. Other sociological writers agree and disagree about different approaches. Some assume it is a militantly confessional or anti-confessional; others remain neutral within their work.
The multicultural interests of today's diverse student population are reflected in this book which, treats classic issues in the sociology of religion in a variety of religious contexts and considers the global interconnections between beliefs and believers. Kurtz thus helps students understand the interplay between social change and religion. As provocative as it is informative, this book will spark discussion and re-examination of our conventional understandings of the role of religion in the postmodern and modern world.
The Sociology of Religion is a comprehensive and wide-ranging introduction to theoretical debates in the sociology of religion, placing these theories in the context of specific religious beliefs and practices. Using examples as diverse as primitive religions, Buddhism, millenial movements, the Protestant Ethic, secularisation, cults and the new religious movements, Malcolm Hamilton demonstrates the multiplicity of religious traditions and enables readers to place their own experiences in a wider context. He draws on both historical and anthropological perspectives in his examination of religious practices and outlines the work of major sociological theorists including Marx, Durkheim, Malinowski and other Functionalists, Frazer and Weber in the examination of world religion, bringing these theories up-to-date. The significance of each theoretical perspective is illustrated by chapters on particular beliefs and practices.
Andrew Dawson outlines how sociologists approach the subject of religion and introduces sociological research methods, before highlighting some of the key areas studied by sociology of religion such as the rise of fundamentalism, gender issues and the debate about secularisation.
Of the major world religions, only three, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam have diffused widely. They were introduced across numerous socio-cultural boundaries and were received as new religions to their converts. However, these diffusing religions have had varying degrees of success from wholesale reception to wholesale rejection. This book presents the perspective that a major factor in the variations in the diffusions of these religions, and in the religions themselves, is found in the nature of the inter-group relationships between receiving groups and both sending groups and surrounding groups. A crucial perception of the receivers is the perceived contribution the new religion will make to the enhancement of important aspects of group identities and of the strength of the group. This book takes into account diffusion, an old and persistent concept in the social sciences which has been rarely applied in sociology to religions or even ideologies.
Ubiquitär, relativ und brüchig zugleichist Humor eine sehr spezifische menschliche Denk- und Ausdrucksform. In diesem Buch geht Peter L. Berger der Natur des Komischen und dessen Bezug zu anderen menschlichen Erfahrungen nach. Erstmals 1997 veröffentlicht, beinhaltet diese zweite Auflage ein neues Vorwort, in dem Berger Überlegungen zum Verhältnis von Modernität und Humor anstellt.