The Sociology of Religion; A Substantive and Transdisciplinary Approach

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/10/2008
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc

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Most Sociology of Religion texts are decidedly staid and uninteresting, covering 'œcontemporary' 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.

Table of Contents

Sociological Theory and Religion
Death and the Meaning of Life
Classical Theory
Emile Durkheim
Karl Marx
Max Weber
The Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism
Of Priests and Prophets-Establishment versus Charisma
Middle Sociology-World War II and its Aftermath
Race: The Great Religious Divider in the United States
The Evil Enemy
Women as Other
Religion after World War II
Theory and Religion Today
References and Further Reading
A Sociological History of Religion
Section i ?Premodern Religion
The Dawn of Religion
Social Change and two Great Shifts
Inclusive Monotheism (Henotheism)
Exclusive Monotheism
Transition from Paganism to Christianity
What Happened to Paganism?
The Role of Class
The Role of Culture
The Engines of Religious Change
The Medieval Period
Schism and Crusades
Early Modern Period
The Witch Craze
Rise and Transformation of the Work Ethic
Religion in Modern Times
Modern Times
Vital Religious Experience and Personal Volition: The First and Second Great Awakenings
Religion and Race: Slavery and Its Aftermath
American Evangelicalism
The Rise of Progressivism and Fundamentalism
Religion and the Rise of Modern Manhood
American Innovation: The Democratization of Religion
The Twentieth Century
Civil Rights and the Vietnam War
Fundamentalist Resurgence
Religion after the Cold War
Religion Today and in the Near Future
Superstition and the Supernatural
Sparta and Athens
The Virgin Mary in a Small German Village
Witches and the Devil in Salem
Alternative Religion
Analytical Concepts
On the Ambiguity, Ambivalence, and Vacancy of the Self in Modern Life
Conformity-The Case of the Latter-day Churches
Innovation-The Case of Unitarian Universalism
Ritualism-The Case of Roman Catholic Traditionalism
Retreatism-Voudou in the New World
Caribbean Variations
Revolution-The Case of Native-American Resistance
References and Further Reading
Religious Intolerance and Violence
Exclusive Monotheism
Icons-Intolerance of Religious Imagery
The Cathars-Intolerance of Heresy
Violence and Intolerance in Modern Times
Women's Fundamentalism in the Middle East
Fundamentalism in the US-The Christian Right
Christian Violence
Sociological Relevance
Evil Around the World
China and Japan
Native America
The Persians
Co-Discussion-"Gods and Devils" by Mark P. Worrell
References and Further Reading
Branch Davidians-From Alternative Religion to Cult
Charles Manson and the Family
Degradation Rituals-The Process of Cult Initiation
The Leader and the Message
Heaven's Gate
Discussion-What Cults Really Are
References and Further Reading
Emergent Religion
Revival and Emergence
Beliefs and History
Margot Adler
Ethnographic Testimonies-Original Research
New Evangelicalism
The Differences
References and Further Reading
Haré Krishna-Indian Religion Arrives in the US
Roman Catholicism
Global Clashes-Russia
Co-Discussion-Catholic Fundamentalism in Poland by Agnieszka Koscianska
Co-Discussion-"I'm Muslim by God's Grace; I'm Gay by God's Grace": Reconciling a Queer Muslim Identity in America by Mahruq Khan
Types of Religious Experience
References and Further Reading
Religion Beyond Religion
Heavy Metal Hierophany
On the Road-A Journey of Discovery
Metal and Goths-Contrasts
Jesus, CEO
Co-Discussion-God the Economist?
Economics and Religion in an Inter-Faith Business Organization by Sadie Pendaz
References and Further Reading
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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