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Religion in Sociological Perspective
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Religion in Sociological Perspective

Sixth Edition
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September 2015 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This fully updated Sixth Edition of Religion in Sociological Perspective introduces students to the basic theories and methods in the field, and shows them how to apply these analytic tools to new groups they encounter. The authors explore three interdependent subsystems of religion—meaning, structure, and belonging—and their connections to the larger social structure. While they cover the major theoretical paradigms of the field and employ various middle-range theories to explore specific processes, they use the open systems model as a single unifying framework to integrate the theories and enhance student understanding.

Contributor to the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award

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Preface
 
About the Authors
 
PART I. INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION
 
1. What Do We Mean by the Term Religion?
Substantive Definitions

 
Fucntional Definitions

 
A Symbolic Definition

 
Distinction Between Religion and Magic

 
Invisible Religion

 
Spiritual but Not Religious?

 
The Concept of Religion as Employed in This Text

 
A Final Word About Defintions

 
Summary

 
 
2. A Social Scientific Approach to Studying Religion
The Sociological Perspective

 
Sociological Methods of Studying Religions

 
Summary

 
 
PART II. THE COMPLEXITY OF RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS: INTEGRATION AND CONFLICT
 
3. Religion in the Larger Society: Macro Perspectives
Funcitonal Theory and the Functions of Religion

 
Conflict Theory and Religious Conflict

 
Toward Synthesis: An Open Systems Model

 
Summary

 
 
4. The Cultural Construction of Religion: Experience, Myth, Ritual, Symbols, and Worldview
The Social Construction of Reality

 
The Experimental Dimension of Religion

 
Myth and Ritual

 
The Importance of Symbols

 
Worldview, Ethos, and Symbols

 
Summary

 
 
PART III. RELIGION IN THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
 
5. Becoming and Being Religious
Religious Socialization and the Intergenerational Transmissio of Religion

 
Religion Over the Life Course

 
Age, Cohort, and Generational Effects on Religion

 
A Multidimensional Model of Commitment

 
Religion and Identity

 
Religious "Nones"

 
Summary

 
 
6. Conversion and Switching
Conversion, Brainwashing, and the New Religious Movements

 
Process Models of Conversion

 
Religious Choices and Commitments: A Rational Choice Model

 
Religious "Switching"

 
Apostasy

 
Summary

 
 
PART IV. FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
 
7. Organized Religion: Churches, Sects, Denominations, and "Cults"
Charisma and the Charismatic Leader

 
The Routinization of Charisma

 
Dilemmas of Institutionalization

 
Classifying Religious Organizations

 
The Church-Sect Typology

 
Social Conditions That Generate Each Type of Group

 
New Religious Movements, aka "Cults"

 
Summary

 
 
8. Organized Religion: Denominationalism and Congregationalism
The Denominational Society

 
Beyond Denominations?

 
Denominations and De Facto Congregationalism

 
Congregational Demography

 
What Do Congregations Do?

 
Megachurches

 
Multi-Site Churches

 
"New Paradigm" and "Seeker" Churches: Congregations With a Marketing Strategy

 
Summary

 
 
PART V. RELIGION AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY
 
9. Religion, Economics, and Social Class
Religious Ethics and Economic Action

 
Social Class and Religious Involvement: Interactive Processes

 
Summary

 
 
10. Religion and Race
Race, Ethnicity, and Religious Identification

 
Racial Segregation in Congregations

 
Explaining Congregational Racial Segregation

 
Religion, Racial Prejudice, and Racism as a Worldview

 
Racism as a Worldview

 
Sources of Racism in Christianity

 
Social Conflict and Religious Expression: The Conflict Perspective

 
Summary

 
 
11. Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
Gender and Religious Involvement

 
Sexism in the Religious Meaning and Belonging Systems

 
Religion and Institutional Sexism

 
Religion, Individual Gender Role Attitudes, and the Social Construction of Difference

 
Religion and Sexuality

 
Summary

 
 
12. Religion, Inequality, and Social Activisim
Theology as Social Idealogy

 
Religion and Minority Status

 
Religion in the African American Community

 
Summary

 
 
PART VI. SOCIAL CHANGE AND RELIGIOUS ADAPTATION
 
13. Secularization: Religion in Decline or in Transformation?
Traditional Models of Secularization

 
The "New" Paradigm

 
Neosecularization Theory

 
Concluding Reflections on Secularization

 
Civil Religion

 
Summary

 
 
14. Religion Outside the (God) Box
Religion and the "Old" Media

 
Religion and the "New Media"

 
Religion and Sport

 
Quasi-Religious Movements

 
Summary

 
 
15. Religion and Globalization
The Globalization Process

 
World Religions and the Emergence of Global Theologies

 
Impact of Globalization on Religion

 
The Role of Religion in Global Affairs

 
Summary

 
 
Epilogue. The Sociological Perspective on Religion: A Concluding Comment
 
Bibliography
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
Online resources are available at http://study.sagepub.com/rsp6e and include a password-protected Instructor Resources featuring a comprehensive test bank, active-learning instructional strategies, suggested films and videos, course assignments and projects, term paper projects, expanded chapter material from the previous edition, and a sample syllabi.

This text is well presented and has a lot of detailed sections. I believe it is very accessible to the students and not too complex to absorb the concepts. Further to this, I think the critical thinking points that come up within the chapters are really good to get students to get into the habit of doing this which will help them when writing their dissertations.

Ms Icram Serroukh
Nursing and Midwifery, Middlesex University
November 21, 2016

This book has some great chapters that are easily readable. Some great examples in a contemporary perspective which a lot of other books are missing.

Miss Katrina Roddy
Education , South Devon College
June 9, 2016

The book offers a comprehensive overview of the most important theoretical categories in the scope of sociology of religion. They are presented critically and exhaustively. In fact, the volume presents various approaches toward sociology of religion and follows through the main theoretical influences on social sciences studies and evolution as well as impact of their main categories. The volume covers basic material in a readable way, thus providing a very good introduction for students. This valuable and theoretically rich approach will make students’ work on analytical categories more efficient and successful. Last but not least, the book is highly inspirational and recommended for all readers interested in the conemporary social thought comprehension and studying.

Ms Joanna Rak
Faculty of Political Sciences and International Studies, Nicholas Copernicus University - Torun
September 20, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 10

Chapter 11


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ISBN: 9781452275826
£70.00

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