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Religion in Sociological Perspective
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Religion in Sociological Perspective

Sixth Edition

Other Titles in:
Sociology | Sociology of Religion

July 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.

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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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Keith Alan Roberts

Keith A. Roberts is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Hanover College, a private liberal arts college of about 1,100 students in Indiana. He has taught introductory sociology for 35 years with a passion for active learning strategies and a focus on “deep learning” by students that transforms the way they see the world. Prior to teaching at Hanover, he taught at a 2-year regional campus of a large university. He has been active in the teaching movement, writing on teaching and serving as a consultant to sociology departments across the country in his capacity as a member of the American Sociological Association Departmental Resources... More About Author

David A. Yamane

David Yamane is professor of sociology at Wake Forest University. He has published in the sociology of religion and in the scholarship of teaching and learning. He is completing a 4-year term as Associate Editor of a leading journal in the field, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. In 2007, he was chosen by Wake Forest students to receive the Kulynych Family Omicron Delta Kappa Award for Contribution to Student Life. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452275826
$87.00