The Sociology of Religion: A Bibliographical Survey

The Sociology of Religion: A Bibliographical Survey

The Sociology of Religion: A Bibliographical Survey

The Sociology of Religion: A Bibliographical Survey

Excerpt

As its name implies, the sociology of religion represents the application of a discipline to a discrete sphere of human experience. The concerns and categories which occupy sociologists in other fields occupy sociologists of religion also. Sociologists are broadly interested in groups within society and the interrelationships between the two levels. In the sociology of religion the interrelationships are between the state, the community, the secular domain and the sphere of everyday life on the one hand and religious organizations, communities, ideologies and leaders on the other. The division of society according to caste, social class or some other means of stratification is a seminal concern of sociology, and it is a major theme in the sociological study of religion.

The perception of the sociology of religion as a branch of applied sociology is, however, a recent one. In the classical and formative years of the discipline religion was the object of study not because it represented a specialization within the study of society nor even because it exhibited the range of characteristics that were necessary for the systematization of the discipline. It was rather because of . . .

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