Prophetic Religions and Politics: Religion and the Political Order - Vol. 1

Prophetic Religions and Politics: Religion and the Political Order - Vol. 1

Prophetic Religions and Politics: Religion and the Political Order - Vol. 1

Prophetic Religions and Politics: Religion and the Political Order - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Jeffrey K. Hadden is the. author of Prime Time Preachers, the most frequently cited work on the rising political power of television evangelists, and a coauthor of Televangelism: Power and Politics on God's Frontier. He is professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, Charlottville, and a former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Anson Shupe is a coauthor of Televangelism: Power and Politics on God's Frontier, The New Vigilantes, and The Mormon Corporate Empire. He is also Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University.

Excerpt

The publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) sensitized members of the scientific world to the fact that their ideas, indeed the grounding of their thought processes, are shaped by the scholarly communities in which they labor. "Normal science," as Kuhn conceived it, occurs within a generally taken-for-granted conceptual, or paradigmatic, framework. No paradigm is inclusive of all questions that might be raised about a subject matter, but paradigms do focus the structure of attention while simultaneously excluding other questions. Paradigm shifts tend to be infrequent, and when they occur the process is akin to social revolutions.

Leaving aside the question of whether Kuhn intended to include the social sciences in his analytical scheme, it is clear that social scientists have found his work useful for thinking about their work (e.g., Freidrichs 1970; Mullins 1973; Ritzer 1975). If we can also duck questions relating to the specific content of a social science paradigm, Kuhn's notion of a paradigm is at least a useful metaphor for thinking about major ideas that have dominated social science thought.

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