Former SLCC Students to Review
Sociology of Religion
"Religion in Sociological Perspective," by Keith A. Roberts was loaned out and never returned. Therefore use the link above to read the Notes on a Textbook.
Sociology of Religion (was University of Utah Soc. 336)
Dwight Adams, Instructor
Other Texts Quoted:
The World's Religion by Ninian Smart
American Religions & Religion, by Catherine L. Albanese
Religion in America by Julia Mitchell Corbett
The Sociology of Religion: Classical and Contempory Approaches by Barbara Hargrove
Religion in Soceity: A sociology of religion by Ronald L. Johnstone
Introduction: Religion is "a system of shard beliefs and rituals that are oriented toward some scared, supernatural realm" --Keith A. Roberts
For our purposes, the consequences of religion on behavior will be our study, as we are not qualified to judge doctrines or comment on angles, God, and the like. The scientific methodology can not accommodate areas that are not readily observed with the 5 senses and replicated upon demand. Therefore, we can only measure the behavior of people with relation to their belief systems.
Some theorists have commented on religion as a whole: Karl Marx called religion the "opium of the masses." He saw it as a way for the rich and powerful to control the masses by telling them to wait for a future reward.
Durkhiem saw religion as communal cohesion, social engine for change, personal support, and defining of the group's energies.
Mead, in Symbolic Interactionalism, noted the great many and important symbols or icons found in all religions as they define the sacredness of ideas and motivated men to action.
But there are many types of religion, including civic religion (the governing body of public affairs), the institutional religion (including the clergy) and a unique blending of religious pluralism found in Americans today.
Main types of religious organizations of belief:
1- Simple Supernaturalism (may the force be with you)
2- Animisn (knock on wood, etc.)
3- Theisms, including polytheism, atheism, and monotheism. The latter has three great brances: Judism, Christianity, and Islam.
4- Transcendentalism (improve, transcend your current state) which includes self-help books as well as movements such as Buddhism.
5- Agnosticism (how can I know if there is a God? There are too many competing ideas)
We will do readings in areas that you find interest in.
Project A Objective: This project is designed to help you assess the impact of a religion on a those who adhere to it. This project is also designed to help you to understand people who believe differently than you do. It is very important that you visit a religion which is very new to your understanding and as different from your own as possible. For an example: if you are Christian, it would be best to visit a non-Christian religion (that would be preferable over having you visit another Christian denomination).
Project "b" (Death and the Symbols Regarding Death)
Project "c" Family Issues Literature Review