Sociology Index

Sociology of Religion

Books on Sociology of Religion, Society and Atheism

 

I can understand God creating everything: the rivers and the mountains; the plants and the trees; the birds and the animals. But I can't understand the need for humans amidst this grand design? - rvp

The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. - George Bernard Shaw in Preface to Androcles and the Lion.

The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads. It has been furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries ..... proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe, that the god in the sanctuary was finite in his power and hence a fraud. -H L Mencken

Without the heretics, world would have continued to remain FLAT and we would never have explored the world. - rvp.

The foundation for belief and religion is fear and hope. The rich fear the prospect of losing what they have, and the poor hope to gain through belief and religion.  - rvp

Decency is veiled from sight and indecency is exposed to view. Scenes of evil attract packed audiences. Good words scaredly find any listeners. It is as if purity should provoke a blush, and corruption give ground for pride. But where else should this happen but in devils' temples, in the resorts of delusion?  - St.Augustine

If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask, does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. - David Hume

Since its inception, presumably dated in the classical period of Durkheim and Weber, the sociology of religion has been fascinated by the phenomenon of secularization. This term, of course, has been endlessly debated, modified and occasionally repudiated.

But for most purposes it could be defined quite simply as a process in which religion diminishes in importance both in society and in the consciousness of individuals. And most sociologists looking at this phenomenon have shared the view that secularization is the direct result of modernization - Peter L. Berger

Religious groups enjoy an organizational and systemic link to other conduits of power in a society (government, education, mass media), and make observance a necessary component of prestige.

In this context it is understandable that every U.S. President since Eisenhower has attended church, and most have self-identified as born-again Christians.

If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.- Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State (1882), in seeming response to Voltaire's "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

The Council of Societies for the Study of Religion is a federation of learned societies in the field of religious studies.

 

American Religion Data Archive - free resource available to researchers interested in quantitative data on American religion. - arda.tm/

 

Association for the Sociology of Religion - sociologyofreligion.com/

 

Weberian Sociology of Religion - ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki/abukuma

 

Hartford Institute for Religion Research - Sociology of Religion

Center presents its projects in this area. Find an introduction to the field, lists of scientists, articles, research resources, and a bibliography. - hirr.hartsem.edu/sociology/sociology.html

 

General American Religion Resources (Northwest Missouri State Unversity)

 

Swiss Online Texts in the Sociology of Religion

 

Sociology of Religion - Abstracts

 

Reflections on the Sociology of Religion today. (The 2000 Paul Hanly Furfey Lecture). - Peter L. Berger - The sociology of religion has been fascinated by the phenomenon of secularization.

This term, of course, has been endlessly debated, modified and occasionally repudiated. But for most purposes it could be defined quite simply as a process in which religion diminishes in importance both in society and in the consciousness of individuals. And most sociologists looking at this phenomenon have shared the view that secularization is the direct result of modernization.

Rethinking religious social action: what is "rational" about rational-choice theory? - James V. Spickard - At the level of entire communities and societies, models of religious markets and religious regulation challenge the predictions of secularization theory, asserting instead the vitality of religion in pluralistic settings.

Religion and Mental Health: The Case of American Muslims
Amber Haque - Dept. of Psychology, International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
American living presents unique challenges to the Muslims who stick to their Islamic faith. Also covers the response of American Muslim communities to such challenges.

Chinese Conversion to Evangelical Christianity: The Importance of Social and Cultural Contexts Why Conservative Ethnic Churches Are Growing: The Case of Chinese Protestant Churches

 

The Silence of the Body - Melvyn A. Hill - Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. York University in Toronto. Blanton-Peale Institute
Abstract: Psychoanalysis aims at a transformation of the subject comparable to the Buddha's quest for enlightenment.

 

The Cultural Significance of New Religious Movements: The Case of Soka Gakkai. - Lorne L. Dawson.

The bible and sociology. (1998 Paul Hanly Furfey Lecture) - John A. Coleman - That a marriage of social-scientific critical studies of the Bible with literary criticism actually makes for not only better biblical scholarship but better sociology.

The sociology of religion of W.E.B. Du Bois. - Phil Zuckerman.

Syncretic sociology: towards a cross-disciplinary study of religion. (1997 Paul Hanly Furfey Lecture)  - Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo - Epistemological challenges to objectivity in the study of religion have made more important sociology's focus on empirical evidence and statistical data.

Sociology and public theology: a case study of pro-choice/ profile common ground. (1998 Presidential Address) - James R. Kelly - Why should there be an Association for the Sociology of Religion? ASR's parent association was the American Catholic Sociological Society.

Religion-Online - Archive provides full text of books and articles on a broad variety of issues, including the Bible, the sociology of religion and local worship.

Sociology of Religion Project - Conservative force means either 'resisting social change' or 'involving traditional beliefs/customs'.

Theologypapers.com. Site has been created and maintained by Professor Jeffrey Hadden at the University of Virginia.

Sociology and public theology: a case study of pro-choice/ profile common ground.

 

Papers and reports on the sociology of religion.

 

Scientology and the Definition of Religion

Alejandro Frigerio of the Catholic University of Argentina examines Scientology from a sociological standpoint.