Religion as Poetry

Religion as Poetry

by Andrew M. Greeley
     
 

Religion as Poetry continues in the grand tradition of the sociology of religion pioneered by Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Talcott Parsons, among other giants in intellectual history. Too many present-day sociologists either ignore or disparage religious currents. In this provocative book, Andrew M. Greeley argues that various religions have endured for thousands of… See more details below

Overview

Religion as Poetry continues in the grand tradition of the sociology of religion pioneered by Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Talcott Parsons, among other giants in intellectual history. Too many present-day sociologists either ignore or disparage religious currents. In this provocative book, Andrew M. Greeley argues that various religions have endured for thousands of years as poetic rituals and stories. Religion as Poetry proposes a theoretical framework for understanding religion that emphasizes insights derived from religious stories. By virtue of his own rare abilities as a novelist as well as sociologist, Greeley is uniquely qualified for this task. Greeley first considers classical theories of the sociology of religion, and then, drawing upon them, he explicates his own interpretation. He critically examines the viewpoint that society is becoming more secular, and that religion is declining. He observes that this theory stands in the way of persuading sociologists that religion is still worth studying. In contrast, Greeley is interested in why religions persist despite secular trends and alongside them. He argues that it is poetic elements that touch the human soul. Greeley then sets out to test this viewpoint. Greeley maintains that his theory is not the only, or necessarily even the best approach to study religion. Rather, it is his contention that it uniquely provides sociologists with perspectives on religion that other theories too often overlook or disregard. Religion as Poetry, an original and intriguing study by a distinguished social scientist and major novelist, will be enjoyed and evaluated by sociologists, theologians, and philosophers alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560008996
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Prelude
1Introduction1
2Social Science Theories of Religion5
3Religion as Poetry23
4The Faith We Have Lost57
5The Persistence of Religion83
6Testing the Links111
7Different Poetry for Different People123
8The Pragmatics of Prayer157
9Religious Stories and Political Stories179
10Religious Stories and the Environment191
11Religious Stories and AIDS205
12Religious Stories and Contact with the Dead217
13A Story of Two Religious Imaginations229
14The Development of a Religious Story257
15Conclusion263
References271
Index277

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