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Sociology of Religion charts changes in the sociology of religion without ignoring the continuing relevance of Weber, Durkheim, and Marx. Veteran sociologists Christiano, Swatos, and Kivisto address both the foundations and the profound changes in the field, placing new conceptions against their historical background. Charts, pictures, down-to-earth examples, and a readable style keep the history and new developments within the reach of undergraduates. Instructors who want to give their students a current and comprehensive overview of the field should take a look at Sociology of Religion: Contemporary Developments.
Part I. The Basics Chapter One: By Way of Introduction Background The Definition Problem Exploring the Dimensions of Religion
—Ethical Considerations A Definitional Revision The Plan of the Book Suggestions for Further Reading Chapter Two: Studying Religion How Do We Study Religion
—Historical Research Theory in the Study of Religion Functionalist Theories
—A Paradigm Shift
—Rational Choice Theories Sociologie Religeuse Why Study Religion?
Implicit Religion Suggestions for Further Reading Chapter Three: The "Religion" of Secularization and the History of Religions The “World” of Religion The Arguments The Critique The "Religion" of Secularization
—Invisible Religion The Myth of the Age of Faith Pluralism Suggestions for Further Reading
Chapter Four: Religion in the United States: Denominationalism and Beyond Churches and Sects
—Weber's Sociology and Troeltsch's Ethics
—Elaboration, Reaction, and Revision
—Neo-Weberian Analyses Denominationalism
—Denominations Today Congregationalism American Religious Renewal Mainlines and Sidelines in the United States Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: Alike and Different Suggestions for Further Reading
Part II. Religion and Social Differentiation Chapter Five: Social Class, Religion and Power: A Classic Field of Inquiry Sociological Classics
—Marx: The Permanent Exile and Prophet
—Weber: Theodicy, Religious Ethics, and Social Class Religion and the U.S. Class Structure
—U.S. Classes and Religion in the Industrial Age: 1870-1970
—The Class/Religion Nexus in a Postindustrial Society Suggestions for Further Reading Chapter Six: Religion and Ethnicity: A Complex Relationship Clarifying Terms: Ethnic, Nationality, and Racial Groups
—Defining Ethnic Groups
—Nationality Groups and Territoriality
—The Specter of Race Relational Patterns between Religion and Ethnicity Ethnicity in the "Righteous Empire"
The Ethnic Factor in the Formative Period of U.S. Catholicism The Jewish Diaspora Herberg's Thesis and the Triple Melting Pot The African-American Religious Experience From Different Shores: The New Immigrants
—The New Ethnics as Protestants, Catholics, and Jews
—Beyond Protestant, Catholic, Jew Suggestions for Further Reading
Chapter Seven: Gender, Sexuality, and Religion: Spirituality in Different Voices?
The Ordination Debate Women in Clerical and Lay Roles Culture Wars: Gender, Religion, and Family Values
—Abortion and the Politics of the Body
—Gays, Lesbians, and Religion Images of God and Gendered Spirituality Suggestions for Further Reading
Part III. Religion, Culture, and Change Chapter Eight: Religious Change: The Case of Catholicism in America Church with a Capital C Change: From Breeze to Tornado Commitment: Loyalty, but Not Obedience Devotion: A Collapse of Authority Governance: Guiding the People of God Leadership: Failures at the Top Membership: Problems in the Pews
—Women in the Church Personnel: People without Priests Finances: Expanding Mission, Declining Resources Suggestions for Further Reading
Chapter Nine: The Globalization Dynamic: Historic Animosities or Postmodern Politics?
Global Culture Excursus on the History of Religions Globalization and Fundamentalism
—The Religious Right in the United States
—Fundamentalism, Globalization, and American Civil Religion
—Ultraorthodoxy Suggestions for Further Reading
Chapter Ten: Mediating Meaning: Religion in—and as—Contemporary Culture Mass Faith: The Media of Religion Religion in Material Culture: Faith in the Flesh Religious Publishing: Words and The Word
"The Old-Time Religion": Broadcast Evangelism in America
—"In the Beginning..."
—The Message: "His Master's Voice"?
—The Messengers: The Return of Elmer Gantry?
—The Audience: Preaching to the Converted?
Cyber-faith: Religion on the Internet Suggestions for Further Reading Chapter Eleven: Boundary Issues: Church State and New Religions Religious Novelty Cult and Anticult: Social Science and Social Movements Asceticism and Mysticism The Attraction of the Margin Illustrations of NRM Dynamics
—Satanism and Antisatanism
—Neopaganism: Of Gods and Goddesses Suggestions for Further Reading