Sociology of Religion : A Reader / Edition 1

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Overview

This collection of articles explores the relationship between the structure and culture of religion and various aspects of social life in the United States. Based on both classic and contemporary research in the sociology of religion, it highlights a variety of research methods and theoretical approaches in exploring the ways in which religious values, beliefs and practices shape the world outside of church, synagogue, or mosque walls while simultaneously being shaped by the non-religious forces operating in that world. Many readings from drawn popular sources--e.g., newspapers and magazines--and although many of the readings are about religion in the Christian tradition, there are also readings about religion outside the American context (e.g., Poland, England, El Salvador, Nicaragua), and beyond the Christian tradition (e.g., Judaism, alternative religions, Hindu traditions). Classic Sociological Definitions Of Religion; Belief And Ritual; Religious Experience; Race, Ethnicity And Religion; Gender And Religion; Social Class And Religion; Sexual Identity And Religion; The Secularization Debate; Religious Organizations, Institutions And Authority; Alternative Religions; Media And Religion; Politics And Religion; Science And Religion; Social Movements And Religion. For anyone interested in the sociology of religion or religious perspectives on social issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130253804
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 9/29/2000
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for Sociology Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface

Although we teach in very different settings—a mid-sized state university, a private Catholic college, and a private university—each of us looks forward to our opportunities to teach Sociology of Religion to undergraduate students. There is something about the study of the social aspects of religion that makes for a good class, a class that teaches itself. Students who take a Sociology of Religion class seem especially motivated to struggle with the material, and they typically have a wide range of personal experiences to draw upon as they apply abstract principles to instances of religion in their own lives.

The study of religion in modern society is an exciting enterprise. No matter what you are interested in—the structure and experiences of particular religious groups, the overall state of religion in society, religious belief, ritual and experience, the relation between religion and other social institutions—there is a plethora of resources including books, journals, and research monographs you can draw on. Unfortunately, however, securing copyright permissions for "course packets" has become increasingly complex and difficult. We hope that by constructing a reader that covers a broad range of topics we can meet our own needs as well as those of other instructors who teach in this area.

The focus of this reader is on the structure and culture of religion in the United States. Thus, many of the readings are about religion in the Christian tradition. Nonetheless, where it was feasible, we included readings about religion outside the American context (e.g., Poland, England, El Salvador, Nicaragua), and beyond the Christian tradition (e.g., Judaism, alternative religions, Hindu traditions). This reader is not intended to be a survey of religion, but rather an introduction to the social aspects of religion, particularly within the United States.

The readings are arranged by topic, and each topic has a brief introductory essay that outlines some key issues and orients students to the readings. Some of the essays focus on defining concepts related to the readings; others provide an overall framework students can use to understand how the readings fit together and what they contribute to our knowledge about the topic. We also include readings from popular sources—newspapers, magazines, and the like—to help students connect more abstract material with things that they see in their day-to-day lives. For instructors, we provide a cross-reference table that provides suggestions for other topics for which an article might be appropriate.

Following a brief introduction by Wade Clark Roof about what is most interesting and exciting in religion today, we present classical sociological definitions of religion by theorists including Emil Durkheim, Clifford Geertz, Karl Marx, and Peter Berger. In teaching the Sociology of Religion, we have been amazed at how much discussion these classical statements generate among students. We continue with sections that focus on the "stuff" of religion—belief, ritual, and religious experience. We then present several sections on how religion is related to various aspects of identity: race and ethnicity, gender, social class, and sexual identity. We put this material early in the volume because religious participation has a powerful ability to shape how we see ourselves-and how we interact with others.

Next, we move to structural concerns. We introduce students to the secularization debate that has raged recently in the sociology of religion: Is religion declining or is it thriving? We follow with sections on organizational aspects of official religion—authority, organizations, and institutions—and on alternative religions. Because religion does not exist in a vacuum, we also include sections examining the relationship between religion and different social institutions: media, politics, and science. We end with a section on the role of religion in social movements and social change.

Although this book covers a lot of topics, we certainly do not expect any one course to include all of the sections or readings. In other courses that we teach, we generally consider a reader to be useful if it can serve as the primary text for a course and if we can use at least one-half to two-thirds of the readings. Additionally, we have tried to organize sections according to common understandings of topics in Sociology of Religion, so that it can be used with a standard textbook or an existing syllabus of topics.

Our discussions about this book began when we were all participants in the Pew Charitable Trusts's Young Scholars of American Religion seminar series between 1997 and 1999. This seminar series was ably run by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Conrad Cherry, Terry Grimm, and Bob Carpenter all had a hand in developing and implementing an intellectual endeavor that created lasting bonds—both professional and personal—among the participants.

By design, the Young Scholars seminars focused equally on the research and teaching endeavors of junior-level scholars of American religion. It was during our discussions of teaching that the idea of pulling together a reader for Sociology of Religion first emerged. Our colleagues in this seminar series contributed original essays to this volume, and we thank each of them: Lori Beamon, Patricia Chang, Eric Gormly, William MacDonald, Richard Wood, and Wendy Young. We also owe many thanks to Wade Clark Roof for providing expert, hands-off leadership in the seminar and an introduction to this volume. Conrad Kanagy, also a Young Scholar participant, was extremely helpful as we thought about whether to do this book and how to go about finding a publisher. His other responsibilities made it impossible for him to make a written contribution to the project, but his mark is nonetheless on our final product. Photos in this volume have been generously provided by Beth Quinn, Josie Virgin, and the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.

This volume was reviewed by a number of people at various stages of development: David Bromley, Virginia Commonwealth University; Helen M. Hacker, New School for Social Research; Anson Shupe, Indiana UniversityPurdue University; and Rhys H. Williams, Southern Illinois University. We thank them for their incisive and constructive feedback.

The staff at Prentice-Hall—John Chillingworth, Nancy Roberts, and Allison Westlake—have been very supportive of this project, and very patient about working with a large and sometimes unwieldy bunch of people. We thank them as well. Finally, we have personal debts to Joni Emerson, Jim LeGrand, Jennifer Norman, Mandy Rager, Anne Monahan, and Tom Horgan for their support and assistance as we worked on this project.

Read on! We hope that you will find the study of religion and society to be as engaging and exciting as we do.

Susanne C. Monahan, Montana State University William A. Mirola, Marian College Michael O. Emerson, Rice University

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Table of Contents

I. CLASSIC SOCIOLOGICAL DEFINITIONS OF RELIGION.

1. Introduction, Wade Clark Roof.

2. Introduction to Classical Sociological Definitions of Religion, Patricia Chang.

3. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Emile Durkheim.

4. From Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law, Karl Marx.

5. Religion as a Cultural System, Clifford Geertz.

6. The Sacred Canopy, Peter Berger.

II. BELIEF AND RITUAL.

7. Introduction to Belief and Ritual, Susanne Monahan.

8. Passover's Hustle and Bustle, Patrice Gaines.

9. Salvation on Sand Mountain, Dennis Covington.

10. Civil Religion in America, Robert Bellah.

11. Liminality and Communitas, Victor Turner.

III. RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE.

12. Introduction to Religious Experience, William MacDonald.

13. Angels, Kenneth Woodward.

14. The Reality of the Unseen, William James.

15. Religious Experience, Wayne Proudfoot.

16. Ways of Seeing Ecstasy in Modern Society, David Yamane and Megan Polzer.

IV. RACE, ETHNICITY, AND RELIGION.

17. Introduction to Race, Ethnicity, and Religion, Michael Emerson.

18. Becoming American by Becoming Hindu, Prema Kurien.

19. Cultural Conflicts and Identity: Second-Generation Hispanic Catholics in the United States, Wade Clark Roof and Christel Manning.

20. Sacrifice of Praise: Emotion and Collective Participation in an African-American Worship Service, Timothy Nelson.

21. Growing up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States, Min Zhou and Carl L. Buckston.

22. Ethnicity: Source of Strength? Source of Conflict?, Milton Yinger.

V. GENDER AND RELIGION.

23. Introduction to Gender and Religion, Lori Beaman.

24. The Spiritual Revolution: Women's Liberation as Theological Re-Education, Mary Daly.

25. The Embodied Goddess: Feminist Witchcraft and Female Divinity, Wendy Griffin.

26. The Social Construction of a New Leadership Role: Catholic Women Pastors, Ruth Wallace.

27. Male God Imagery and Female Submission: Lessons from a Southern Baptist Ladies' Bible Class, Carolyn Pevey, Christine Williams, and Christopher Ellison.

VI. SOCIAL CLASS AND RELIGION.

28. Introduction to Social Class and Religion, William Mirola.

29. Millhands and Preachers, Liston Pope.

30. Protestantism and the American Labor Movement: The Christian Spirit in the Gilded Age, Herbert Gutman.

31. Cultures of Solidarity, Rick Fantasia.

32. The Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution: A Gramscian Analysis, Dana Sawchuck.

VII. SEXUAL IDENTITY AND RELIGION.

33. Introduction to Sexual Identity and Religion, William Mirola.

34. Keeping the Faith, Mubarik Dahir, Chuck Colbert, and Allen Flippen.

35. Culture Wars: The Challenge of Homosexuality, James D. Hunter.

36. Dare to Differ: Gay and Lesbian Catholics' Assessments of Official Catholic Positions on Sexuality, Andrew K.T. Yip .

37. Negotiating a Religious Identity: The Case of the Gay Evangelical, Scott Thumma.

VIII. THE SECULARIZATION DEBATE.

38. Introduction to the Secularization Debate, Susanne Monahan.

39. Secularization and Pluralism, Peter Berger.

40. Secularization and Its Discontents, Bryan Wilson.

41. An Unsecular America, Roger Finke.

IX. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS, AND AUTHORITY.

42. Introduction to Religious Organizations, Institutions and Authority, Susanne C. Monahan.

43. AME Zion Megachurch Leaves Denomination, Christian Century.

44. Priest and Nun Barred from Ministry to Gays, Christian Century.

45. Domination and Stratification, Max Weber.

46. The Chuching of America: Why “Mainline” Denominations Decline, Roger Finke and Rodney Stark.

47. Authority and Controversial Policy: The Churches and Civil Rights,James R. Wood.

48. Some Futures for Religious Leadership, Jackson Carroll.

X. ALTERNATIVE RELIGIONS.

49. Introduction to Alternative Religions, Wendy W. Young.

50. An Army Controversy: Should Witches Be Welcome? Flap Over Wiccans Tests Military's Religious Tolerance, Hanna Rosin.

51. Modern Alternative Religions in the West, J. Gordon Melton.

52. The Unification Church, Eileen Barker.

53. The Church of Scientology: Lightning Rod for Cultural Boundary Conflicts, Mary Farrell Bednarowski.

54. Apocalypse at Waco, James Tabor.

XI. MEDIA AND RELIGION.

55. Introduction to Media and Religion, Eric Gormly.

56. The Source of the Problem?, Stewart Hoover, S. Venturelli and D. Wagner.

57. Televangelism: Redressive Ritual within a Larger Social Drama, Bobby C. Alexander.

58. Television Drama as Sacred Text, Quentin J. Schulze.

XII. POLITICS AND RELIGION.

59. Introduction to Politics and Religion, Richard Wood.

60. Will It Be Coffee, Tea, or He? Religion Was Once a Conviction. Now It Is a Taste, Charles Krauthammer.

61. Catholicism in the United States: From Private to Public Denomination, José Casanova.

62. The Political Mobilization of Evangelical Protestants, Kenneth Wald.

63. The Religious Roots of Rebellion, Phillip Berryman.

XIII. SCIENCE AND RELIGION.

64. Introduction to Science and Religion, Eric Gormly and William MacDonald.

65. “How the Heavens Go,” Kenneth Woodward.

66. Essays on Religion, George Simmel.

67. First Principles, Herbert Spencer.

68. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan.

69. Is the Universe Absurd?, Paul Davies.

XIV. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND RELIGION.

70. Introduction to Social Movements and Religion, William Mirola.

71. I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr.

72. When Will Revolutionary Movements Use Religion?, Leland Robinson.

73. Correcting a Curious Neglect, or Bringing Religion Back In, Christian Smith.

74. Church Culture as a Strategy of Action in the Black Community, Mary Patillo-McCoy.

75. Pastoral Mobilization and Contention: The Religious Foundations of the Solidarity Movement in Poland, Maryjane Osa.

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Preface

Preface

Although we teach in very different settings—a mid-sized state university, a private Catholic college, and a private university—each of us looks forward to our opportunities to teach Sociology of Religion to undergraduate students. There is something about the study of the social aspects of religion that makes for a good class, a class that teaches itself. Students who take a Sociology of Religion class seem especially motivated to struggle with the material, and they typically have a wide range of personal experiences to draw upon as they apply abstract principles to instances of religion in their own lives.

The study of religion in modern society is an exciting enterprise. No matter what you are interested in—the structure and experiences of particular religious groups, the overall state of religion in society, religious belief, ritual and experience, the relation between religion and other social institutions—there is a plethora of resources including books, journals, and research monographs you can draw on. Unfortunately, however, securing copyright permissions for "course packets" has become increasingly complex and difficult. We hope that by constructing a reader that covers a broad range of topics we can meet our own needs as well as those of other instructors who teach in this area.

The focus of this reader is on the structure and culture of religion in the United States. Thus, many of the readings are about religion in the Christian tradition. Nonetheless, where it was feasible, we included readings about religion outside the American context (e.g., Poland, England, El Salvador, Nicaragua), and beyond the Christian tradition (e.g., Judaism, alternative religions, Hindu traditions). This reader is not intended to be a survey of religion, but rather an introduction to the social aspects of religion, particularly within the United States.

The readings are arranged by topic, and each topic has a brief introductory essay that outlines some key issues and orients students to the readings. Some of the essays focus on defining concepts related to the readings; others provide an overall framework students can use to understand how the readings fit together and what they contribute to our knowledge about the topic. We also include readings from popular sources—newspapers, magazines, and the like—to help students connect more abstract material with things that they see in their day-to-day lives. For instructors, we provide a cross-reference table that provides suggestions for other topics for which an article might be appropriate.

Following a brief introduction by Wade Clark Roof about what is most interesting and exciting in religion today, we present classical sociological definitions of religion by theorists including Emil Durkheim, Clifford Geertz, Karl Marx, and Peter Berger. In teaching the Sociology of Religion, we have been amazed at how much discussion these classical statements generate among students. We continue with sections that focus on the "stuff" of religion—belief, ritual, and religious experience. We then present several sections on how religion is related to various aspects of identity: race and ethnicity, gender, social class, and sexual identity. We put this material early in the volume because religious participation has a powerful ability to shape how we see ourselves-and how we interact with others.

Next, we move to structural concerns. We introduce students to the secularization debate that has raged recently in the sociology of religion: Is religion declining or is it thriving? We follow with sections on organizational aspects of official religion—authority, organizations, and institutions—and on alternative religions. Because religion does not exist in a vacuum, we also include sections examining the relationship between religion and different social institutions: media, politics, and science. We end with a section on the role of religion in social movements and social change.

Although this book covers a lot of topics, we certainly do not expect any one course to include all of the sections or readings. In other courses that we teach, we generally consider a reader to be useful if it can serve as the primary text for a course and if we can use at least one-half to two-thirds of the readings. Additionally, we have tried to organize sections according to common understandings of topics in Sociology of Religion, so that it can be used with a standard textbook or an existing syllabus of topics.

Our discussions about this book began when we were all participants in the Pew Charitable Trusts's Young Scholars of American Religion seminar series between 1997 and 1999. This seminar series was ably run by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Conrad Cherry, Terry Grimm, and Bob Carpenter all had a hand in developing and implementing an intellectual endeavor that created lasting bonds—both professional and personal—among the participants.

By design, the Young Scholars seminars focused equally on the research and teaching endeavors of junior-level scholars of American religion. It was during our discussions of teaching that the idea of pulling together a reader for Sociology of Religion first emerged. Our colleagues in this seminar series contributed original essays to this volume, and we thank each of them: Lori Beamon, Patricia Chang, Eric Gormly, William MacDonald, Richard Wood, and Wendy Young. We also owe many thanks to Wade Clark Roof for providing expert, hands-off leadership in the seminar and an introduction to this volume. Conrad Kanagy, also a Young Scholar participant, was extremely helpful as we thought about whether to do this book and how to go about finding a publisher. His other responsibilities made it impossible for him to make a written contribution to the project, but his mark is nonetheless on our final product. Photos in this volume have been generously provided by Beth Quinn, Josie Virgin, and the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.

This volume was reviewed by a number of people at various stages of development: David Bromley, Virginia Commonwealth University; Helen M. Hacker, New School for Social Research; Anson Shupe, Indiana UniversityPurdue University; and Rhys H. Williams, Southern Illinois University. We thank them for their incisive and constructive feedback.

The staff at Prentice-Hall—John Chillingworth, Nancy Roberts, and Allison Westlake—have been very supportive of this project, and very patient about working with a large and sometimes unwieldy bunch of people. We thank them as well. Finally, we have personal debts to Joni Emerson, Jim LeGrand, Jennifer Norman, Mandy Rager, Anne Monahan, and Tom Horgan for their support and assistance as we worked on this project.

Read on! We hope that you will find the study of religion and society to be as engaging and exciting as we do.

Susanne C. Monahan, Montana State University William A. Mirola, Marian College Michael O. Emerson, Rice University

Read More Show Less

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