ISBN-10:
0131884077
ISBN-13:
9780131884076
Pub. Date:
03/03/2006
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Religion in Society: A Sociology of Religion / Edition 8

Religion in Society: A Sociology of Religion / Edition 8

by Ronald L. Johnstone
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780131884076
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 03/03/2006
Series: MySearchLab Series 15% off Series
Edition description: REV
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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PREFACE:

Preface

Having observed the sociology of religion landscape over a period of four decades, I find that three observations continually surface. First, the number of scholars who have adopted this as the field of their major scholarly interest continues to increase and both the volume and quality of research keeps growing in noticeable ways. Second, a great many events and movements that fall under the sociology of religion umbrella continue to bombard our field of vision: abortion, ecumenism, religion-based ethnic cleansing, Northern Ireland and East Timor, ordination of women, prayer in public schools, Heaven's Gate group suicide, and on and on. Another way of saying this is that our contemporary world keeps the reservoir of subject matter that begs for review and analysis full to overflowing. Still another way of saying this is that religion in its variety of forms is not about to disappear.

We have included many of these developments in this new edition—some as new topics, some as expansions and revisions of subjects included in earlier editions. Notable changes are:

  1. a modestly expanded section on the anthropological exploration into the beginnings of religion
  2. replacement of the lengthy case study of Northern Ireland as an example of contemporary religious conflict with very brief descriptions of the Northern Ireland conflict, the Israelis and Palestinians in the Near East, the Eastern Orthodox Serbs against the Muslim ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the Muslims in Indonesia against the Roman Catholic citizens of East Timor, and a more extensive treatment of the Indian Sikhs' protracted religio-politicalconflict with Indian and Pakistani Muslims
  3. updated and expanded discussion of the ongoing religious conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention
  4. updated church-state issues with recent data on U.S. Supreme Court rulings
  5. updating on American fundamentalism
  6. expansion for the tradition-affirming women's religious response by introduction of the Women's Aglow Fellowship
  7. significant expansion of the ordination of women issue, particularly as an issue in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Southern Baptist Convention
  8. expanded treatment on differences in "style" between female and male clergy
  9. a new substantial section on contemporary revolutionary expressions of women's religion in the forms of goddess worship, neopaganism, wicca, spiritualism, witchcraft, and Gaia
  10. added discussion of the phenomenon "defecting in place" and various forms of spiritual feminism that preserve much of traditional women's religion
  11. added information on female rabbis and seminarians and the recent decline of diocesan priests in the Roman Catholic Church
  12. added information on female parish administrators in the Catholic Church
  13. a discussion of the diaconate in the Catholic Church
  14. expanded discussion of the Black Muslims in America
  15. general updating of Judaism and Roman Catholicism, particularly attempts by Pope John Paul 11 to return members to traditional Catholicism
  16. update on three major ecumenical developments in the late 1990s-Lutherans and several Reformed denominations in 1997, Lutherans and Episcopalians in 1999, and the joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Roman Catholics and Lutherans in 1999
  17. updated discussion of church membership trends
  18. expanded discussion of secularization as specialization, not annihilation

The number, structure, and sequence of chapters have remained the same as in the fifth edition. Part I (Chapters 1-4) is an introduction to the sociological perspective on religion. It grapples with the problem of defining religion and considers the fascinating but ultimately unanswerable question of the origins of religion. Part II (Chapters 5-6) focuses on sociology's distinctive perspective on religion as a social phenomenon: how general laws and principles of social and group life impinge on religion as it organizes itself into groups and carries on its activities. The chapters in Part II also look closely at the classic church-sect continuum of religious organization and evolution and consider how conflict figures so commonly in the life of religious organizations. Part III (Chapters 7-11) examines the relationship of religion to major social institutions and structural features of society: religion and politics; religious fundamentalism; religion and the economy; religion and social class; and, finally, religion and the role and perception of women in society. Part IV (Chapters 12-15) covers some of the major features of religion in the United States-the social environment and experience of a majority of the readers of this text. After exploring several highly important sociohistorical developments within American religion, the chapters in Part IV pay particular attention to American socioreligious developments, namely, the African-American church, Native American religion, and the phenomenon of denominationalism. Part IV concludes by focusing on primary sociological factors that will significantly affect the future of religion.

In this progression, the reader will experience firsthand some of the problems inherent in the enterprise we call the sociology of religion and will become involved and somewhat expert in the process of applying the sociological perspective. The reader will also develop insight into the place of religion in society that will supplement her or his prior understanding, whether gained from the inside as a believer or from the outside as an observer of the religious scene.

I want to express my deep appreciation to the following reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions: Rhoda V Carr, Tulane University; Kathleen S. Lowney, Valdasta State University; and Robert A. Wortham, North Carolina Central University. And, finally, my thanks to Merrill Peterson for his insightful and vigilant editorial work.

Ronald L. Johnstone

Table of Contents

PART I INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective The Task of Sociology Central Sociological Assumptions The Sociology of Religion Defining Religion The Characteristics of Religion A Working Definition of Religion The Definition Applied to "Magic" Final Reflection on the Definition of Religion A Concluding Historical Note: The Development of the Sociology of Religion Notes Chapter 2: The Sources of Religion Revelation As Origin The "Natural-Knowledge-Of-God" Explanation Anthropological Explanations Psychological Explanations Sociological Views Rational Choice Theory Conclusion Notes PART II THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF RELIGION Chapter 3: Religion As A Group Phenomenon Religion and the Characteristics of a Group Religion and the Five Functional Prerequisites of Group Life The Effects of Increasing Group Size The Bureaucratization of Religion Religious Leadership Notes Chapter 4: The Church-Sect Continuum of Religious Organization The Sect The Church The Denomination The Formation of Sects The Impact of Deprivation on Sect Development The Evolution of Sects The Institutionalized Sect The Cult Other Non-American Cults Refinements of the Church-Sect Typology Notes Chapter 5: Becoming Religious Elements in Religious Socialization Methods of Religious Socialization Measuring the Impact of Religious Socialization Sociological Definitions of Religiosity: Group Affiliation Sociological Definitions of Religiosity: The Individual Approach Sociological Measures of Religiosity: Multidimensional Measures Internalization of Religion Religious Conversion Deconversion Deprogramming Conclusion Notes Chapter 6: Religious Conflict Conflict Theory According to Karl Marx Religious Conflict in History Contemporary Examples of Religious Conflict Intrareligious Conflict Challenges to Society from Religious Groups Conclusion Notes PART III RELIGION IN SOCIETY Chapter 7: Religion and Politics The Relationship of Religion and Politics The Influence of Religion on Politics Civil Religion Religion and Politics in the Third World Notes Chapter 8: Religious Fundamentalism The Concept of Fundamentalism: Its Origin and Use Protestant Fundamentalism Jewish Fundamentalism Islamic Fundamentalism The Future Notes Chapter 9: Religion and the Economy Religion as an Economic Institution Religion as a Shaper of Economic Attitudes and Behavior An Assessment of the Relationship between Religion and Economics Notes Chapter 10: Religion and the Class System Differences in Religious Meaning and Expression among Social Classes Differential Denominational Affiliation by Social Class Social Stratification within Religious Groups Stratification, Religion, and Race Notes Chapter 11: Women and Religion The Relationship of Women to Religion as Societies Evolved The Historical Patterns Contemporary Responses Female-Dominated Religions Predictions Application of Rational Choice Theory Conclusion Notes PART IV RELIGION IN AMERICA Chapter 12: Major Historical Developments Intolerant Beginnings The Constitutional Compromise The Frontier Challenge The Ordeal of Pluralism Religious Social Concern The Post-World War II Revival Notes Chapter 13: Black and Native American Religion in America The Historical Development of the Black Church as a Social Institution Militancy in the Black Church New Themes in Black Religion Other Religious Options for African Americans Native American Religion Notes Chapter 14: Denominational Society The Multiplicity of Groups The Diversity of Groups Major Denominational Families Special Interest Religious Groups Ecumenism The Megachurch Phenomenon The Continued Viability of Denominationalism Notes Chapter 15: The Future of Religion Level of Religious Activity The Growth and Decline of Membership Impending Protestant Loss of Majority Religious Position The Dilemmas of Roman Catholicism Continuity in the Traditional Social Functions of Religion The Factor of Secularization The Conflict over the Purpose of Religion Conclusion Notes Index

Preface

PREFACE:

Preface

Having observed the sociology of religion landscape over a period of four decades, I find that three observations continually surface. First, the number of scholars who have adopted this as the field of their major scholarly interest continues to increase and both the volume and quality of research keeps growing in noticeable ways. Second, a great many events and movements that fall under the sociology of religion umbrella continue to bombard our field of vision: abortion, ecumenism, religion-based ethnic cleansing, Northern Ireland and East Timor, ordination of women, prayer in public schools, Heaven's Gate group suicide, and on and on. Another way of saying this is that our contemporary world keeps the reservoir of subject matter that begs for review and analysis full to overflowing. Still another way of saying this is that religion in its variety of forms is not about to disappear.

We have included many of these developments in this new edition—some as new topics, some as expansions and revisions of subjects included in earlier editions. Notable changes are:

  1. a modestly expanded section on the anthropological exploration into the beginnings of religion
  2. replacement of the lengthy case study of Northern Ireland as an example of contemporary religious conflict with very brief descriptions of the Northern Ireland conflict, the Israelis and Palestinians in the Near East, the Eastern Orthodox Serbs against the Muslim ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the Muslims in Indonesia against the Roman Catholic citizens of East Timor, and a more extensive treatment of the Indian Sikhs' protractedreligio-politicalconflict with Indian and Pakistani Muslims
  3. updated and expanded discussion of the ongoing religious conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention
  4. updated church-state issues with recent data on U.S. Supreme Court rulings
  5. updating on American fundamentalism
  6. expansion for the tradition-affirming women's religious response by introduction of the Women's Aglow Fellowship
  7. significant expansion of the ordination of women issue, particularly as an issue in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Southern Baptist Convention
  8. expanded treatment on differences in "style" between female and male clergy
  9. a new substantial section on contemporary revolutionary expressions of women's religion in the forms of goddess worship, neopaganism, wicca, spiritualism, witchcraft, and Gaia
  10. added discussion of the phenomenon "defecting in place" and various forms of spiritual feminism that preserve much of traditional women's religion
  11. added information on female rabbis and seminarians and the recent decline of diocesan priests in the Roman Catholic Church
  12. added information on female parish administrators in the Catholic Church
  13. a discussion of the diaconate in the Catholic Church
  14. expanded discussion of the Black Muslims in America
  15. general updating of Judaism and Roman Catholicism, particularly attempts by Pope John Paul 11 to return members to traditional Catholicism
  16. update on three major ecumenical developments in the late 1990s-Lutherans and several Reformed denominations in 1997, Lutherans and Episcopalians in 1999, and the joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Roman Catholics and Lutherans in 1999
  17. updated discussion of church membership trends
  18. expanded discussion of secularization as specialization, not annihilation

The number, structure, and sequence of chapters have remained the same as in the fifth edition. Part I (Chapters 1-4) is an introduction to the sociological perspective on religion. It grapples with the problem of defining religion and considers the fascinating but ultimately unanswerable question of the origins of religion. Part II (Chapters 5-6) focuses on sociology's distinctive perspective on religion as a social phenomenon: how general laws and principles of social and group life impinge on religion as it organizes itself into groups and carries on its activities. The chapters in Part II also look closely at the classic church-sect continuum of religious organization and evolution and consider how conflict figures so commonly in the life of religious organizations. Part III (Chapters 7-11) examines the relationship of religion to major social institutions and structural features of society: religion and politics; religious fundamentalism; religion and the economy; religion and social class; and, finally, religion and the role and perception of women in society. Part IV (Chapters 12-15) covers some of the major features of religion in the United States-the social environment and experience of a majority of the readers of this text. After exploring several highly important sociohistorical developments within American religion, the chapters in Part IV pay particular attention to American socioreligious developments, namely, the African-American church, Native American religion, and the phenomenon of denominationalism. Part IV concludes by focusing on primary sociological factors that will significantly affect the future of religion.

In this progression, the reader will experience firsthand some of the problems inherent in the enterprise we call the sociology of religion and will become involved and somewhat expert in the process of applying the sociological perspective. The reader will also develop insight into the place of religion in society that will supplement her or his prior understanding, whether gained from the inside as a believer or from the outside as an observer of the religious scene.

I want to express my deep appreciation to the following reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions: Rhoda V Carr, Tulane University; Kathleen S. Lowney, Valdasta State University; and Robert A. Wortham, North Carolina Central University. And, finally, my thanks to Merrill Peterson for his insightful and vigilant editorial work.

Ronald L. Johnstone

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