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He used his psychoanalytic theory to explain religious beliefs, practices, and rituals, in order to justify the role of religion in the development of human culture. The sociology of religion concerns the dialectical relationship between religion and society ; the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles of religion in society.

The sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that it does not set out to assess the validity of religious beliefs, though the process of comparing multiple conflicting dogmas may require what Peter L. Berger has described as inherent "methodological atheism".

Professor Peter Anstey - The University of Sydney

It may be said that the modern formal discipline of sociology began with the analysis of religion in Durkheim's study of suicide rates amongst Catholic and Protestant populations. The works of Max Weber emphasised the relationship between religious belief and the economic foundations of society.

Contemporary debates have centred on issues such as secularization , civil religion , and the cohesiveness of religion in the context of globalization and multiculturalism. The sociology of religion also deals with how religion impacts society regarding the positive and negatives of what happens when religion is mixed with society. At least one comprehensive study refutes this idea. Research has found that secular democracies like France or Scandinavia outperform more theistic democracies on various measures of societal health.

The authors explains, "Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U. Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? Vogel reports that in the s a new "law and religion" approach has progressively built its own contribution to religious studies.

Over a dozen scholarly organizations and committees were formed by , and a scholarly quarterly, the Journal of Law and Religion first published that year and the Ecclesiastical Law Journal opened in As of , major Law and Religion organizations in the U. Between and , the field saw the publication of some books and scholarly articles. Exponents look at canon law, natural law, and state law, often in comparative perspective.

The earliest serious writing on the interface between religion and film appeared in the work of film critics like Jean Epstein in the s. A number of methodologies are used in Religious Studies. Methodologies are hermeneutics , or interpretive models, that provide a structure for the analysis of religious phenomena. Phenomenology is "arguably the most influential approach to the study of religion in the twentieth century.

Phenomenology had been practiced long before its being made explicit as a philosophical method by Edmund Husserl , who is considered to be its founder. In the context of Phenomenology of religion however, the term was first used by Pierre Daniel Chantepie de la Saussaye in his work "Lehrbuch der Religiongeschichte" Chantepie's phenomenology catalogued observable characteristics of religion much like a zoologist would categorize animals or an entomologist would categorize insects.

His other main conceptual contribution is the idea of the epoche : setting aside metaphysical questions and observing phenomena in and of themselves, without any bias or commitments on the part of the investigator. The epoche, also known as phenomenological reduction or bracketing, involves approaching a phenomenon or phenomena from a neutral standpoint, instead of with our own particular attitudes.

In performing this reduction, whatever phenomenon or phenomena we approach are understood in themselves, rather than from our own perspectives. In the field of religious studies, a contemporary advocate of the phenomenological method is Ninian Smart. He suggests that we should perform the epoche as a means to engage in cross-cultural studies. In doing so, we can take the beliefs, symbols, rituals etc.

Another earlier scholar who employs the phenomenological method for studying religion is Gerardus van der Leeuw. In his Religion in Essence and Manifestation , he outlines what a phenomenology of religion should look like:. The subjectivity inherent to the phenomenological study of religion makes complete and comprehensive understanding highly difficult.

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However, phenomenologists aim to separate their formal study of religion from their own theological worldview and to eliminate, as far as possible, any personal biases e. There are a number of both theoretical and methodological attitudes common among phenomenologists: source. Many scholars of religious studies argued that phenomenology was "the distinctive method of the discipline".

Segal stating that it amounted to "no more than data gathering" alongside "the classification of the data gathered". Functionalism , in regard to religious studies, is the analysis of religions and their various communities of adherents using the functions of particular religious phenomena to interpret the structure of religious communities and their beliefs.

The approach was introduced by British anthropologist Alfred Radcliffe-Brown. An example of a functionalist approach is understanding the dietary restrictions contained in the Pentateuch as having the function of promoting health or providing social identity i. Lived religion is the ethnographic and holistic framework for understanding the beliefs, practices, and everyday experiences of religious and spiritual persons in religious studies.

The concept of lived religion was popularized in the late 20th century by religious study scholars like Robert A. Orsi and David Hall. The study of lived religion has come to include a wide range of subject areas as a means of exploring and emphasizing what a religious person does and what they believe. Today, the field of lived religion is expanding to include many topics and scholars.

Western philosophy of religion, as the basic ancestor of modern religious studies, is differentiated from theology and the many Eastern philosophical traditions by generally being written from a third party perspective.


The scholar need not be a believer. Theology stands in contrast to the philosophy of religion and religious studies in that, generally, the scholar is first and foremost a believer employing both logic and scripture as evidence. Theology according to this understanding fits with the definition which Anselm of Canterbury gave to it in the 11th century, credo ut intelligam , or faith seeking understanding literally, "I believe so that I may understand". The theologian then has the task of making intelligible, or clarifying, the religious commitments to which he or she subscribes.

The scholar of religious studies has no such allegiances. A group of scholars have criticized religious studies beginning in the s as a theological project which actually imposes views onto the people it aims to survey. Prominent voices in this critical view include Jonathan Z. Oddie, Richard E. King , Russell T. McCutcheon , and Daniel Dubuisson. Their areas of research overlap heavily with postcolonial studies.

Much of the latest scholarship appears in the scholarly journals, which also typically review and evaluate new monographs. There are a large numbers of peer-reviewed scholarly journals in the discipline of Religious Studies. Many journals focus on historical or sociological topics or concentrate on particular religious traditions, such as Judaism or Islam. Religious studies journals have been laggard in gaining accessibility through the Internet, but libraries specializing in religious history have started to catch up.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Religion: Crash Course Sociology #39

For the academic journal, see Religious Studies journal. See also: History of religion. Main articles: Evolutionary origin of religions , Evolutionary psychology of religion , and Revelation. Main article: Psychology of religion. Main article: Sociology of religion. Main article: Law and religion. Main article: Phenomenology philosophy. Adcock Oxford University Press.

New York: HarperCollins, , p. Archived from the original on 10 July Retrieved 8 May Archived from the original on 23 August Archived from the original on 12 September New York: Ballantyne Books. Christiano, et al. Journal of Law and Religion. Cole Durham, and Brett G. Scharffs, eds. Law and religion: national, international, and comparative perspectives Aspen Pub, Alexander, eds. American Journal of Comparative Law. Approaches to the Study of Religion. Riddle A History of the Middle Ages, Capps, Walter H.

Religious Studies: The Making of a Discipline. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Herling, Bradley L. A Beginner's Guide to the Study of Religion second ed. London: Bloomsbury. Hinnells, John R. In John R. Hinnells ed. The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion. Abingdon: Routledge. McCutcheon, Russell T. Ryba, Thomas In Robert A.

Segal ed.

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The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion. Malden: Blackwell. Segal, Robert A.

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Smart, Ninian The World's Religions second ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wright, Melanie It emphasises the fact that education is profoundly shaped by national and local cultures even if many issues are shared At the start of the 21st century, the relationship between media and development has never felt more important.

Mobile phones are close to ubiquitous in developing countries; Internet and broadband access are becoming commonplace. Information and communication technologies ICTs thus represent the fastest, broadest and deepest technical change experienced in international development.

They now affect every The new updated edition of Children, Youth and Development explores the varied ways in which global processes in the form of development policies, economic and cultural globalisation, and international agreements interact with more locally specific practices to shape the lives of young people In the five years since the first edition of Conflict and Development was published the awareness of the relationship between conflicts and development has grown exponentially.

Developmental factors can act as a trigger for violence, as well as for ending violence and for triggering post-conflict Sean Fox, Tom Goodfellow February 11, For the first time in human history more people now live and towns and cities than in rural areas. In the wealthier countries of the world, the transition from predominantly rural to urban habitation is more or less complete. But in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, urban populations Andrew Newsham, Shonil Bhagwat November 26, Conservation and development share an intertwined history dating back to at least the s.

But what are the prospects for reconciling the two, and how far have we come with this project?

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This book explores these questions through a detailed consideration of the past, present and future of the David J. Telfer, Richard Sharpley November 24, Tourism is widely considered to be an important factor in socio-economic development, particularly in less developed countries. Stay on CRCPress. Exclusive web offer for individuals on all book. Per Page. Include Forthcoming Titles. South-South Development 1st Edition. Postcolonialism, Decoloniality and Development 2nd Edition.

Education and Development 1st Edition. Media and Development 1st Edition. Children, Youth and Development 2nd Edition.