An Invitation to Sociology of Religion
Invitation to the Sociology of Religionis a conversational and engaging invitation to students to think sociologically about religion. Instead of trying to cover all existing theories, research, historical developments, and debates, Zuckerman takes a sometimes personal, sometimes provocative and polemical, approach that aims to spur students' own sociological imagination and self-reflective appreciation of their understandings of religion. This is accomplished not merely by showing students what sociolgists of religion think, but how they think. With colorful examples permeating each chapter, crossed with discussions of major studies and theorists such as Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, this book is as informative as it is inviting. Historical and international examples are employed throughout and quantitative as well as qualitative data is included. Among the topics that the student will be introduced to are: How religious identity is determined by factors of time and place. Howreligion is socially learned. How non-religious components of society can affect religion, and vice-versa. How the distinction between "cult" and "religion" is sociologically problematic. How to think about dealing with insider vs. outsider views of religion. How to theorize about how people can believe what might be characterized as irrational or implausible.Invitation to the Sociology ofReligionis the ideal 'anti-text' for introducing undergraduates to the major themes, problems and goals of the sociological study of religion while also stimulating lively discussion and critical thinking about religion.
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