A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosos, Priests, and Popular Religion

Front Cover
NYU Press, Aug 1, 2001 - Religion - 344 pages
0 Reviews

A Sociology of World Religions presents a comparative analysis of the world's religions, focusing on the differences and interrelationships between religious elites and lay masses. In each case the volume contextualizes how the relationships between these two religious forms fit within, and are influenced by, the wider socio-political environment.

After introducing the book's major themes, the volume introduces and builds upon an analysis of Weber's model of religious action, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist scholars, and the work of contemporary sociologists and anthropolgists. The following chapters each focus on major religious cultures, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This ambitious project is the first to offer a comparison of the popular, or folk, forms of religion around the world.

Sharot's accessible introductions to each of the world religions, synthesizing a vast literature on popular religion from sociology, anthropology, and historians of religion, make the project ideal for course use. His comparative approach and original analyses will prove rewarding even for experts on each of the world religions.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

A Weberian Model
20
Max Weber Weberian Scholars
37
Religious Action in the World Religions
67
Brahmans Renouncers and Popular Hinduism
102
Buddhism and Animism
131
Catholicism
166
A Brief Excursus
202
Protestants Catholics and the Reform
211
Comparisons
242
Notes
263
Bibliography
309
Index
337
About the Author
344
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 29 - There can be no society which does not feel the need of upholding and reaffirming at regular intervals the collective sentiments and the collective ideas which make its unity and its personality.
Page 18 - Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.
Page 4 - All serious reflection about the ultimate elements of meaningful human conduct is oriented primarily in terms of the categories "end" and "means." We desire something concretely either "for its own sake" or as a means of achieving something else which is more highly desired. The question of the appropriateness of the means for achieving a given end is undoubtedly accessible to scientific analysis. Inasmuch as we are able to determine (within...

References to this book

About the author (2001)

Stephen Sharot is Professor of Sociology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and has been Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Chapel Hill, and at SUNY Stony Brook. He is the author of Judaism: A Sociology and Messianism, Mysticism, and Magic: A Sociological Analysis of Jewish Religious Movements (winner of the Kenneth B. Smilen/Present Tense Literary Award) and coauthor of Ethnicity, Religion, and Class in Israeli Society.

Bibliographic information