The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion

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Open Road Media, Apr 26, 2011 - Social Science - 229 pages
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Influential scholar Peter L. Berger explores the sociological underpinnings of religion and the rise of a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger carefully lays out an understanding of religion as a historical, societal mechanism in this classic work of social theory. Berger examines the roots of religious belief and its gradual dissolution in modern times, applying a general theoretical perspective to specific examples from religions throughout the ages. Building upon the author’s previous work, The Social Construction of Reality, with Thomas Luckmann, this book makes Berger’s case that human societies build a “sacred canopy” to protect, stabilize, and give meaning to their worldview.

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1 Religion and WorldConstruction
2 Religion and WorldMaintenance
3 The Problem of Theodicy
4 Religion and Alienation
5 The Process of Secularization
6 Secularization and the Problem of Plausibility
7 Secularization and the Problem of Legitimation
Appendix I
Appendix II
Subject Index
Index of Names

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About the author (2011)

Award-winning scholar and author Peter L. Berger (b. 1929) has been hailed as one of the most important modern American sociologists. Berger graduated from Wagner College in New York in 1949 before receiving his master’s degree and doctorate from The New School in New York in 1950 and 1954, respectively. Today, Berger is a professor emeritus of religion, sociology, and theology at the University of Boston and director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture, which studies relationships between economic development and sociocultural change. Berger’s works include Invitation to Sociology (1963), The Social Construction of Reality (1966) with Thomas Luckmann, The Sacred Canopy (1967), and A Rumor of Angels (1969).

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