15 terms

Sociology of Religion

the process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols
The Sacred Canopy
Written by Peter Berger - argued that religious pluralism would inevitably lead to secularization
Secularization Myths
Religious decline, past piety, failure to Christianize, religion adn science, eastern revivals, other religions
Religious Economies Model
comes out of the Rational Choice Theory; explains competitive religious markets; accounts for increased religious participation
Supernatural Rewards
Benefits that cannot be explained with reference to real world issues
Supernatural Compensators
Supernatural explanations that serve in place of actual rewards
Church/Sect Theory
Sect Characteristics: usually the product of a schism, sees itself not as a new religious body, formation is more likely to happen in a tolerant society, formation increases in times of hardship
Religion (according to sociologists)
religions is a group phenomenon; a socially organized and patterned set of beliefs and practices that concern ultimate meaning and assumed existence of the supernatural
social, membership by birth, link to political structure, formal, bureaucratic, formal training for leaders, few demands on members ex. Christian Church
no formal link to political structures, respectable but no official power, varieties and tolerance, widespread membership and longevity ex. Protestant Church, Orthodox Church
Conscious acceptance, small groups, broken off from denominations; typically a doctrinal dispute, require intense loyalty and commitment ex. Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses
small, secretive, new or significantly different religion,
Smile Durkheim and Religion
sough to locate the essential and permanent features of religion, qualities which would exist in all religions
Karl Marx and Religion
false consciousness, the opiate of the masses, allows ruling class to stay in power
Max Weber and Religion
important because of the role it plays in social change, particularly the development of Western capitalism -- Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism