Theories of Religion

A Reader
Author: Seth Daniel Kunin,Jonathan Miles-Watson
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813539652
Category: Religion
Page: 524
View: 8419
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This book provides a comprehensive selection of readings that relate to and explore the definition of religion. The texts come from a wide range of approaches, unified both by the questions they address and their broadly social scientific perspective. The disciplines covered include anthropology, phenomenology, psychology and sociology. The editors have also included some key texts relating to the feminist approach to and critique of religion. The initial section of the book includes some of the foundational texts, such as materials by Marx, Freud, and Durkheim. The remaining sections look at more recent discussions of the issues from the different disciplinary perspectives. Each reading is introduced by a biographical sketch of the author. The book also includes introductory discussions to each section that both raise the key issues developed in a particular discipline and address the disciplinary approaches from a more critical stance. Theories of Religion: A Reader is an invaluable critical resource, accessible to a broad audience as well as students of theology and religious studies.Seth D. Kunin, dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Durham, is author of Religion: the Modern Theories, coeditor of A Companion to Religious Studies and Theology, and editor of Themes and Issues in Judaism. Jonathan Miles-Watson is lecturer in anthropology at the University of Wales Swansea.

Feminism in the Study of Religion


Author: Darlene Juschka
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780826447272
Category: Social Science
Page: 700
View: 1661
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Written by feminist scholars over a period of nearly thirty years, the selected readings are wide-ranging in content, offer a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural perspective, and reflect the work of scholars working within religious studies as well as other disciplines.The introductory essays link the sections and are packed with useful information on resources, issues, and the current debates. The book illustrates how debates about feminism within the study of religions have been impacted by broader theoretical discussions and provides evidence that feminist scholars working on religion have made their own contribution to feminist theory.

Contemporary Theories of Religion

A Critical Companion
Author: Michael Stausberg
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134041470
Category: Religion
Page: 320
View: 1889
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Interest in theories of religion has never been greater. Scholars debate single theoretical approaches in different scholarly journals, while the ‘new atheists’ such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett criticize the whole idea of religion. For everyone eager to understand the current state of the field, Contemporary Theories of Religion surveys the neglected landscape in its totality. Michael Stausberg brings together leading scholars of the field to review and discuss seventeen contemporary theories of religion. As well as scholars of religion, it features anthropologists, archaeologists, classicists, evolutionary biologists, philosophers and sociologists. Each chapter provides students with background information on the theoretician, a presentation of the theory’s basic principles, an analysis of basic assumptions, and a review of previous critiques. Concluding with a section entitled 'Back and Forth', Stausberg compares the different theories and points to further avenues of discussion for the future.

Syncretism in Religion

A Reader
Author: Anita Maria Leopold,Jeppe Sinding Jensen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134967144
Category: Religion
Page: 384
View: 8292
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Syncretism - the fusion of different beliefs into one religious system - has long been controversial in scholarship. It is widely held that religion, culture and ethnicity are pure entities that may become mixed in encounter and lead to impure, hybrid forms. 'Syncretism in Religion' presents a selection of essays committed to solving the problems of syncretism. The essays reflect the full breadth of religious traditions that could be called syncretistic. An overview of the historical background of syncretism is given, alongside classical readings from the history of religion, definitions of syncretism in relation to theories of power, and an assessment of the future of the subject. This volume brings together the work of authors who have made significant contributions in the field, some appearing for the first time in English. It will be of interest to any student or scholar of religion, philosophy or anthropology concerned with the dynamics of cultural contact and change.

The Sociology of Religion

A Substantive and Transdisciplinary Approach
Author: George Lundskow
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 1412937213
Category: Social Science
Page: 445
View: 4425
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Using a lively narrative, The Sociology of Religion is an insightful text that follows the logic of actual research, first investigating the facts of religion in all its great diversity, including its practices and beliefs, and then analyzing actual examples of religious developments using relevant conceptual frameworks. As a result, students actively engage in the discovery, learning, and analytical processes as they progress through the textùjust as a scholar pursues knowledge in the field and then applies theoretical constructs to interpret findings.This unique text is organized around essential topics and real-life issues and examines religion both as an object of sociological analysis as well as a device for seeking personal meaning in life. While primarily sociological in focus, the text incorporates relevant interdisciplinary scholarshipùthus teaching sociological perspectives on religion while introducing students to relevant research from other fields. Sidebar features and photographs of religious figures bring the text to life for readers.Key Features and Benefits:Uses substantive and truly contemporary real-life religious issues of current interest to engage the reader in a way few other texts doCombines theory with empirical examples drawn from the United States and around the world, emphasizing a critical and analytical perspective that encourages better understanding of the material presentedFeatures discussions of emergent religions, consumerism, and the link between religion, sports, and other forms of popular cultureDraws upon interdisciplinary literature, helping students appreciate the contributions of other disciplines while primarily developing an understanding of the sociology of religion InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM· InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM contains chapter outlines, summaries, multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and short answer questions as well as illustrations from the book. Contact Customer Care at 1-800-818-SAGE (7243) to request a copy (6:00 a.m.û5:00 p.m., PST).Intended Audience: This core text is designed for upper-level undergraduate students of Sociology of Religion or Religion and Politics.

Sociology of Religion

A Rodney Stark Reader
Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781602589728
Category: Religion
Page: 648
View: 1496
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Authoritative reader compiling the best scholarship from acclaimed sociologist Rodney Stark, with an introduction by Rodney Stark

Law and Religion, a Reader

Cases, Concepts, and Theory
Author: Frank S. Ravitch
Publisher: West Academic
ISBN: N.A
Category: Law
Page: 962
View: 3929
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This book explores the field of law and religion integrating cases, concepts, and theory in an accessible and balanced way. The second edition is incredibly up-to-date, including recent cases involving intelligent design theory, school vouchers, religious symbolism in the public square (including Ten Commandments displays), municipal prayer, RLUIPA, and standing. It addresses the continuing debate over the meaning of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment and the evolution of church v. state Law. The book includes article excerpts from some of the leading thinkers in the field. New to the second edition is a chapter dealing with properrty disputes and schisms involving religious institutions, liability of religious institutions for clergy abuse, and standing in cases under the religion clauses. The new edition also adds a section on Hindu law to the popular chapter exploring the place of law within six (now seven) major religious traditions from around the world.

Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

A Selection of Critical Readings
Author: Carl Olson
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company
ISBN: N.A
Category: Religion
Page: 602
View: 6660
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This anthology provides students with a useful collection of theoretical essays concerning the nature of religion and the methodological means by which scholars analytically approach the subject. Organized in a point/counterpoint fashion, this volume will foster in-class discussion and the honing of a student's own critical perspectives.

Faces in the Clouds

A New Theory of Religion
Author: Stewart Elliott Guthrie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195356809
Category: Religion
Page: 670
View: 8376
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Religion is universal human culture. No phenomenon is more widely shared or more intensely studied, yet there is no agreement on what religion is. Now, in Faces in the Clouds, anthropologist Stewart Guthrie provides a provocative definition of religion in a bold and persuasive new theory. Guthrie says religion can best be understood as systematic anthropomorphism--that is, the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. Many writers see anthropomorphism as common or even universal in religion, but few think it is central. To Guthrie, however, it is fundamental. Religion, he writes, consists of seeing the world as humanlike. As Guthrie shows, people find a wide range of humanlike beings plausible: Gods, spirits, abominable snowmen, HAL the computer, Chiquita Banana. We find messages in random events such as earthquakes, weather, and traffic accidents. We say a fire "rages," a storm "wreaks vengeance," and waters "lie still." Guthrie says that our tendency to find human characteristics in the nonhuman world stems from a deep-seated perceptual strategy: in the face of pervasive (if mostly unconscious) uncertainty about what we see, we bet on the most meaningful interpretation we can. If we are in the woods and see a dark shape that might be a bear or a boulder, for example, it is good policy to think it is a bear. If we are mistaken, we lose little, and if we are right, we gain much. So, Guthrie writes, in scanning the world we always look for what most concerns us--livings things, and especially, human ones. Even animals watch for human attributes, as when birds avoid scarecrows. In short, we all follow the principle--better safe than sorry. Marshalling a wealth of evidence from anthropology, cognitive science, philosophy, theology, advertising, literature, art, and animal behavior, Guthrie offers a fascinating array of examples to show how this perceptual strategy pervades secular life and how it characterizes religious experience. Challenging the very foundations of religion, Faces in the Clouds forces us to take a new look at this fundamental element of human life.

More Than Belief

A Materialist Theory of Religion
Author: Manuel A. Vásquez
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195188535
Category: Social Science
Page: 382
View: 466
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Over the past several decades, postmodernist and postcolonial challenges to traditional theories and methods have revolutionized the social sciences. The discipline of religious studies, however, has been relatively slow to confront these developments, continuing to rely heavily on textual methods and a framework that privileges belief over practice, doctrine over performance, text over context, and inner emotion over public ritual. Recently, however, developments in social theory have begun to transform the study of religion. In this book, Manuel Vasquez maps out the dynamics of this paradigm shift, exploring systematically the epistemological and methodological challenges contemporary social theory poses for traditional approaches to religious studies. Offering a panoramic view of key debates on identity, culture, and society across the social sciences, he assesses the impact of these debates on the study of religion, offering specific examples of how they are shaping the study of particular religious traditions. He concludes by proposing a robust yet flexible materialist approach to the study of religion that will be capable of addressing the increasing complexity of religious life.

A Theory of Religion


Author: Rodney Stark,William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher: Anaya -Spain
ISBN: 9780813523309
Category: Religion
Page: 386
View: 9974
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In this unique text, Stark and Bainbridge begin with basic statements about human nature and, employing the principles of logic and philosophy, build toward increasingly complex propositions about societies and their religious institutions. They provide a rigorous yet flexible sociological theory of religion as well as a general sociological model for deriving macrolevel theory from microlevel evidence.

The Sociology of Religion


Author: Grace Davie
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1446238857
Category: Social Science
Page: 296
View: 6970
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'Grace Davie is one of the best analysts of religion in contemporary sociology. This book caps a distinguished record of studies of religion - first of Britain, then of Europe, then globally. This is a magisterial work, which should be read by anyone interested in the place of religion in the modern world' - Peter L. Berger, Boston University 'This book offers both an expert survey of contemporary sociology of religion and the personal reflections of one of the leading scholars in the field. Grace Davie is a good model for students and their teachers: she is clear, engaging and fair minded but unafraid to express a point of view' -David Voas, University of Manchester 'Grace Davie has written a book about what is currently happening in the sociology of religion which is clear, accessible, devoid of jargon and authoritative. Though addressed to the educated reader, it also provides an ideal text for students... If you want expert guidance about what is going on in the sociology of religion, and to have useful indications about what is going on in religion on the global scene, this book does the job extremely well' - Theology Why is religion still important? Can we be fully modern and fully religious? The Sociology of Religion works at two levels. First it sets out the agenda - covering the key questions in the sociology of religion today. At the same time, it interrogates this agenda - asking if the sociology of religion, as we currently know it, is 'fit for purpose'. If not, what is to be done? This book: • describes the origins of the sociology of religion • demystifies secularization as a process and a theory • relates religion to modern social theory • unpacks the meaning of religion in relation to modernity and globalization • grasps the methodological challenges in the field • provides a comparative perspective for religions in the west • introduces questions of minorities and margins • sets out a critical agenda for debate and research. In a single volume, Grace Davie captures the nature and forms of modern religion, the current debates in the field and the prospects for future development.

A Beginner's Guide to the Study of Religion


Author: Bradley L. Herling
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472505212
Category: Religion
Page: 200
View: 4664
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How should we understand and interpret the strange but familiar thing that we call "religionÂ??? What are the foundations of a methodical approach to this subject, and what theoretical tools are available to students who are new to this area of inquiry? A Beginner's Guide to the Study of Religion provides an accessible, wide-ranging introduction to theories and basic methodology in the field. Now in its second edition and updated throughout, this concise but comprehensive book includes:- - A case for the urgency and relevance of studying religion today - Discussion of the role and perspective of the student of religion - Description of the nature of theory and its function - An accessible survey of classic theorists in the modern study of religion - Feature boxes highlighting essential quotations and guiding principles for application of theories An expanded consideration of contemporary issues in the field, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, globalization, violence, science, and new media. - Recommended further reading A Beginner's Guide to the Study of Religion offers a thorough but concise body of material suitable for introductory courses on the study of religion, or to provide theoretical context for survey courses. Study questions and worksheets can be found on the book's webpage.

Choice and Religion

A Critique of Rational Choice Theory
Author: Steve Bruce
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780198295846
Category: Social Science
Page: 247
View: 3236
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People of the western world now have unprecedented freedom to choose their religion. In this book, the world's leading sociologist of religion argues that the liberty and freedom to choose religion corrodes faith and that religion remains most vital when it is part of ethnic and national identity.

The Location of Religion

A Spatial Analysis
Author: Kim Knott
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd.
ISBN: 9781904768753
Category: Religion
Page: 264
View: 2505
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The secularization debate continues to dominate sociological studies of religion. Is it possible to locate religion in western secular society without being drawn into debates about its rise and fall? And, if so, then how can this be done? This book offers a new approach to the study of religion in the West based on a spatial analysis of religious-secular relations. It locates religion within the social, cultural, and physical spaces of the present using a method informed by contemporary spatial theory, particularly the work of Henri Lefebvre. In the first half of the book space and religion are opened up to one another. A spatial methodology is developed, and contemporary religion is reconceived within a field of religious, secular and post-secular religious relations. How various disciplines have contributed to a spatial study of religion is critically considered, and scholars writing on religion and space are shown to be inside rather than outside this field of relations. In the second half of the book the spatial approach is applied to a particular case, that of the left hand. Contemporary representations of this sinister but intimate other are shown to embody a variety of values, traces of different religious traditions, alternative paths to salvation and self-realisation, and shifting positions on the impure, demonic, inauspicious and sacred. Consideration is then given to the future application of this spatial approach to the study of religion.

A Systems Theory of Religion


Author: Niklas Luhmann
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 080478793X
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 6116
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A Systems Theory of Religion, still unfinished at Niklas Luhmann's death in 1998, was first published in German two years later thanks to the editorial work of André Kieserling. One of Luhmann's most important projects, it exemplifies his later work while redefining the subject matter of the sociology of religion. Religion, for Luhmann, is one of the many functionally differentiated social systems that make up modern society. All such subsystems consist entirely of communications and all are "autopoietic," which is to say, self-organizing and self-generating. Here, Luhmann explains how religion provides a code for coping with the complexity, opacity, and uncontrollability of our world. Religion functions to make definite the indefinite, to reconcile the immanent and the transcendent. Synthesizing approaches as disparate as the philosophy of language, historical linguistics, deconstruction, and formal systems theory/cybernetics, A Systems Theory of Religion takes on important topics that range from religion's meaning and evolution to secularization, turning decades of sociological assumptions on their head. It provides us with a fresh vocabulary and a fresh philosophical and sociological approach to one of society's most fundamental phenomena.

Critics Not Caretakers

Redescribing the Public Study of Religion
Author: Russell T. McCutcheon
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791490742
Category: Education
Page: 296
View: 2880
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A lively critique of the study of religion in the modern academy, one that makes the scholar of religion a cultural critic rather than a caretaker of a religious tradition or a guru dispensing timeless wisdom.

Science and Religion

A Reader
Author: Jeff Astley,David Brown,Ann Loades
Publisher: Bloomsbury T & T Clark
ISBN: 9780567082534
Category: Religion
Page: 126
View: 8834
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This reader brings together carefully selected material from a wide range of authors on the relationships between science, religion and theology. It samples the recent literature on the challenges to religion posed by both modern physics and evolutionary biology.

Perspectives on Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Adjunct Proceedings of the XVIIth Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Mexico City, 1995
Author: International Association for the History of Religions. Congress
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004118775
Category: Religion
Page: 347
View: 1129
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This volume is the adjunct proceedings on methodology from the XVIIth Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, held in Mexico City in 1995. Taken together, the essays present a thorough and coherent perspective on studying religion as an item of human culture.

Seven Theories of Religion


Author: Daniel L. Pals
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195087253
Category: Religion
Page: 294
View: 7652
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In this presentation, "each theory is presented in a common format that offers not only biographical background and exposition of its main ideas, but also comparative analysis and critical assessment."--Jacket.