An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical and by Inger Furseth

By Inger Furseth

Is it real that faith is weakening nowa days, or are we dealing with spiritual resurgence? what's fundamentalism? How does it emerge and develop? What function does faith play in ethnic and nationwide conflicts? Is faith a primary motive force or do political leaders use faith for his or her personal reasons? Do all religions oppress girls? those are many of the questions addressed during this e-book. An advent to the Sociology of faith presents an outline of sociological theories of up to date spiritual lifestyles. a few chapters are equipped in accordance with subject. Others provide short shows of classical and modern sociologists from Karl Marx to Zygmunt Bauman and their views on social existence, together with faith. through the e-book, illustrations and examples are taken from numerous spiritual traditions.

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Nevertheless, there is a sympathetic aspect of Weber’s respect for empirical variety, even if he never completed his comprehensive studies of religious life nor developed a final, authoritative definition of religion. Some argue that every attempt at developing general definitions of religion conceal that which is unique, dynamic, and contextual in each religious tradition. This form of argumentation is similar to the critique that is directed against ethnocentricity. The phenomenology of religion is the discipline that has taken the systematization of religion based on common characteristics the furthest.

Such statements are clearly normative, whether they come from the mouth of a Christian or a humanist. Today, the concept of superstition is hardly used by scientists. Syncretism is a concept that previously was used in religious studies, but is now criticized for its ideological and ethnocentric implications. Critics maintain that syncretism presupposes the idea that some religions are pure (meaning superior), whereas other religions are mixed (meaning inferior). A sociologist will argue that every religion is affected by its context and therefore appears in hybrid forms, especially in a modern situation characterized by cultural communication and exchange.

Communism, fervent nationalism, and hooliganism are often described by such concepts. Words such as quasi-religion, pseudo-religion, and semi-religion have a negative bias, which in turn might affect religion as such, because they create associations to fanaticism and irrationality. This is a reminder that language and concepts are often suffused with values. It is more important to point out similar substantive traits than give the object of study value-loaded prefixes such as quasi and pseudo.

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