15: Sociology, Schaefer, 1995-2012
Sociology: Not a question
of truth, but of social aspects:
- Cultural Context
- God of War
- Male Gods
- Electronic Church
- Resurgent Fundamentalism
a growing collection of over 41,000 adherent statistics and religious geography
U.S Religious Landscape Survey (local
copy of full report)(2008)
Global Religious Landscape Survey (local
copy of full report)(2012)
- System of beliefs and
- Sustained through socialization
- Moral reality--collective
Institution of Religion: The social organization of "Things that
surpass the limits of our knowledge."
- Explanation: Theodicy
- Social Support
(or conflict, see below)
Marx and Conflict
- Imposes stability/ Maintains
the Status Quo: castes, divine right, "white man's burden"
- Link to power structure
in the clergy)
- False Consciousness--"Opium
of the Masses"
conflict--religious ideology and war
- YET: Liberation Theology,
Role of organized religion in the Civil Rights Movement.
and Social Change
- Protestantism and Capitalism:
Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (a review)
Sociology of Religion
Peter Berger: The Sacred
- Religion as a social
construction--its patterns "act back" to define our world
- Through ritual we define
the distinction between the sacred and the profane
- "By placing EDL
in a 'cosmic frame of reference' people confer on the own fallible, transitory
creations the semblance of ultimate security and permanence."
- Marriage: Legal
contract versus "Holy Matrimony."
- Use of the 'sacred'
to provide interpretive security to uncertainty.
of Religious Experience
- Belief: values--norms
of daily life linked to cosmology--sacred order (marriage, children, and good
- Rituals: norms, social
control, defining the sacred through action.
- Experience: interpreting
the individual and collective experience of "otherness"
- Direct contact
with God: speaking in tongues-holy sign or psychosis
- "Born Again"
(38% of Americans)
- Laying on of hands
Types of Religions
Supernaturalism: Another world, but no direct access. Luck, Mana;
necessarily harmful or beneficial. Taboo--avoid polluting self
- Animism: Personalized
Spirits. Humans need to take spirits into account--but they are not
"worshipped." These spirits take an interest and play an active
role in EDL. Magic, Witchcraft, Shamanism. May have a positive
or negative influence.
- Theism: Devine Being.
Poly- and mono-theism. Supreme being(s) shape human affairs.
Worship, appease, but can not control.
- Transcendent Idealism:
Unity of worlds,
Principles and Conduct. Abstract Ideals versus Supernaturalism.
Achievement of Self-awareness, "higher consciousness." 'Correct
way of thinking and acting' versus manipulation and worship of supernatural
beings. Buddhism: Middle path, meditation, nirvana.
Element: Theodicy- Emotionally satisfying explanation of problems, the meaning
and purpose of life.
- Membership by birth
- Link to political structure
- Formal, bureaucratic
- Formal training for leaders
- Few demands on members
- Similar to above, but
no formal link to political structures
- Respectable, but no official
- Varieties and tolerance
- Widespread membership
- Children typically accept
denomination of parents.
- USA and variety
- Conscious acceptance
- Small groups
- Broken off from denomination;
typically a doctrinal dispute
- Tension- groups typically
do not necessarily desire official status,
- Demand intense loyalty
- Adult recruitment
- Less formal
- Short-lived-- But: established
sects (Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses)
- New or significantly
- "Less respectable"
- Ethnocentrism and labeling-especially
- Draw members from adult
population- especially from middle-class.
- [Seventh Day Adventists
(established sect)==>Davidians (sect)==>Branch Davidians (cult)]
U.S Religious Landscape Survey
- Strong value ("Not
what, but if you believe")
- 84%-specific preference
- Church attendance~44%
- Many traditional--decline,
Catholics--stable, Fundamentalist--dramatic growth (problems of change and
secularization-not just here: Islam)
Market--lots of switching, fit in with lifestyle.
- Power: Electronic church
and political organization
- Cults-"Radical departures"
Owner: Robert O. Keel email@example.com
and Credits for this Page of Notes
Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:46 AM