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Religion in Sociological Perspective
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Religion in Sociological Perspective

Seventh Edition
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August 2020 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The authors are proud sponsors of the 2020 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

Religion in Sociological Perspective introduces students to the systems of meaning, structure, and belonging that make up the complex social phenomena we know as religion. Authors Keith A. Roberts and David Yamane use an active learning approach to illustrate the central theories and methods of research in the sociology of religion and show students how to apply these analytical tools to new groups they encounter.

The Seventh Edition departs from previous editions by emphasizing that the sociology of religion is an ongoing conversation among scholars in dialogue with existing scholarship and the social world. This perspective is established in the new second chapter, “Historical Development of the Sociology of Religion.” Other chapters feature important voices from the past alongside the views of contemporary sociologists, and conclude with a glimpse of where the sociology of religion might be heading in the future. At every opportunity, the text has been enriched by research and examples that are meant to challenge parochial limits in the sociology of religion, pushing beyond Christianity, congregations, beliefs, national borders (especially the United States), and even beyond religion itself (to take nonreligion more seriously).

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
PART I: INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION
 
Chapter 1. What Do We Mean by the Term Religion?
Substantive Definitions

 
Functional Definitions

 
A Symbolic Definition

 
Invisible Religion

 
Lived Religion

 
Spiritual but Not Religious?

 
The Concept of Religion as Employed in This Text

 
A Final Word About Definitions

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 2. Historical Development of the Sociology of Religion
The Classical Era

 
The Secularization Paradigm

 
New Religious Developments

 
New Paradigms

 
Neosecularization Theory

 
Future Prospects

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 3. A Social Scientific Approach to Studying Religion
The Sociological Approach to Studying Religion

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
PART II: RELIGION IN THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
 
Chapter 4. Becoming and Being Religious
Religious Socialization and the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion

 
Religion Over the Life Course

 
Being Religious

 
Religious “Nones”

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 5. Conversion, Switching, and Apostasy
Conversion, Brainwashing, and the New Religious Movements

 
Process Models of Conversion

 
Religious Choices and Commitments: A Rational Choice Model

 
Religious Switching

 
Apostasy

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
PART III: ORGANIZING RELIGION
 
Chapter 6. Churches, Sects, Denominations, and “Cults”
Charisma and the Charismatic Leader

 
The Routinization of Charisma

 
Classifying Religious Organizations

 
The Church–Sect Typology

 
Denominationalism and the Denominational Society

 
Beyond Denominations?

 
New Religious Movements, a.k.a. “Cults”

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 7. Congregationalism and Congregations
Denominations and De Facto Congregationalism

 
Congregational Demography

 
What Do Congregations Do?

 
Megachurches

 
Multi-Site and Networked Religious Organizations

 
“New Paradigm” and “Seeker” Churches

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
PART IV: RELIGION, SOCIAL DIFFERENCE, AND INEQUALITY
 
Chapter 8. Religion, Economics, and Social Class
Religious Ethics and Economic Action

 
The Prosperity Gospel and Modern Capitalism

 
Religion and Work

 
Religion and Social Class Stratification

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 9. Religion and Race
Religion and Racial/Ethnic Prejudice

 
The Racialization of Religious Groups

 
Religion in the African American Community

 
Racial Segregation in Congregations

 
Explaining Congregational Racial Segregation

 
Race/Ethnicity and Religious Affiliation

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 10. Religion and Gender
Religion as a Gendered Social Institution

 
Gendered Religious Organizational Structures

 
Gendered Patterns of Religiosity

 
Negotiating Gender in Religious Communities

 
Gender Beyond Women

 
Gender Beyond Male and Female

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 11. Religion and Sexualities
Religion, Heteronormativity, and Homonegativity

 
Religious Divisions Over Same-Sex Marriage

 
LGBTQIA+ Clergy Controversies

 
Congregational Responses to Sexual Diversity

 
LGBTQIA+ Religious Identities and Practices

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
PART V: SOCIAL CHANGE AND RELIGION
 
Chapter 12. Religion Outside the (God) Box
Religion and the “Old” Media

 
Religion and the “New Media”

 
Religion and Sport

 
Other Manifestations of Religion Outside Traditional God Boxes

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 13. Religion, Social Stability, and Social Conflict
Religion Functions to Provide Meaning and Belonging

 
Religion and Legitimation of the Social Order

 
Religion and Social Conflict

 
Religion: Opiate or Stimulant?

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 14. Globalization and Religion
Globalization of Religion

 
The Impact of Globalization on Religion

 
Transnational Religious Connections

 
Glocalization of Religions

 
Religion in Global Affairs

 
Summary and Looking Forward

 
 
Bibliography
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
edge.sagepub.com/rsp7e

SAGE edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • a link to Association of Religion Data Archives resources specifically aligned to each chapter to support teaching; and  
  • term paper projects that provide detailed specifications for assigning.

Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • The open systems approach of previous editions has been reframed to present the sociology of religion as an ongoing conversation between past and present scholars, highlighting the continuous and ongoing development of the field.
  • Each chapter connects students to resources in the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) to explore issues raised in the chapter— enabling instructors to create an active, problem-solving learning environment.

  • A new standalone chapter on Sexualities allows for fuller treatment of that topic.

  • The expanded chapter on Gender includes new coverage of women’s and men’s roles, and considerations beyond the male/female gender binary.

  • Several new “Illustrating Sociological Concepts” boxes provide extended case studies of particular sociological ideas, and new “Doing Research on Religion” boxes highlight the process by which the findings conveyed in the textbook come into being.

  • “Conclusion and Looking Forward” and “Concluding Question(s)” sections added to every chapter, encourage students to look beyond the material presented and contribute to the ongoing dialogue.

  • Survey data has been updated whenever possible, nearly 300 new sources are referenced, and almost half of all photos/illustrations are new to this edition.

  • The presentation has been streamlined reducing the length by 20% shorter compared to the Sixth Edition.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Throughout the book, the authors analyze the contributions and blind spots of each theory and emphasize the relationship between research methods and findings.

  • The authors seek to convey the perspective from which sociologists view religion, and to be illustrative rather than all-encompassing.

  • Throughout the book, the authors describe the contributions of various theoretical perspectives (conflict, functional, social constructionist, rational choice); discuss the limitations of each theory; and integrate the various theories into an overarching framework, the open systems model, which stresses both structure and dynamic process.

  • By providing a comprehensive, up-to-date, readable textbook along with hundreds of active-learning strategies, sample syllabi, online learning resources connected to the Association of Religion Data Archives (The ARDA), and a test bank, provides instructors with everything they need to teach the sociology of religion for the first or fiftieth time.

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