March 14, 2013
Religion (Guest Lecturer: Prof Bird)
- 6 based on lecture only
- 11 based on textbook only
Sociology of Religion
- Questions of Faith: truth and values of religious belief
- They look at truth and values of religious beliefs.
- Not about questioning them, but how they play out in the social world.
- Sacred: Refers to the religious, transcendent world.
Something made/declared holy
How belief/religious spirits unite people
- Profane: Refers to the secular, everyday world.
Not dealing with scared relationships
Relationship between sacred and profane
One main topics is the role of religion is modern societies
- Secularization Thesis: As society is modernized and industrialized,
religious beliefs start to decline and societies start to become more
Modern societies are supposed to be religiously diverse, but this
causes the (ideally) power of one religion to weaken.
The more religions practiced together, the weaker each religion
- Charismatic Leaders: “Religious leaders who claim to be inspired by
supernatural powers and whose followers believe them to be so
inspired” (Brym & Lie 2012: 228).
Weber said that as modern sciences advance, the more
disenchanted people become.
This will pose a problem for religion as it is based on the belief
People will be less inclined to believe in the symbolism of
Weber looked at the world of charismatic leaders
Weber: If you look at any religions in the world, one ff the
main influences is usually a charismatic leader.
The longer a religion lasts, the more rationalized it becomes.
The more institutionalized they become, the more
disenchanting they become March 14, 2013
The more rational they become, the more rule-based and law-
based they become.
- Routinization of charisma: “Weber’s term for the transformation of
the unique gift of divine enlightenment into a permanent feature of
everyday life. It involves turning religious inspiration into a stable
institution with divine roles (interpreters of the divine message,
teachers, dues-paying laypeople, and so on)” (Brym and Lie 2012:
Charisma becomes routinized.
- Religiosity: “The degree to which religion is important to people”
(Brym and Lie 2012: 230).
Gallup Poll: “Religiosity and Atheism Index” (2012)
Does a lot of polls
One they did measures belief
Question: Irrespective of whether you attend a place of
worship or not, would you say you are religious person,
not a religious person, or a convinced atheist? March 14, 2013
o China is an advanced, industrial location
o Government doesn’t want religion to interf