Textbook Notes (368,562)
Canada (161,962)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 17

SOCA02- SCP; Chapter 17.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

SOCA02- SCP; Chapter 17 - until recently sociology did not take study of religion particularly seriously  most scholars believed that we live in a secular society  Marxist tradition- religion obscured effort to seek real happiness by offering illusory happiness; some scientists misunderstood this as to leaving religion out  liberation theology (1960s)- combo of religion and Marxism that strived to effect socio-economic change; became too threatening and was condemned by Vatican - mainstream Christianity (Roman Catholicism and Protestant) has dominated Canada's history and still does today at 80%, however overall picture is changing (non-Christian religions are increasing and decline in attendance and belonging among Christian communities) - believing without belonging- Canadians are usually affiliated with religion of their parents/grandparents despite that their participation in organized religion is/has sporadic/declined - Canadians are finding new ways of expressing their religious interests, such as yoga and labyrinths  don't fit into traditional measures of religious behaviour and remains undetected in research - Reginald Bibby investigated Christian-centred behaviours and found evidence of both identification and lack of participation among Canadians in relation to Christian churches  argues that domination of Christian churches  past and future  concerned that there is less evidence of actual religious participation - religion can be prescriptive (offer people direction on important choices) and explanatory (provides source of explanation for everyday events) - some people like Richard Dawkins argue that religion is responsible for violence and wards - some governments have focused on causes of homegrown terrorist- what causes young men in particular who are native-born to commit acts of violence, in name of religion - Peter Beyer and study of religion, youth, and Canadian culture  >200 youth who self-identify as having Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism as part of their religious background, have at least 1 immigrant parent, and were born in Canada or arrived as an immigrant when under 11 years old  youth relied on parents for spiritual/religious info but take responsibility for their own spiritual/religious journeys  multiculturalism in Canada is a positive ideal for the youth - definitions of religion:  (Meredith McGuire) functional definitions- what religion does for the social group and individual; social cohesion; substantive definitions- examines religion's core elements, typically belief in higher being, set of prescribed beliefs and rituals, etc.  (Emile Durkheim) shaped functional definitions, religion a reflection of society in which it existed and was a social or group phenomenon, sacred and profane, however resulted in defaming of sacred practices not communally oriented (like Wiccans)  (Robert Bellah focused on understanding how society has departed from civil religion) civil religion: idea that society is based on and functions because of shared values/perspectives that serve as foundation of a cohesive society, transcended any specific religious tradition and formed ethical framework that existed apart from any one religion  religion as organized religion and spirituality as representing something less institutional and more private; religion as more privileged and thus excluding Wiccans  (Asad and Golderberg) separating out of religion as something distinct from everyday life is a Christian approach to thinking about spirituality/religion  (Woodhead) critical of dominance of functionalist conceptualizations of religion (Durkheimian models), tendency to minimize religious/spiritual behaviours that don't fit into organized religion patterns - (Meredith McGuire) methodological strategy for attempting to move outside of confines of Christianity  bracket assumptions that we hold about religion and to travel with sociological imagination to the "past as another country"  possibility of thinking in a time when there were no tidy boundaries between sacred and profane  lived religion: focuses on actual everyday spiritual practices of people rather than on religious authorities/texts - (William Closson James) religion in 20 century Canada characterized by mix of aspects of different religions rather than a monolithic and unitary system of beliefs - religions must register with central state authority to receive some benefits (such as tax exemptions) or else persecuted through harassment of group member, denial of benefits, and criminal justice system; NRM (new religious movements) are vulnerable - "The Making of a Moonie" (Eileen Barker) classic study on NRMs  interested in talk of cults and brainwashing in 70s and 80s  investigated Revered Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church and discovered that contrary to belief, Moonies were middle-class young adults seeking spiritual/religious experience and sense of community  study had profound implications and triggered debate - Christopher Helland studied how religion manifested itself online  religion on internet exists along a spectrum between religion online (sites dedicated to sharing info about offline religious organizations) and online religion (religious organization existing only on Internet)  difficult to define online religion - Susan Palmer who studies Raelians, Quebec-based UFO cult that claimed that they had successfully cloned human being  field observation- found that Raelians made no effort to transmit them being stigmatized to their children, true to ethic of individual choice, and that children cannot be baptized until age 15, and even when they ask to be baptized, must pass a test to prove that their choice was not due to external influence  "The Order of Rael's Angels" women's movement that emphasized unique qualities of women, polarized the sexes - secularization (theory): process by which religion increasingly loses its influence; has been discredited since measure of religious affiliation only includes public involvement  much focus on definition of religion in order to understand if its declining  as religion loses its influence, it has less presence in social institutions such as law, education, health care; ex. issues like same-sex marriage and abortion - Jose Casanova whose work employs multilevel conceptualization of secularization  comparative study of religion using 5 case studies from 2 religious traditions (Protestantism and Ca
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