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2. Issues in the Study of Religion
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about problems sociologists encounter when studying religion, focusing in particular on: (i) the issue of defining religion – sociologists have devised many definitions of religion which can be categorised as either functional or substantive in approach; (ii) whether the term “religion” is Eurocentric; (iii) whether the sociology of religion is based on western assumptions regarding the separation of the public and private spheres; (iv) whether religion consists only of propositional beliefs.
In this course, Professor Chris Shilling (University of Kent) provides an introduction to the sociology of religion. In the first lecture, we ask why sociologists continue to study religion despite the dominance for many decades of secularisation theory. In the second lecture, we discuss some key problems sociologists encounter when studying religion, including issues with its definition. In the third lecture, we consider some influential theories regarding the origins of religion. Next, we discuss its place in society. In the fifth and final lecture, we explore the role of religion in the contemporary world, focusing on three examples – religious radicalism, civil religion and prosperity Pentecostalism.
Professor Chris Shilling is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent. He has written widely across a range of issues in sociological theory, including religion and the sociology of the body. His recent publications include Uncovering Social Life: Critical Perspectives from Sociology (2017, as co-author), The Body: A Very Short Introduction (2016), and Sociology of the Sacred: Religion, Embodiment and Social Change (2014, as co-author).
Cite this Lecture
Shilling, C. (2021, November 26). The Sociology of Religion - Issues in the Study of Religion [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-sociology-of-religion/issues-in-the-study-of-religion
Shilling, C. "The Sociology of Religion – Issues in the Study of Religion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Nov 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/the-sociology-of-religion/issues-in-the-study-of-religion