Chap 14 (Religion)

Chap 14 (Religion) - Chapter 14 Religion Probably the...

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Chapter 14 Religion
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Probably the central theme that has dominated the sociology of religion…. Secularization – process by which a society or an institution becomes more worldly and the supernatural becomes less important “Secularization Theorists” argue religion dying Functionalists – focus on the role of religion in providing answers to life’s “ultimate questions” Challenge secularization theorists Substantive definitions of religion (what religion is) vs. functional definitions (what religion does)
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Defining Religion – A substantive definition ultimate meaning and answer ultimate questions Socially organized patterns of belief and practices that concern ultimate meaning and assume the existence of the supernatural. The belief in the supernatural sets religion apart from other aspects of social life.
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Secularization is a real process Darwin did influence view of creation Important to distinguish between societal and institutional Institutions do tend to become for secularized over time But they are replaced by less secularized institutions Perrin and Stark are…
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Distinguishing Sect from Church – A “church” is Formal, accepted, well established Intellectualize religious teaching – trained clergy Bureaucratic Officials ordained Culture affirming More this-worldly in focus Born into less emotional, less spontaneous (read prayers), orderly worship Middle-class
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A sect is… less formalized, less accepted and well- established, more fringe Emphasize personal experience and emotion Hostile to surrounding society Converted into Charismatic leader – less formalized training Lay involvement – everyone is a “minister” More otherworldly in focus (rewards come in afterlife) More likely to believe “we have the whole truth” Lower-class Conservative theology
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“Church-like” vs. “Sect-like” We typically discuss differences as “ideal types” that do not actually exist in pure form Examples of “sect-like” include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Vineyard, Calvary Chapel, and C of C to some degree Example of “church-like” include United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian Single best distinction between church and sect according to Benton Johnson?
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Religions tend to become more secularized over time That is, as they grow and flourish, these sects are transformed into churches The conditions that prompted the original sect formation are re-created, a split occurs, and a new sect is formed. Sect is a “revival” – attempt to return to ideal
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2011 for the course SYG 2000 taught by Professor Joos during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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Chap 14 (Religion) - Chapter 14 Religion Probably the...

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