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Introducti18 - Introduction In this part of the course we...

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Introduction In this part of the course we are going to examine one of the more interesting and controversial aspects of social life (religious practice and belief). In this respect we will be examining a number of aspects of religious activity from both a cultural and historical perspective. Before we begin our examination of various aspects of religion, it will be useful to outline the basic syllabus themes that are going to be covered in this series of Study Notes. 1. Definitions and basic concepts: In this first set of Study Notes we are going to focus upon the various ways that religion can be defined in order to establish a basic common framework for the analyses that follow in other Study Notes. In particular, we will focus here upon two major areas of sociological investigation, namely: a. What is religion (how can we define it) and b. What does religion do for both the individual and society? This basic material will be complimented by a brief examination of the differences and similarities between religious ideologies and other forms of ideology in society 2. Perspectives on Religion.
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