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COURSE NUMBER: SOCI 376
COURSE TITLE: Sociology of Religion
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: David Eagle
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examining the social significance of religion in societies, tribes, organisations and individual lives. Religious myths, rituals, symbols, beliefs and organisations are studied as aspects of the social environments in which they emerge, are maintained and/or are challenged. Also analysed is the role of religion in relation to social integration and social change.

Prerequisites: Three credits in sociology at the introductory level
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Berger, Peter. 1990[1967]. The sacred canopy: Elements of a sociological theory of religion. Anchor Books, New York.
  • Weber, Max. 1958. The Protestant ethic and the "spirit" of capitalism. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publication.
  • Chaves, Mark. 2011. American Religion: Contemporary Trends. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 
  • Bibby, Reginald. 2011 Beyond the Gods and Back. Lethbridge, Alberta: Project Canada Books. 
  • Selections from: Ammerman, Nancy, et al. 1998. Studying Congregations: A New Handbook. Nashville: Abingdon Press. 
  • All supplemental readings are posted on the course website
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Class Participation and Reading Summaries20%
Field Report20%
Book Review 20%
Final Project40%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  • Summarize the approach to religion and society as developed by Durkheim and Weber;
  • Analyze and evaluate religious congregations;
  • Understand the development and current trajectory of religion in Canada and the USA;
  • Describe the contemporary debates about secularization;
  • Understand how religion interacts with other categories of identity, especially race and gender;
  • Discuss the social dynamics of religion objectively and critically;
  • Present research findings more effectively.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Introducing the Field
  • The Sacred Canopy
  • The Protestant Ethic
  • Studying Religious Congregations
  • North American Religious Organization
  • Contemporary Islam
  • Conclusions


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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