From the "War on Terror" to the current gay marriage debate, religion is centrally involved in many of the social conflicts and movements that fill today's headlines: as a social identity, as a core set of beliefs, as a basis for social judgment, as a motivation for action.
This course uses sociological methods to explore the interplay of sacred and secular in modern society. What is religion and the
religious? How is the sense of the sacred affected by the social? In
what ways does religion, in turn, affect other areas of social life?
The class employs a variety of learning formats, including
discussions, study groups, lectures, videos, guest speakers and student research presentations.
Required readings include the writings of both classic and
contemporary sociologists ranging from Weber and Durkheim to Berger and Bellah, Withnow and Christian Smith. They are found in a published reader and a course-pak.
Students' understanding and integration of the material is demonstrated through a series of quizzes, short papers, and a presentation project.
Upper-level sociology concentrators or religion ICP students may request overrides if the course is fully subscribed.