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Sociology of Religion (book)

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Originally published  1920
Author  Max Weber
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Similar  Works by Max Weber, Sociology of religion books

Sociology of Religion is a 1920 book by Max Weber, a German economist and sociologist. The original edition was in German.


Max Weber studied the effects of religious action and inaction. He views religion by simply categorized different religions in order to fully understand religion's subjective meaning to the individual (Verstehen).

By viewing religion strictly in the scientific sense, Weber was striving for objectivity, attempting to ignore value judgments, and to understand religion as those human responses that give meaning to the inescapable problems of existence, such as birth, death, illness, aging, injustice, tragedy, and suffering. In The Sociology of Religion, Weber proposes that people pursue their own goals, and that religion facilitates that. He shows how early religious beliefs stem from the work of skillful, charismatic individuals, and how their actions are eventually transformed into a systematic, church-based religion - in other words, how religion begins with charismatic authority and is transformed into traditional authority.

Because religion enables people to pursue their interests, Weber believed that religion actually gave rise to the spread of modern capitalism, as he asserted in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. This writing illustrated the way in which religious beliefs steered the direction of the economic and technological forces that were already in motion.

Max Weber takes an objective, distant view of the sociological traditions of the institution of religion. He is standing on the outside, looking in, contrary to the believers whose journey of faith causes them to examine their religion from within. This detached, objective view of religion embodies the objective, modernist practice of the sociological perspective of religion today.

(A) Origins of Religion

1) Primordial Notions Of Religion 2) Symbolism 3) Concepts Of God

(B) Emergence of Religion

1) Religion And God 2) Priest 3) Development Of The Notion Of Supernatural 4) Development Of Religious Ethic

(C) Prophet

1) Definition 2) Natures Of Prophecy

(D) Religious Community

1) Origins Of Religious Community 2) Development Of Religious Community

(E) Religiosity of Social Strata

1) Peasant 2) Warrior Aristocrats 3) Bureaucrats 4) Citizen 5) Slave And Propertyless 6) Mass Religiosity: Magic And Savior 7) Women And Religion 8) Social Strata And Sense Of Dignity 9) Pariah Status

(F) Intellectualism and Religion

1) Privileged Intellectualism 2) Intellectual Salvation 3) Non-privileged Intellectualism 4) Intellectualism And Christianity 5) Modern Intellectualism

(G) Theodicy and Salvation

1) Theodicy 2) Salvation And Rebirth 3) Salvation By Ritual 4) Salvation By Good Works 5) Salvation By Self-perfection

(H) Asceticism and Mysticism

1) Asceticism 2) Mysticism 3) Oriental Vs. Occidental Salvation

(I) Salvation by Other's Achievement

1) Salvation By Grace 2) Salvation By Faith 3) Salvation By Predestination

(J) Religious Ethics and the World

1) Internalization Of Religious Ethic 2) Religious Ethic And Economics 3) Religious Ethics And Politics 4) Religious Ethics And Sexuality 5) Religious Ethic And Art

(K) Religions and the World

1) Judaism: World-accommodated 2) Islam: This-worldliness 3) Buddhism: World-rejection 4) Capitalism And Religion 5) Jesus: World-indifference


Sociology of Religion (book) Wikipedia

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