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Religion and Society

In this course, we will examine the dominant theories of religion and look at the ways in which sociologists use multiple types of empirical data –quantitative and qualitative– to study religion as a social institution. The first portion of the course will focus squarely on the debate between “old” and “new” paradigms in the sociology of religion. Among other specific topics, we will learn about patterns of religious affiliation, and the reasons for the growth and decline of particular religious groups and communities, as well as the varied factors that influence individual religious decision making. The second segment of the course will explore religious differentials in a number of important outcomes, ranging from pro-social behavior to health to family life, and other important areas of social life. In the third and final portion of the course, we will turn our attention to the important role that religion is playing in defining and responding to the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

Christopher Ellison

University of Texas, San Antonio

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, Sociology

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity

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