Religion exists in a social context, and always is shaped by and shapes its social context. Furthermore, religion itself is always (at least in part) a socially constituted reality–that is, its content and structure are always formed, at least partially, out of the “stuff” of the socio-cultural world (language, symbols, groups, norms, interactions, resources, organizations, etc.). The sociology of religion pursues an understanding of both the “social-ness'” of religion itself and the mutually influencing interactions between religion and its social environment. We will analyze religious beliefs, practices, and organizations from a sociological perspective, with a primary focus on religion in contemporary American society.
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2018 Date Published
Religious Studies, Sociology Discipline
General Comparative Traditions Religous Tradition
Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars Topics