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Sociology 145.001: Religion and Society

While it may surprise many, the place of religion in American society is deep and broad. We will explore the many dimensions of religion—how it is defined, how people express it, how they experience its power. We will discover how religion changes as the structure and culture of society itself evolves. During the first half of the semester, we will learn about the varieties of religious traditions in America through our readings and lectures as well as by visiting them together as a class. We will focus especially on the practice of religion, what scholars call “lived religion,” which we will observe at the sites of religious worship. During the second half, we will focus on the social forces as experienced in the metropolitan Chicago area that affect and change some of these religious practices. These include modernization, secularization, globalization, stratification, fundamentalism, race, ethnicity, gender, and social conflict. But we will also ask how religion is not just the recipient of forces, but an influence on the broader culture (and subcultures) in which we live.

Elfriede Wedam

Loyola University Chicago

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, Sociology

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Business/Capitalism/Labor, Class/Power, Empire/Foreign Policy/Globalism, Family/Children/Reproduction, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity

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