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Sociology of Religion

This course is an introduction to the sociology of religion. I focus this course on basic sociological theories of the of religion, and on the relation between religion and other aspects of society, with particular reference to the United States. Throughout the course, I will emphasize a scientific approach to the study of religion. Sociology is a science, and thus it relies on research, or systematic observation in order to develop and test theories, or explanations of religion. In this course, I want to not only introduce you to that science, but also give you a taste of it. To do this, I will go beyond a simple survey of theorists and theories, and will actively engage you in the social scientific study of religion. Through a research project, you will have the opportunity to develop and test research hypotheses using data from a national survey.


This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.

William L. MacDonald

The Ohio State University at Newark

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, Sociology

General Comparative Traditions, New Religious Movements, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Business/Capitalism/Labor, Empire/Foreign Policy/Globalism, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity, Science/Technology/Environment

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