This course will explore current sociological debates as they pertain to the complex and multi-faceted relationships between religion and other social institutions. We will examine the ways in which religious systems assist in both maintaining and changing the existing social order and even examine how change in religious institutions is a function of the changing power relationships within and between religious institutions. In sum, we will look at how that larger social order, in turn, affects religion. To accomplish this goal, we will look at (1) how social theorists have explained these relationships and processes, (2) some of the on-going debates within the sociology of religion over these issues within the context of the development of the American religion landscape, and (3) examine in concrete historical cases the links between religion and the economy, the state, and social protest and change, using these cases as a basis for expanding our theoretical understanding of the role of religion in post-modern society.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
1999 Date Published
Religious Studies, Sociology Discipline
Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Judaism, Protestant Religous Tradition
Business/Capitalism/Labor, Politics/Law/Government, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion Topics