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Incorporating Islam into Sociology of Religion Courses
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types of legitimate authority
crisis of succession
church/sect theory

How to Cite

Tsitsos, William. 2010. “Incorporating Islam into Sociology of Religion Courses”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, September. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Much of the coverage of Islam in sociology of religion courses focuses on Islamic fundamentalism and/or terrorism. This single-minded focus does an injustice to a diverse religious tradition. It also does an injustice to students, many of whom are interested in learning more about Islam. This essay presents three concepts derived from the work of Max...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This material can be incorporated into a sociology course at any level. It is most clearly relevant to courses in the sociology of religion, but since the Weberian concepts addressed here (the three types of legitimate authority, the idea of the "crisis of succession," and church/sect theory) are not unique to the study of religion, they could be...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. To help students understand the diversity of belief and practice that constitutes Islam
  2. To demonstrate that Weber’s ideas, and ideas from classical sociology more generally, are applicable/relevant to societies outside of Western Europe and the US

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. This is intended more as a resource for instructors than as a classroom exercise, lecture, activity, etc. So there are not built-in goal assessments, but instructors should be able to integrate the material into existing goal assessments (exams, etc.).

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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