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Religion and Society Syllabus
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New Religions

How to Cite

Park, Kristin. 2013. “Religion and Society Syllabus”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, April. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


In this course we study religion as a social and cultural phenomenon, with a particular emphasis on the contemporary United States. We examine religious beliefs, practices, institutions and movements as they are shaped by their social context and in turn influence it. We also briefly discuss religious expression in other regions, including Europe and...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 300
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

For a semester-long course. The course is cross-listed as a Religion course. It is taken by Sociology majors and minors and Religion majors/World Religions concentration and Religion majors/Christian Tradition concentration, as well as by Religion minors. The course also fulfills a college distribution requirement in Religious and Philosophical Thought...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. 1) Analyze religious experience using sociological concepts, theories, measures and data. 2. Describe and analyze several religious traditions (different from one or more in which you may have been raised) in an objective and value-free manner.
  2. 3.Summarize and evaluate the substantive and functionalist debates in defining religion and create your own preliminary definition. 4.Classify religious collectivities using the revised church-sect typology.
  3. 5.Summarize and critique functionalist theories (Durkheim, Bellah) and Marxist and Weberian theories on how religion contributes to social cohesion, social conflict and control and social change

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. 1.Exams, reading study questions, Socratic seminar, term paper, Fundamentalism paper, mini-assignment on religiosity measures, mini-assignment on secularization thesis evaluation 2. Religion in the news reports, term project, Socratic seminar, exams.
  2. 3.Exam, mini-assignment on measuring religiosity 4. Exam, term project paper. 5. Exam, term project paper.

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