Comparative Religion

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By Stephen Sharot

A Sociology of global Religions provides a comparative research of the world's religions, concentrating on the variations and interrelationships among non secular elites and lay lots. In each one case the amount contextualizes how the relationships among those spiritual kinds healthy inside of, and are stimulated by way of, the broader socio-political environment.

After introducing the book's significant issues, the amount introduces and builds upon an research of Weber's version of non secular motion, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist students, and the paintings of up to date sociologists and anthropolgists. the subsequent chapters every one specialize in significant non secular cultures, together with Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This formidable undertaking is the 1st to supply a comparability of the preferred, or folks, sorts of faith round the world.

Sharot's available introductions to every of the realm religions, synthesizing an unlimited literature on well known faith from sociology, anthropology, and historians of faith, make the venture excellent for direction use. His comparative strategy and unique analyses will turn out profitable even for specialists on all the global religions.

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Extra resources for A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion

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29 Symbolists have admitted that not all ritual participants are aware of the meanings of the symbols or of the importance of what they are symbolizing, and like functionalism, the symbolic approach has been criticized for its failure to address the question of why actors perform rites if they are unaware of their true meanings or significance. The reading of meaning into action that is not intentionally meaningful is problematic, and this is especially the case when symbolists point to considerable differences between the literal level of the ritual and what the symbolists believe is the “true” or fundamental message of the ritual.

The conceptual framework of religious action can be expanded on and made more comprehensive by drawing on the works of other sociologists and anthropologists, but because Weber’s writings provide the most important source, it is appropriate at this point to defend the religious action perspective from possible criticisms. My focus is on actions that people perform because they believe they will achieve a consequence or consequences that they desire. The concern is with subjective meanings of instrumental action rather than intersubjective meanings of communicative action.

10 Conditions: Supramundane Forces Conceptions of salvation were intimately bound up with conceptions of the divine. The soteriological goal of Protestants, highly differentiated from social aims, was wedded to a view of God who was radically transcendent over creation. The nonsoteriological Confucian ideal of adjustment to the traditional social order rested on a cosmocentric vision of correspondence and harmony between the divine and society. In India, the two soteriologically related beliefs shared by all Hindus, transmigration of souls and ethical compensation, were anchored in a cosmology of a rational, hierarchically structured, eternal order.

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