Article

Protestantism

Bradley Wright

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0102
Protestantism

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Christianity is the largest religion in the world, and Protestantism is one of its major traditions. It encompasses Western Christians who are not members of the Catholic or Eastern Christian church. Protestantism got its start in the 16th century with the work of Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers, and since then it has experienced many splits over doctrinal differences, resulting in a wide range of Protestant denominations. Protestants account for about 37 percent of all Christians and about 12 percent of all people in the world. Although Protestantism played a key role in the development of modern Europe, its adherents are now spread widely throughout the world. For example, today more Protestants live in sub-Saharan Africa than in Europe. The study of Protestantism touches on many issues of interest to sociologists. Obviously it fits into the sociology of religion, but the study of Protestantism has also advanced sociological knowledge regarding social class, civic and political engagement, adolescent development, gender, race and ethnicity, and many other substantive and methodological issues. By and large, studies of Protestantism are published in sociological outlets devoted either to religion, in particular, or to sociology, in general; in other words, these studies are not limited only to Protestant journals or publications. Furthermore, some studies of Protestantism focus exclusively on it, but many others nest their analyses of Protestantism into a broader focus of Christianity or religion as a whole. Because about half of Americans are Protestants, some measure of Protestantism shows up in many studies conducted in the United States. As a result, it is easy to underestimate the amount of attention given to the study of Protestantism. This bibliography points to some of the best-known works that explicitly focus on, or at least touch on, Protestantism, but this topic appears in a remarkably wide array of sociological works.

Article.  12767 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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