Peter B. Clarke

in The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588961
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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In the present age, engaging effectively in identifying, articulating, and elucidating the dynamics of religion involves the development of a less institutional and more organic concept of religion, and the use of a more global framework. This is the main challenge for the contemporary sociology of religion, the effect of which will be to transform the approach to the study of religion from a discipline largely informed by Western notions of religion derived from the study of Christianity, and Western interests, into one driven by a more rounded cross-culturally relevant understanding of the phenomenon. This article describes the new religious vitality, religious pluralism, and social harmony, and the political management of religion. It also suggests that taking a more organic view of religion has implications for methodology in the sociology of religion, necessitating a greater use of ethnography and qualitative methods generally.

Keywords: religious vitality; religious pluralism; social harmony; organic religion; sociology of religion

Article.  11702 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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