Article

A Sociotheological Approach to Understanding Religious Violence

Mark Juergensmeyer and Mona Kanwal Sheikh

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199759996
Published online March 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199759996.013.0040

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 A Sociotheological Approach to Understanding Religious Violence

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This chapter tries to illustrate that there has been a “sociotheological turn” in contemporary scholarship which encourages social scientists to take stock of the religious justifications for social action, and theologians and scholars of religious studies to be more aware of the social significance of spiritual ideas and practices. Sociotheology takes religious thinking and social context seriously. The approximation of the fields of psychology and theology and sociology as poles in the same discursive dynamics contributes to eroding a stonewall dichotomy between theology and the social sciences. Guidelines for sociotheological studies include demarcating an epistemic worldview, bracketing assumptions about the truth of a worldview, entering into an epistemic worldview, conducting informative conversations, identifying narrative structures, and locating social contexts. The revival of religion in world politics and the rising value of transnational religious movements have offered an analytic dispute that sociotheology has risen to meet.

Keywords: sociotheology; religious thinking; psychology; theology; sociology; religion; transnational religious movements

Article.  11722 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Sociology of Religion ; Comparative Religion

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