Skip to content
2022 Spring


Ted Turnau
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

Whether we like it or not, religion colors the world around us, the way we live socially. Even in the secular, “post-religious” West, religion makes its presence felt, sometimes in unexpected ways. Because religious belief and practice goes to the core of what it means to be human, what we hold most precious, it necessarily affects the way we live together – it is a social force. Conversely, the way we live together affects the shape of religious belief and practice. If we want to live together with understanding, we need to account for the role of religion. How are we to understand the relationship between religion and society, religion and culture?

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction and Orientation

2. Emile Durkheim - Religion as Social Glue

3. Marx - Religion as a Drug for Alienation

4. Max Weber - Religion as Rationalization

5. Peter Berger - Religion as Sacred Canopy

6. Clifford Geertz - Religion as Symbolic Cover

7. Stark and Bainbridge - Religion as Economic Exchange

8. What is Religion?

9. Secularization

10. New Religious Movements

11. Religion and Postmodernity

12. Religion and Ethnicity

13. Religion and Violence

14. Religion and Politics

15. Religion and Popular Culture

16. Student Presentation Info

17. Course Evaluation Instructions

Back to top