Meaning of sociology of religion
Sociology of religion is the process of studying a certain community based on their religion and beliefs (Stotts 1). Besides, it involves a well-organized study of various aspects of the societal life with regard to their religious views. Consequently, sociology of religion majorly involves the entire study of the societal culture. It also involves gathering different relevant information regarding a certain community. Arguably, culture is the behavior patterns of a certain society and their way of life (Cipriani 23).
Additionally, culture can be transferred from one generation to the other. Religion is part of societal culturedeveloped according to various beliefs. Therefore,it is powerful and pervasive.In a number of cases, religion is more established in political, economic and social lives of people. In addition, sociology of religion discusses the educational and technological life of an individual.
According to Stotts, within a religion, there are some other spiritual and principles that people are supposed to follow. Moreover, people and society at large are supposed to honor their religious values, laws and beliefs. Consequently, sociology of religion majorly involves the study of how people are influenced by their culture.
It also studies how religion has contributed to the various changes experienced in life. Besides, sociology of religion studies the degree at which religion has contributed towards shaping the lives of people who believe in it. It also studies how religion has created some advancement and changes in the community. The study of sociology of religion helps people to understand the origin of religion and how it has gradually developed.
Additionally, it tries to understand the extent to which religion has brought some influence to the people and institutions within the society. It studies the influence of religion on different families, administrative arena and technology in the society. It also studies the changes that have taken place in various churches and the reasons for the changes (Furseth 33). For example, the church is a very important institution in the social lives of the African-American people.
The church provides a forum for which the African-Americans can meet and interact. It gives them the voice to raise issues that they face and provides them with a forum to discuss their issues and find amicable solutions. The church is an important institution that these people can run to to seek support especially when other institutions fail to provide them. This explains the meaning of sociology of religion in diverse contexts.
Importance of studying sociology of religion
The study of sociology of religion provides a lot of information regarding certain communities and their ways of life. It shows the existence of the clash between various religious beliefs and the culture of a given society. Consequently, the clash has led to religious wars and stereotyping in most of the countries.For instance, Muslims are currently associated with terrorism, since the September 11 attack in the United States.
Additionally, the fight between Muslims and Christians has steadily advanced hence there has been some instability in most of the countries around the world. Consequently, those individuals studying sociology of religion will try to understand how it started and why it exists. Additionally, the student will learn how and why the discrimination still exists. Another importance of studying sociology of religion is that it brings some vital modifications to an individual’s life and the society as a whole.
In some areas, sociology of religion studies the disgrace of homosexuality in the Christian community. Conversely, the study of this course can be used to educate people how religion can be integrated peacefully and in an accommodating way to an individual’s life. The other importance of this study is that it shows the connection between religion and the society.
For instance, it establishes how religion has brought some impact to the human life and the society at large. Furthermore, the study also helps people understand how religion is associated with different cultures of different societies. For instance, it studies how various religious rituals are linked with their culture.
Additionally, it shows the connection between various religious calibrations like, Christmas and Easter Monday, to the societal culture. The study also reveals how religion is significant to the society.For instance, people are able to learn that religion has brought a lot of changes to the society. Individuals who study sociology of religion are able to learn the different cultures that exist in the world and how the introduction of religion has affected them.
The religious psychological theories are applicable within emerging fields such as social media, e-learning as well as digital technologies in revolutionary approaches. It is also critical to observe that religion sociology borrows from numerous religious disciplines including sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, as well as political science.
Additionally, it may also draw significant insights form rhetoric, computer science, or communications and international relations. The society requires religious sociology to proliferate at a higher speed with diverse gadgets in the world (Stotts 6). It is critical to note that such religious provisions are initiating the competencies that continue to redefine the manner of work, prayers, social beliefs, games, and communication daily.
The meaning of rational choice theory
Rational choice theory states that an individual has the right and freedom to make his own satisfactory choices in life. Additionally, it shows that an individual’s social life is determined by the decisions they make in life (Furseth 44). According to rational choice theory, people are inspired by their goals and necessities which shows their preferences.
Since most people are not able to obtain their requirements, they are forced to make decisions depending on their goals. This theory stated that people should be able to foresee the results of their actions and establish the one which is more beneficial. Consequently, rational people always choose options that are able to give maximum satisfaction.
The theory also states that human behavior is similar to that of animals thus can be shaped by an individual’s actions. Besides, an individual can learn and make changes in areas where they have some weaknesses. For instance, the diversity of religion is on the rise in world. Rationally, it is believable that religious landscape will change in the coming years. Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Protestant religions are the most dominant religions in world today.
According to Turner (34), the main reason for religious diversity is due to the presence of immigrants in America. As people moved into the country, they carried along with them their religious practices. The Muslim religion is an example of the growing religions in world today. The presence of Sikh’s, Muslims and Buddhists in America is evidence of diversity. The mentioned provisions support the meaning of rational choice theory.
Cipriani, Roberto. Sociology of Religion: An Historical Introduction. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2000. Print.
Furseth, Inger. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. Print.
Stotts, Herbert E. An Introduction to Sociology of Religion. Boston: Wesley Press, 1953. Print.
Turner, Bryan. The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.