SOCI 385: Religion and Society

SOCI 385-K01: Religion and Society
(Spring 2021)

05:00 PM to 06:15 PM MW

Mason Korea G106

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Section Information for Spring 2021

Providing an important study for understanding today’s headlines, "Religion and Society" surveys the world’s major religious traditions and introduces scholarly methods for the study of religion from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a sociological bent. It explores the nature of religious beliefs, rituals, and institutions, both historically and in the contemporary context. Of particular interest will be the way in which faith traditions form and change over time as they become increasingly cosmopolitan, and the relationship between those traditions and daily life, political and social conflicts, ethics, and the globalization of culture and society.


Lester Kurtz, Gods in the Global Village: The World's Religions in Sociological Perspective. 4th ed. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press, 2015). Available free electronically through the GMU library at or for purchase - fourth edition - see options at

Readings not in this book are available on Blackboard or linked in the syllabus.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Studies places of religious consciousness in human action and institutional and organizational networks created to sustain religious beliefs. Emphasizes comparative and historical analysis of role religion has played in human society. Examines theories of nature of religious experience, religious symbolism, and basis of religious community. Explores changing demographics in relation to older traditional religious faiths and newer nontraditional faiths. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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