The text, SOCIOLOGY: Theoretical Issues in Religion, is written from the points of view of both sociology and religion. It is also a book on theory becauseit examines those ideas and, concepts which have guided scholarly research and generated conclusions in the above mentioned areas of study as important parts of the social science family.

Specifically, the book examines the interaction between religion as a social institution and selected secularized institutional surrogates, with an analysis of the implication of the interaction for the social system. The book is intended for both the general reader and the academic because of its ability to provide a theoretical approach and. appreciation to the phenomenon of religion and its importance to the human society.


This book focuses on issues in the sociology of religion. It is also a book about theory. Theory in the scientific sense means a body of ideas and concepts, which delineate an area of study in terms of both research problems and generalized conclusions. A conceptual scheme and simple scientific vocabulary of analysis devoid of the usual sociological and technical jargons have guided the discussions presented in the various chapters.

When conceptualized as scientific theory, which provides a necessary frame of reference for intellectual debate and research, the field of the sociology of religion can be quite fascinating and impressive. The book presents the insights and contributions of numerous scholars, both classical and contemporary, on the topics discussed while at the same time attempting to reinforce those issues with their day-to-day practical relevance. Certain authors, like Emile Dukheim and Max Weber, will be seen to feature more prominently and frequently than others. This is so, not so much because of their positions as early pioneers in the field, but because of their holistic and comprehensive approach to sociology as a discipline and sociology of religion in particular. In some instances, they are merely appealed to as frames of reference, whose contributions have withstood the best of time.

In a rather technical sense, the sociology of religion is but one aspect of the study of the relationship between ideas, which are embodied in movements and institutions, and the social conditions of their origin, development, growth and decline. The significant analogies between religion and such secularized religious surrogates as culture, social change, magic and conflict, among others have received extensive attention throughout the book while the religious and humanistic traditions from which the claimed relationships derive have served as intellectual and methodological apogees. The last chapter on Some Issues in the Sociology of Religion, which outlines certain problem areas in the field, is added in orderto generate discussions and more research work in the field In terms of its worth and relevance, SOCIOLOGY: theoretical issues in religion, is meant to provide both the general reader and the academic with a brief presentation of the sociological approach to an interpretation of the religious phenomenon. By so doing, the reader is offered an important avenue for appreciating the human and social significance of religion.

      Chapter One: Introduction.
      Chapter Two: The Religious and Humanistic Traditions
      Chapter Three: Religion And The Sociological Discipline
      Chapter Four:
          Theories of Religion
          Psycological Theories of Religion
          Sociological Theon'es of Religion
          Anthroplogical Theories of Religion
      Chapter Five: Religion and Psychiatry
      Chapter Six: Religion and Magic
      Chapter Seven: The Secularizarion of Religion
      Chapter Eight
          Religion and Secret Cult
        What is a Secret Society?
        Secret Cult and Secret Society:
        Secret Cult:
        Proposed strategies for the control of secret cult in society
    Chapter Nine
        Pentecostalistic Religions
        The Meaning of Pentecostalism
        Origin of Penteoostlism
        Pentecostalism and Society
    Chapter Ten
        Functionalist and Marxist Perspectives of Religion
        Contemporary Functionalist Perspectives of Religion
        Contemporary Marxist Perspectives of Religion
    Chapter Eleven
        Religion and Culture
        God as a Supreme Being
        African Traditional Cosmology.
        The Conception of Man
        Human Life
        Sacred and Profane Objects and Places.
        Religion and Social Change
        Max Weber: Religion and Social Change
        Karl Marx: Religion and Social Change
        Emile Durkheim: Religion and Social Change
    ChapterThirteen: Religious Conflict
    Chapter Fourteen: Some Issues in The Sociology of Religion