Books Written

Sociology: Theoretical Issues in Religion

ABOUT

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.

PREFACE

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 con?ict, 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 ?eld 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.

TABLE OF CONTENT
      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
        Prayer
        Sacred and Profane Objects and Places.
    ChapterTwelve
        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

Conclusion

Bibliography


Elements of Sociology of Religion

ABOUT

Elements of Sociology of Religion is a study manual on religion as a social institution. Affirming the importance of the religious institution in all human societies in all generations/ages, the book examines the dynamic relationship between religion and the human society and the in?uence of each on the other. The brief historical analysis of religion in Nigeria shades some light on the advent of foreign religion and their contact with the indigenous religions in the unfolding scenario of the colonial administration. The usefulness of the text to students is further strengthened by the addition of a separate chapter with a summary, some useful exercises and projects for more academic exploration and intellectual stimulation.

PREFACE

Knowledge of social institutions forms a major part of undergraduate curricula in sociology. Family organization, Political and Economic Institutions, among the major ones, have continued to receive priority attention in the structure of the programmes for beginners for their future career. The result of this is that students have suf?cient access in those areas of reference and introductory materials on which to build a solid foundation for higher academic pursuit in those aspects of the social sciences. With the abundance of texts in those areas, students not only have access to reference materials, but they also have their desires kindled for their future professional growth. The situation is not quite as encouraging in regard to the sociology of religion even when religion is seen as a primary institution in all societies. Not only are scholars few who have a genuine interest in the development of the ?eld, but its not being very amenable to the scienti?c methodology truly discourages many. This attitude can be understandable but not excusable. It is understandable because the history of the development of science seems to emphasize that the real understanding i of the facts of nature began when philosophical (speculative) methods were abandoned in the 17th century in favour of the positivistic methods of the natural sciences especially physics and chemistry. The inclination on the other hand to be unduly attached to the scienti?c method is not excusable because science borrows its presuppositions from pre- scienti?c and common experience without which there is no foundation. Therefore, pre- scienti?c, speculative knowledge has an important bearing to modern scientific knowledge (Umoh, 1998). With the paucity of supportive reading materials and scholarly research output the beginner has difficulty seeing the sociology of religion as a fascinating sub-discipline within sociology in which he can make a career.

The present attempt is meant as a useful reading material and a “vade mecum” handbook, for the beginner in sociology who might consider deepening his interest in, and making a career of, the sub area of the sociology of religion. It considers the religious phenomenon not only as a social institution in its ownright but also in its ability to exert an enormous amount of influence on other social institutions the family, politics, the economy and the educational institutions.

This book is an answer to an invitation. It is inspired by the students’ deep and sincere demand for a reference text that can help them towards a better understanding and appreciation of the concepts and ideas in the area of the sociology of religion. Given the readership target, it is written in simple and clear language without the usual sociology jargons that obscure rather than explain the issues at hand. I thank the undergraduate students of the University of Uyo for the challenge through which the present copy is born.

J. O. UMOH (PH. D)
Department of Sociology/Anthropology
University of Uyo

TABLE OF CONTENT
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
      The meaning of Sociology of Religion
      Why the study of the Sociology of Religion
      Approaches to the Scienti?c Study of Religion
      Tolemism: A Primitive Religion
CHAPTER TWO: BASIC ELEMENTS OF RELIGION
      Basic Concepts used in Religion Discussions
      Religious Organization and Behaviour
      The Church
      The Denomination
      Sects
      Cults
      Conclusion
CHAPTER THREE: RELIGION AND SOCIETY
      Emile Durkheim: Religion and Common Morality
      The Functions of Religion: AContemporary View
      Max Weber: Religion and Social Change
      Analysis of the Protestant Ethic
      Weber's Iron Cage
      Karl Marx: Religion as Opium
CHAPTER FOUR: RELIGION AND SCIENCE
      The position of Sociology of Religion
      Religion and Education
      Religion and Economics
      Religion and Politics
      Religion and the Family
      Conclusion
CHAPTER FIVE: GENERAL POSTULATES ON RELIGION
      The Postulate of Representation
      The Postulate of Unity and Integration
      The Postulate of Social Control
      The Postulate ofAlienation
      The Postulate of Relativism
      The Postulate of Social Change
CHAPTER SIX: MODERN TRENDS IN RELIGIOUS BEHAVIOUR
      Institutionalization
      Religious Pluralism
      Secularization
      Fundamentalism
      Religiosity
      Unof?cial Religion
CHAPTER SEVEN: RELIGIOUS FANATICISM
      Types of Religious Fanaticism
      Causes of Religious Fanaticism
CHAPTER EIGHT: AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION
      Major Contents ofAfrican Traditional Reiigion
      Indigenous and Foreign Religions: Differences and Similarities
      Summary
CHAPTER NINE: RELIGION AND THE NIGERIAN SITUATION
    The rise ofAfrican Independent Churches
CHAPTER TEN: WORLD RELIGIONS
      Christianity
      Islam
      Hinduism
      Judaism
      Buddhism
      Confucianism
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Religion and Feminism CHAPTER TWELVE: Religion, Feminism and Women Liberation CHAPTER THIRTEEN
      Religion and Rational Worldview
      Introduction
      The Interaction between Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam
      African Traditional Philosophy and Worldview
      Impact of Modernization on Traditional Religion
      Impact of Modernization on Christianity
      Impact of Modernization on Islam
      Conclusion
CHAPTER FOURTEEN PUTTING IT TOGETHER
      Summary
      Critical Thinking Questions
      Multiple Choice Questions
      True-False Questions
      Questions for Discussion
      Projects
      Bibliography

Umoh, J. O. (2013). Elements of Sociology of Religion, (2nd ed.)
Ikot Ekpene, 18 Cardinal Ekandem Avenue, Iwoh and Sons Ent. (Nig.)