Gods in the Global Village

Author: Lester R. Kurtz
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483386465
Format: PDF, ePub
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In a world plagued by religious conflict, how can the various religious and secular traditions coexist peacefully on the planet? And, what role does sociology play in helping us understand the state of religious life in a globalizing world? In the Fourth Edition ofGods in the Global Village, author Lester Kurtz continues to address these questions. This text is an engaging, thought-provoking examination of the relationships among the major faith traditions that inform the thinking and ethical standards of most people in the emerging global social order. Thoroughly updated to reflect recent events, the book discusses the role of religion in our daily lives and global politics, and the ways in which religion is both an agent of, and barrier to, social change.

Religion in the Contemporary World

Author: Alan Aldridge
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745665144
Format: PDF
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In the new edition of this widely praised text, Alan Aldridge examines the complex realities of religious belief, practice and institutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in the contemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almost all societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities as sources of social stability and engines of social progress. They also try to combat real and imagined abuses and excess, regulating cults that brainwash vulnerable people, containing fundamentalism that threatens democracy and the progress of science, and identifying terrorists who threaten atrocities in the name of religion. The third edition has been carefully revised to make sure it is fully up to date with recent developments and debates. Major themes in the revised edition include the recently erupted ‘culture war’ between progressive secularists and conservative believers, the diverse manifestations of ‘fundamentalism’ and their impact on the wider society, new individual forms of religious expression in opposition to traditional structures of authority, and the backlash against ‘multiculturalism’ with its controversial implications for the social integration of ethnic and religious minority communities. Impressive in its scholarly analysis of a vibrant and challenging aspect of human societies, the third edition will appeal strongly to students taking courses in the sociology of religion and religious studies, as well as to everyone interested in the place of religion in the contemporary world.

Heartwood

Author: Wendy Cadge
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226089010
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Theravada is one of the three main branches of Buddhism. In Asia it is practiced widely in Thailand, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. This fascinating ethnography opens a window onto two communities of Theravada Buddhists in contemporary America: one outside Philadelphia that is composed largely of Thai immigrants and one outside Boston that consists mainly of white converts. Wendy Cadge first provides a historical overview of Theravada Buddhism and considers its specific origins here in the United States. She then brings her findings to bear on issues of personal identity, immigration, cultural assimilation, and the nature of religion in everyday life. Her work is the first systematic comparison of the ways in which immigrant and convert Buddhists understand, practice, and adapt the Buddhist tradition in America. The men and women whom Cadge meets and observes speak directly to us in this work, both in their personal testimonials and as they meditate, pray, and practice Buddhism. Creative and insightful, Heartwood will be of enormous value to sociologists of religion and anyone wishing to understand the rise of Buddhism in the Western world.

Classical Sociological Theory

Author: Bert N. Adams
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 9780761987802
Format: PDF, Docs
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A concise, yet surprisingly comprehensive theory text, given the range of ideas, historical context, and theorists discussed. Unlike other books of the type, Classical Sociological Theory focuses on how the pivotal theories contributed not only to the development of the field, but also to the evolution of ideas concerning social life.

Sociology for a New Century

Author: York William Bradshaw
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 9780803990821
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book aims to help college students understand how their lives are shaped by the complexities of global social forces in our new century. It will enable students to develop an approach to thinking about social issues and evaluating claims and arguments. It demonstrates the power and value of thinking sociologically about societies today and helps teach the process of investigation, the sociological craft of research, critical thinking, and careful analysis.

Cultures and Societies in a Changing World

Author: Wendy Griswold
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 1412961262
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"The author takes a global approach by considering cultural examples from various countries and time periods, be delving into the ways globalization processes are affecting cultures, and by offering an explanation of post-Cold War culture-related conflicts. Readers will develop a deeper appreciation of culture and society from this text, gleaning useful insights that will help them overcome cultural misunderstandings, conflicts, and ignorance and equip them to live their professional and personal lives as effective, wise citizens of the world."--BOOK JACKET.

God and His Demons

Author: Michael Parenti
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616143053
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A noted author and activist brings his critical acumen and rhetorical skills to bear in this polemic against the dark side of religion. Unlike some popular works by stridently outspoken atheists, this is not a blanket condemnation of all believers. Rather the author's focus is the heartless exploitation of faithful followers by those in power, as well as sectarian intolerance, the violence against heretics and nonbelievers, and the reactionary political and economic collusion that has often prevailed between the upper echelons of church and state. Parenti notes the deleterious effects of past theocracies and the threat to our freedoms posed by present-day fundamentalists and theocratic reactionaries. He discusses how socially conscious and egalitarian minded liberal religionists have often been isolated and marginalized by their more conservative (and better financed) coreligionists. Finally, he documents the growing strength of secular freethinkers who are doing battle against the intolerant theocratic usurpers in public life. Historically anchored yet sharply focused on the contemporary scene, this eloquent indictment of religion’s dangers will be welcomed by committed secular laypersons and progressive religionists alike. From the Hardcover edition.

Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist

Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616143908
Format: PDF
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Peter L. Berger is arguably the best-known American sociologist living today. Since the 1960s he has been publishing books on many facets of the American social scene, and several are now considered classics. So it may be hard to believe Professor Berger’s description of himself as an "accidental sociologist." But that in fact accurately describes how he stumbled into sociology. In this witty, intellectually stimulating memoir, Berger explains not only how he became a social scientist, but the many adventures that this calling has led to. Rather than writing an autobiography, he focuses on the main intellectual issues that motivated his work and the various people and situations he encountered in the course of his career. Full of memorable vignettes and colorful characters depicted in a lively narrative often laced with humor, Berger’s memoir conveys the excitement that a study of social life can bring. The first part of the book describes Berger’s initiation into sociology through the New School for Social Research, "a European enclave in the midst of Greenwich Village bohemia." Berger was first a student at the New School and later a young professor amidst a clique of like-minded individuals. There he published The Social Construction of Reality (with colleague Thomas Luckmann), one of his most successful books, followed by The Sacred Canopy on the sociology of religion, also still widely cited. The book covers Berger’s experience as a "globe-trekking sociologist" including trips to Mexico, where he studied approaches to Third World poverty; to East Asia, where he discovered the potential of capitalism to improve social conditions; and to South Africa, where he chaired an international study group on the future of post-Apartheid society. Berger then tells about his role as the director of a research center at Boston University. For over two decades he and his colleagues have been tackling such important issues as globalization, the secularization of Europe, and the ongoing dialectic between relativism and fundamentalism in contemporary culture. What comes across throughout is Berger’s boundless curiosity with the many ways in which people interact in society. This book offers longtime Berger readers as well as newcomers to sociology proof that the sociologist’s attempt to explain the world is anything but boring. From the Hardcover edition.

Religion in Society

Author: Ronald L. Johnstone
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317344537
Format: PDF, ePub
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For junior/senior-level courses in Religion and Society in departments of Sociology and Religious Studies. Using an unbiased, balanced approach, the 8th edition of this text puts religion in its social context by discussing the impact of society on religion and helps students understand the role and function of religion in society that occur regardless of anyone's claims about the truth or falsity of religious systems.

Encyclopedia of Violence Peace and Conflict

Author:
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9780123739858
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict provides timely and useful information about antagonism and reconciliation in all contexts of public and personal life. Building on the highly-regarded 1st edition (1999), and publishing at a time of seemingly inexorably increasing conflict and violent behaviour the world over, the Encyclopedia is an essential reference for students and scholars working in the field of peace and conflict resolution studies, and for those seeking to explore alternatives to violence and share visions and strategies for social justice and social change. Covering topics as diverse as Arms Control, Peace Movements, Child Abuse, Folklore, Terrorism and Political Assassinations, the Encyclopedia comprehensively addresses an extensive information area in 225 multi-disciplinary, cross-referenced and authoritatively authored articles. In his Preface to the 1st edition, Editor-in-Chief Lester Kurtz wrote: "The problem of violence poses such a monumental challenge at the end of the 20th century that it is surprising we have addressed it so inadequately. We have not made much progress in learning how to cooperate with one another more effectively or how to conduct our conflicts more peacefully. Instead, we have increased the lethality of our combat through revolutions in weapons technology and military training. The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict is designed to help us to take stock of our knowledge concerning these crucial phenomena." Ten years on, the need for an authoritative and cross-disciplinary approach to the great issues of violence and peace seems greater than ever. More than 200 authoritative multidisciplinary articles in a 3-volume set Many brand-new articles alongside revised and updated content from the First Edition Article outline and glossary of key terms at the beginning of each article Entries arranged alphabetically for easy access Articles written by more than 200 eminent contributors from around the world