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The Sociology of Religion
The sociology of religion
Introduction: The Origins of the Sociology of Religion

Religion refers to those processes and institutions that render the social world intelligible, and which bind individuals authoritatively into the social order. Religion is therefore a matter of central importance to sociology. To write sociologically is inevitably to work within a particular tradition that has in advance identified certain issues and themes that are salient in the definition of social phenomena. The fact that a classical sociological tradition has already defined the field in advance appears to be particularly important in the case of religion (O'Toole, 2001; Robertson, 1970). In this overview of the sociology of religion, I pay considerable attention to the legacies of Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, who ...

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