Few key sociological concepts are as contested as the concept of culture. It proves extremely hard to pin down its meaning, its referents, and its use value for social scientific analysis. Even trying to narrow its scope of application or to specify it in seemingly more manageable terms (such as investigating the relationship between culture and religion) is likely to complicate matters rather than making them simpler. One, indeed, could speak of culture in religion, religion as culture, of a cultural sociology of religion, and so on, with the certainty that definitions, conceptual clarifications, and attempts at general analysis would always be partial.

The focus of this entry is on some main conceptual themes that frame the relationship between religion and culture. Indeed, the sociology of ...

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