By Stephen Sharot
After introducing the book's significant subject matters, the quantity introduces and builds upon an research of Weber's version of spiritual motion, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist students, and the paintings of latest sociologists and anthropolgists. the subsequent chapters every one specialise in significant spiritual cultures, together with Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This formidable undertaking is the 1st to supply a comparability of the preferred, or people, sorts of faith round the world.
Sharot's obtainable introductions to every of the realm religions, synthesizing an unlimited literature on renowned faith from sociology, anthropology, and historians of faith, make the venture perfect for direction use. His comparative procedure and unique analyses will end up profitable even for specialists on all the global religions.
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Additional resources for A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion
The major motif, at least in his early writings, was the relationship of religion to alienation, and in his later writings religion was treated in passing, as peripheral to his analysis of economic and political factors. 26 These ends, however, are examples of manifest functions of religion, whereas functionalists have generally been more interested in latent functions, those that have gone unrecognized by the religious actors. Following Durkheim, the “classical” anthropologists of tribal societies, Bronislaw Malinowski and A.
These distinctions made more sense in terms of the participants’ goals than in terms of the rituals’ functions, although the three types differed in the extent to which Durkheim was able to separate goal and function. The distinction between purpose and function is perhaps the most opaque in negative rites, which serve to separate and protect the sacred from the profane. The elimination of the profane is a condition of access to the positive cult, as when individuals undergo purification before they can participate in a rite.
21 Religious Action | 31 Durkheim’s distinction between function and purpose is clearer in the case of the positive cults. The purpose, the reproduction of the totemic species, is well defined in most of the positive cults, and the three subtypes—sacrificial, imitative, and commemorative—can be understood as means or forms of communication with supramundanes in the pursuit of that goal. In his discussion on sacrificial rites, Durkheim distinguishes two forms of interaction with the totem or god: (1) a communion or identification with the totemic animal by the solemn eating of part of it and (2) an act of oblation or renouncement.