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A Comparative Sociology of World Religions : Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion - Stephen Sharot

A Comparative Sociology of World Religions

Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion

Paperback Published: 1st August 2001
ISBN: 9780814798058
Number Of Pages: 353

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A Sociology of World Religions presents a comparative analysis of the world's religions, focusing on the differences and interrelationships between religious elites and lay masses. In each case the volume contextualizes how the relationships between these two religious forms fit within, and are influenced by, the wider socio-political environment.

After introducing the book's major themes, the volume introduces and builds upon an analysis of Weber's model of religious action, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist scholars, and the work of contemporary sociologists and anthropolgists. The following chapters each focus on major religious cultures, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This ambitious project is the first to offer a comparison of the popular, or folk, forms of religion around the world.

Sharot's accessible introductions to each of the world religions, synthesizing a vast literature on popular religion from sociology, anthropology, and historians of religion, make the project ideal for course use. His comparative approach and original analyses will prove rewarding even for experts on each of the world religions.

"The many books on the world's religions typically emphasize doctrine ( religion "in the air"), while sociology of religion books typically emphasize behavior (religion 'on the ground'). Stephen Sharot does both in this masterful study, the product of many years of research. His book should have great classroom potential as well as a prominent place on religion scholars' bookshelves."

-Phillip Hammond D. Mackenzie Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Concepts and Theoriesp. 1
World Religions, Elites, and Popular Religionp. 3
Religious Action: A Weberian Modelp. 20
Elites and Masses: Max Weber, Weberian Scholars, and Marxist Analysisp. 37
Religious Action in the World Religionsp. 67
China: State Religion, Elites, and Popular Religion in a Syncretistic Milieup. 70
India: Brahmans, Renouncers, and Popular Hinduismp. 102
Nirvana and Spirits: Buddhism and Animism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asiap. 131
Hierocracy and Popular Religion: Catholicism in "Traditional" Europep. 166
Elite Scholars and Popular Saints: A Brief Excursus on Islam and Judaismp. 202
Protestants, Catholics, and the Reform of Popular Religionp. 211
Comparisonsp. 242
Notesp. 263
Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 337
About the Authorp. 344
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814798058
ISBN-10: 0814798055
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 353
Published: 1st August 2001
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.91 x 15.14  x 2.16
Weight (kg): 0.47