Friday, August 8, 2008

The Sociological Interp of rel

The Sociological Interp of rel by Roland Robertson 1970

1-says most previous writers in the field have avoided “the undeniable proposition that relus commitment is nothing if not primarily a cultural phenomenon and that the same is true of sociology”—likes berger and luckmann tho

4-says weber (in socy of rel) warned ppl that theology isn’t the same as the phenomenon, don’t analyse them as the same—robertson does it a little b/c he says socy of rel discipline hasn’t really looked at theology

6-says socgy should not be “neatly parceled into sub-disciplines—that the automization of socgy hinders and stultifies our thinking. Arguments and theses cannot b satisfactorily argued in the socgy of rel or elsewhere w/out considering their gen socgcl underpinnings and ramifications”

7-study of rel is one of oldest socgcl concerns—“many if not most of the sociologists of the 19th ce and early part of the 20th ce made the nalysis of rel central to their more gen conceptions of social and cultural life,” esp prominent in classical period (1890s-1920s), weber (historical) and durk, (coonection to society) focused on it for 2 reasons: 1. “a socgcl and philosophical trad of inquiry into rel as a ‘mainspring’ in the operation of human societies”—a trad that rested on basic cultural premises of eurp. Most academic ideas followed either weber or durkheimian trends 2. Rel was an “issue” at that itme b/c A)the differentiation of social instittns made pple unsure (8) about the funct of rel; B) and increased knowledge of non w. societies, arousing curiosity—both trends were linked by ecoc and poll changes

-the roots go further to rtlst philosophy in reformation, counter-reformation, separation of rel from ed, new classes (new power)—“probs of maintaining orderliness in socialrelations and integrating [ppl from diff rels]”

9-then politicians began (in US but esp in 19th ce Britain) to try to see how rel could “eliminate” eubversive poll and industrial agitation (end of the 19th ce, tho, gov focus moved to ed)

10-fr. Relus socgy was discrete, used to understand diff regions’ diff catholocisms

-US 20s and 1930s looked at rel for how to deal w/ rel in urbanztn, indp trad b/c sociology in us emerged froma “distinctively protstnt matrix”

-prtstnt social gospel inspired social prob-oriented rel, tho weakened during 1930s w/ increasing professionaliztn and eurpn intellectual emigrates

-but b/c of this, “the study of rel has remained on a somewhat ethnocentric basis, an important if not vital agreement to the discipline [amer socgy]”—as well as the new way rels mingled in pluralistic US

11-amer socgy had big influence on dvlpmnt of socgy in w. world

-relus ppl started doing their own work, but the lines r blurred when seculr socgsts’ work is made 4 relus instittns

-social compass is Catholic based from Holland—but social and relus r both used

12-one of the most important refs for weber was Marxist tendency to explain relus forms, esp doctrines, as manifestations of socio-ecoc infras, particularly classes

-esp in marx’s followers, engels and kautsky (foundations of xny): prtstnt ethic showed rel could b a source of “cultural innovation”

13-durk used those who had “evolutionist perspectives and had tried to account for relus phenomena primarily in terms of relus belief as a response to ignorance”—they had a goal of getting “theories” of the origin of rel, notably the animist and naturist theories (cf evans-pritchard 65; goode 51, Wallace 66)

-animism theories relied a lot on tylor and spencer—thot spirit worship came from anscestor worship and dream expercs (which provided soul)

-there were other theories, but what was common was they believed rel and magic arose out of ignorance of “true” nature of social, psychology, and nature

-so therefore, the more advanced, the less a society needed rel, predicted end of rel

-durk wanted to refute view that relus beliefs were false, and “committed to the belief that social phenomena should b explained in social terms and not reduced to indv-psycholgical factors or nat ones”—they “constituted a recognition of man’s dependence on society,” social life was inherently relus and ceremonies were celebrations of social life

14-said rel dealt w/ “sacred”; studied totemic rel

-they had diff styles: weber said there was a rank of which rels contributed to trlztn of society, said there was a distinction btwn church and lay relus org (popular)—and distinction btwn ethical prophecy (new standards, only monotheistic) and exemplary prophecy (oriental rels) –trad standards; also had distinctions of lrg and eladership

15-durk’s big impact came w/ his def of rel, that it was a “representation of the morphological properties of the socity in which it was located and that relus practice was a ‘celebration’ of the reality of the social sphere, binding the participants together”

-durk provided explicit perspectives/analytic style. Weber’s impact was conceptual and empirical-propositional (his perspective was ppl need “salvation” system to understand their social situs)

16-b/c durk stressed integrative quality of rel, esp in primitive cultures, anthros took that as the premise for uncovering their “real” socieal structures

-and sacred and profane was picked up

-durk’s big influence was on how social networks r sustained and conceived of

17-durk’s insistence that totemism was primitive received a “devastating” commentary by levi-strauss (and others)

-this is a prob for relus studies: how to define boundaries of phenom—u can use it to define anything that affims “social slidarilty on an intense scale”

18-and some have said it’s the basic guidelines for all aspects of socity (cognitive, evaluative and expressive)—parsons, kingsley davis, and bellah

-even communism (cf spiro and banton 66)

19-used esp in us b/c of its self idy as pluralistic relus place (a single us rel), “fits very well w/ the durkeimian thesis as being a form of society whorship and society itself as being a moral-relus entity”—durk is felt her “more often implicityly than explicitly”

-another use of durk is to relate content of relus beliefs to gen characteristics of social structure—tho critiqued by levi-strauss as not using nature

20-which is a Marxist interp-that man creates society (and thus rel) in order to master environment, it is to compensate for his alternation from the means and results of production while durk sees rel as expression of sociality; marixt denies the social consequences of rel

-tho both agreed belief systems in society could b “accounted for in ref to social structure”

22-parsons critiqued durk’s view of rel as mere symbols of social stuff that empirical science can “really” see. Parsons says there r things (eg suffering, pain, and the maining of life) that r “ouside the range of scientific observation and knowledge”

23-tho rbrtsn critiques the parsonian critique for doing exactly what it claims it’s not—reducing social phenomena to social factors

-common for post wwI writers to ignore variations in rels and focus on the consequences of rel

-they did this to maintain their value neutrality b/c it looked as if they followed it . “particular beliefs would b seen as the result of social characteristics then socgy would b claiming that there was no validity in the beliefs themselves”

-“extreme reluctance amongst most amer socgsts” to deal w/ rel “any way which ran counter to prevailing social conceptions of relgsty”

24-tho it didn’t stop them from analyzing marginal sectarian rels “in terms of the connections btwn the beliefs of adherents and the social characteristics of such adherents”—this led to the view that “some form of rel was a req of all social systems” tho this was a standpt. Which was “counter to that of the relusly committed” but “in saying that the validity of relus beliefs was an irrelevant concern to the socgst he was in a sense taking up “a ‘relus’ position”

-“a large proportion of sociologists of rel r themselves relusly committed int eh orthodox sense”-and the consequences of this is a ?

-“one fo the most frequnely invoked characteriztns of rel amongst amer socgsts during the post-war [wwII] period was in fact originally stated by a protstnt theologian, paul Tillich” that “god is that which concerns us ultimately”—spiro critiqued that

-meaning that socgcl and relus interps r competing

25-ppl in the 50s were rarely looking at consequences of various rels or for diff concepts of rel depending on social conditions, only looked at what rel does for a social system

26-more recently, ppl have shown (as opposed to weber) cath and jew roots of capitalism

27-lenski 61 used dimensions of relgsty. Old method was use particular beliefs or practices, which weber said was fine for historical work b/c of limited info, but its not adequate for present

-lenski had four dimensions: orthodoxy (bleif), associational (attendance), devotional (relgsty like prayer) and communal (segregation of relus ideas)

-only critique is that detailed knowledge of doctrine will b neglected

36-distinguishes btwn a nominal def (gen) and real def (specific)-weber is too specific, durk too broad

37-sacred has degrees

-choosing ea depends on ur stance—those who see forces as more important and see a need for def of rel as a secular anxiety (/gen/inclusivist/functl )—as opposed to those who think it’s important to separate rel from secular (exclusivist/specific/substantive)—plus outside influences, eg perjorative use of “rel”

39-“surrogate relsty”—ppl in industrial societies enter into an “alternative” rel cuz old one no longer satisfies—often called non relus by practicionners

42-says “unless we have a fairly tight circumscribed conception of the relus phenomenon (or phenomena) we cannot, w/out extreme difficulty, engage in consistent, systematic analyses and focus on cause and effect relationships: for such exercises necessitate our being able to discriminate btwn relus variables and non-relus variables”—so rbrtson uses a substantive/real def (and 2 other reasons)—not luckman’s all encompassing/functl one

43-category of “rel” in socgy has a specific judeo-xn context, eg categories of church-sect used by wever and troeltsch, inner worldliness

45-tho how can we know when something is instittnlzed? (cf o’dea “socgcl dilemmas”) and if we know, how can we still say it’s relus?

46-def of rel is societal based, eg mana in india saw Hinduism as “culture” (46)

47-his def of rel 2 parts: 1) relus culture: beliefs and symbols around empirical and a superempirical transcendent reality, subordinating empirical 2) relus action: action shaped by knowledge of this distinction

49-melanesia discovered mana at end of 19th ce—object “charged” w/ spiritual power

50-tho his use of word empirical does not mean real, factual, scientific

-distinguishes btwn pantheism (natural based) and relus pantheism

51-in the 50s ppl began to b increasingly dissatisfied w/ unitary defs of rel, so lenski, glock and others began to use “empirical research schemata of dimensions of relgsty”—separates aspects of a person’s relsty—rbrtson says they have rolly gone too far in opp direction

52-2 main criticisms: 1) meaningfulness of relgsty 2) prob of relationship btwn measures of the relgsty of indvs and the relsty of the system as a whole

-they have tended to not see the need for an underlying conception of relsgsty and “the dimensions have been est. on a fairly ad hoc intuitive basis”

53-accuses lenski’s schema of being exclusionist, even tho lenski says everyone practices relgsty

-likes glock’s [“American piety” w/ stark] 5 dimensions better, more open to idea of values/perspectives non relus orthodox: experiential (subjective relus exper), ritualistic (specific practices expected of relus adherents), ideological (actual beliefs held by adherents), intellectual (knowledge of basic tenets of faith), consequential (secular effects of relus practices, beliefs and expercs)

-glock’s is difficult b/c of separating related concepts—experiential is purview of psych—see allport 60

-is good for its “usefulness for adequate soclgcl description of the relgsty of indvs” but “the effectiveness of this schema is severely reduced by the inclusion of a consequential dimension” b/c how can something and its consequences b the same? Note says they thot about changing it to moral

54-attempts to isolate dimensions, tho, only works in societies where rel is “both differentiated and orzd”—(instittnl v. diffuse (classical china and primitive societies))

55-roberson offers a new typology-separates social from cultural and consummatory from instrumental—orientations to relus activity

Cultural social

Consummatory 1 3

Instrumental 2 4

1)relus ideas r held to b valuable in and of themselves and primary pt. of ref for activity “most genuine” 2) ideals r used to peruade ppl 3) assoc of like-minded ppl, tho not a big disccion on specifics 4) participation for a reason outside group—allport 59 and 66

56-glock says a society’s relusness is sum of the relusness of its ppl—but rbrtson criticizes it for not accounting for larger systemic things

61-prob of explaining why indvs have diff rlgsty—we must look at context that produced that personality “rather than attempt to discover an ubiquitous and universal set of social processes which r productive o relus phenomena”—in some social systems, rel is an indpndnt variable, in some it is dpndnt, sometimes diff aspects of rel r autonomous

-lenski found diffcs btwn ed and $ motivation btwn caths and protestns, the greeley’s findings (63)—disputed it b/c of ethnic variations and tendency for amers to marry across ethnic lines more so than relus ones

64-any relus orientation, “should b viewed in terms of the specific historical and contemp socio-cultural circumstances in which it has survived and maintained itself…thus at any time the social dispositions and behavior of the self-defined adherents to a relus trad r a consqnce of (a) the original beliefs and values of the trad, (b) the socio-historical experiences of the trad attendant upon the bleifs and values int eh trad (both of these factors continually interacting w/ ea other) and c) the “present” socio-cultural circumstances of the self defined adherents in relation to their “presently” espoused relus beliefs and values”

65-when it comes to adherents self def, in order not to get caught up in what is “real”/instittnl rel or not, use cultural (lenski’s assoc, communal or the devotional) and social defs

66- rel non rel

Culture relus culture secular culture

Social structure soc aspects of rel gen soc structure

68-the use of this on non industrial societies is somewhat limited, but in principle it is viable

69-for countries w/ diffuse rel use a glock and stark model

Rltvly orgzd rel reltvly unorgzd

Reltvly differentiated rel 1 3

Rltvly undiffntd rel 2 4

1) Orthodox/industrialized 2) centralized bureaucracies, theocracies, rel orgzd at state level (says islmc societies 3) cultic rels in us 4) primitive societies

-see troeltsch social teaching of the xn for info about medieval sucession

80-the neg effect of xn roots of socgy is its reliance on a relatively sever e tension btwn rel and wider socity—not necessary 4 other cultures

92-rejects weber’s emphasis on this worldliness as the source of prtsnt success b/c other rels have had it, and xnty has otherworldliness too—tho agree that rel does have some effect on society—says xnty’s theologcl openness was what helped it change

-dvlpmnt of xn church cf jalland 50

100-term “relus pluralism” is not precise cuz it doesn’t address the diff types of plurality—eg Netherlands have descrete denoms, java has 3 big kinds which determines diff classes; us v Britain—and relus commitment

101-need to look at a society’s rel in terms of 2 aspects: a) the extent to which the relus situation is rigid (competitive v flexible; eg voting along relus lines); b) range of relus positions in society

105-and syncretism strains clear-cut rels—even if most rels come from syncretisms (103)

-for freud see rieff 59/61 freud: the mind of the moralist

150-takes the stance that rel in society work as a dialectic

154-durk said “social life was the primary reality and man thot in terms supplied by that reality which subjugated him” (for critics cf serger 57)

-“experc of social-structural contingencies generates certain types of feelings of dependence on the social condition”

-“but if this is indeed the line of inquiry we cannot be committed a priori to the durkheimian claim that rel is ‘really’ the worshipping of socity by man…particularly in more complex societies than aboriginal Australia, we have to entertain virtually the opposite hypothesis—that man lacks confidence in his participation in society, that he needs and wants ‘something else’”-marxist, they say this is their view

153-swanson uses a durk basis to say “belief in mana arises in response to the recognition of ‘primordial links among man’” (in the birth of gods)

-he found certain social situations bred certain types of rels

154-but swanson said the ability for reflection upon cultural restraint weaken rel—tho rbrtsn says this mitigates models of one-way structural determinism

155-parsons says idea of a male g and idea that an electron is a “real” ball r just “intermediate symbolism”s

156-swanson and like structuralists face prob of not separating symbols and “real” phenomena

-geertz, otoh, says relus things r symbols for social actions

157-and it ignores human agency

158-weber believed diff social status bred diff relsty: lower-concerned w/ immediate worldly issues; upper-w/ legitmztn and “theodicies of good fortune”; middle, esp lower mid—had circumstances that were less consistent and stable and tended to b intensely relus, producing new trads (coherent , systemized ethics)

159-the look for what they “will one day becom”

-esp “proletariat intellectual (162) need salvation”

-weber says intellectualism is common in rel, and provides agency [and rbrtson notes that intellectuals themselves r social by deprived ppl??

161-rbrtsn says strata r not as fixed for rel

163-rvrtson says other groups have relus change too, other writers have shown “marginality and social insecuryt; and being in “ situations which constrain thems to compare acutely their own situations w/ other situs”—these ppl, in all class, have relus innovations

165-in millennial movements, if govt uses brute forces to suppress it, then the mvmnt is likely to become politiczd

166-millenial groups r often marginal and dvlp during periods of transition from stable to insecure—it is similar to weber’s ideas and “it is the most important example of rapid, comprehensive relus change” (167) tho it says they normally r “unlikely to have profound long-run social effects” except when “arises a genrlzed societal response to alien intrusion”

168-glock (64) argued that sect groups arise from 5 kinds of deprivation: ecoc, social (related to prestiege and acceptance), organismic (well being), ethical (need for values and to inform him of his high status) and psychic (meaning of life)

169-wislon (“an analysis of sect dvlpmnt”) said there r 5 kinds of sects: Adventist (millennial), conversionist (moral), Gnostic (happiness, wellbeing, esoteric teaching—like weber’s theology of good fortune, tho not), introversionist (ea man is a g, leave society)—tho none of these r strict

190-weber was not first w/ protstnt thesis—popular in 19th ce on p. 190

177-swanson, in rel and regime, argues that places that become prtstnt were already societies w/ limited centralist regimes

178-hagen 62 pts out that other factors too, child rearing, indv personalitites, etc

-robrtsn suggests it’s ultimately unanswerable b/c prob of contextual uniqueness cf alker, jr 64

181-also, u can’t know how much rel was internalized for historical ppl—why lenski and glock and stark r important

195-socgy has been taken up in culture eg “lay” ppl giving social reasons for causes of war, social mobility, etc.

196-founders of socgy (marx, comte, weber, drk) “sought to replace a conventional-xn position by another position”

-comte replaced it w/ “a kind of socgcl cathism” make socgy “a rel of humanity, embodying very similar principles of social org to those of RCism,and , incidentally, taking a very strong anti-prtstnt-invism form, and saint-simon (197), so then marx, who based on hegel, was also (kamenka 62) also based in particular terms of ref to a relus position…man’s self-realization of an indv and the fulfillment of human potential genrlly”—but watch out for genetic fallacy (note on p. 226)

168-herbert spencer too

-tho it seems like socgy has been released from “frames of ref derived from rel” gradually

-idea that rel is a necessary social construct can go back to Voltaire or even plato

199-the socgy emphasis on indv man is changed in 1930’s anthrogy emphasis on relativity and importance of systems (parsons)—and it’s at odds (p 200) w/ current popular theological ideas of indvs

201-dahrendorf differentiates btwn real man and “homo sociologicus”—a man created by social systems, an idea that socgsts created

203-rbrtsn concludes that “integral man has the capacity to comprehend and cognitively to surmount the situations in which he finds himself”

204-this knowledge frees man. Not from social-cultural restraints but gives him ability to “utilize it for both oneself and others”

205-it is not “moral” tho there is a sort of xn compassion for those who r “victims” of society

210-b/c of end of rel scares and wwII, missionary work and socgy of rel—theologians have been forced to come up w/ new, more universal theologies

211- us prtstnism is more vernacular, anit-intelelctual, anit-theology, “popular” books

212-us prtstntsim, 19th ce -1920’s, was liberal in view of rel and also supported lib-capitalist ideas, relied on relus experc. After wwI—neo-orthodox reaction (barth) reassertion of objectivity

213-in response grew radical theology that criticized rel—much merged w/ socgy (214)

218-klauner 64 describes rel and psychiatry

220-b/c most psychgy is behaviorist and determinist, it is essentially incompatible w/ rel, as well as Freudian

-tho some preachers use it to cure the soul

236-typology for rel in secular world

Retention of framwork neutralization of frmwrk abandonment offrmwrk

Intellectual emphasis a) rtl rel c) immanentism e) positive aetheism

Practical emphasis b) instrmntl rel d) supernaturalism f) areligiosity

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