ERIC Number: EJ1124168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
"World Religions" in Introductory Sociology Textbooks
Carroll, Michael P.
Teaching Sociology, v45 n1 p28-37 Jan 2017
A section on "world religions" (WRs) is now routinely included in the religion chapters of introductory sociology textbooks. Looking carefully at these WR sections, however, two things seem puzzling. The first is that the criteria for defining a WR varies considerably from textbook to textbook; the second is that these WRs sections contain little or no sociology. These puzzles are resolved, however, once we understand that under the guise of promoting "diversity," these sections are really affirming the universality of what has long been identified as a distinctively modern and very Western view of religion. The article concludes with some practical suggestions for improving the religion chapters in introductory textbooks. One such suggestion is that paying more attention to Native American "religion" would be a useful way of introducing students to the view that religion is a social construction that has no stable transhistorical and transcultural meaning.
Descriptors: Sociology, Textbooks, Religion, Global Approach, Introductory Courses, American Indian Culture, Textbook Content
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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