By Stephen Sharot
After introducing the book's significant topics, the amount introduces and builds upon an research of Weber's version of non secular motion, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist students, and the paintings of up to date sociologists and anthropolgists. the subsequent chapters each one concentrate on significant non secular cultures, together with Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This bold undertaking is the 1st to provide a comparability of the preferred, or folks, types of faith round the world.
Sharot's available introductions to every of the realm religions, synthesizing an unlimited literature on renowned faith from sociology, anthropology, and historians of faith, make the undertaking excellent for path use. His comparative technique and unique analyses will end up worthwhile even for specialists on all the global religions.
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Extra resources for A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion
Reference to a goal as justification does not, however, necessarily mean that it is not a motive; it may be used as justification because it was an important motive. In many cases the stated objects of religious action are believed by actors to be their motives, are actually among the motives, or were among the motives in past performances of the actions. It must be admitted, however, that when a goal is also a motive, this does not establish how the accomplishment of the action was made possible.
The intention to increase the rice harvest is a goal, and the expression of the value of rice in the ritual is part of a hierarchy of goals: by giving rice as gifts to Buddhist monks, actors earn merit that contributes to a good rebirth, which in turn is a stage in the long path to ultimate salvation. A single ritual may relate to both mundane and supramundane goals, and the meanings of participants can vary according to the goal that is uppermost in their minds and the kind of relationship that is conceived between means and goals.
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.
A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion by Stephen Sharot