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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book American Sociology of Religion: Histories. The book focuses on American dissertations in the sociology of religion written prior to 1930. There is no way of knowing whether those that are described comprise an absolutely complete list, one would tend to be doubtful, but they are the ones about religion known to have been written in sociology departments. Such dissertations reflect what interests were to be found, at least among graduate students, in graduate departments in the first formative era of American sociology and hence are an important indicator of the state of the sociology of religion in the United States at the time. The discussion treats the dissertations themselves and relegates accounts of the scholars who wrote them to footnotes, but a case can be made for the reverse procedure.

Keywords: American Sociology; graduate departments



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