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The Case For A Critical Sociology Of Religion

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Chapter Summary

There is a vacuum in the sociology of religion-a vacuum of the left. The goal of this chapter is to make a case for "a new paradigm" in the sociology of religion: a critical sociology of religion. A critical sociology of religion has the promise of providing an alternative to mainstream and positivistic approaches in the sociology of religion. It explores the reasons for this omission and the benefits of establishing a critical perspective within the subdiscipline. The theoretical framework, which guides a critical sociology of religion, is a critical theory of religion, in its loosest sense. Max Weber and Emile Durkheim serve as classics in the sociology of religion. Karl Marx wrote that "the premise of all criticism" is the "criticism of religion". Classical Left Wing-Hegelians and Marxists provide the basis for a more critical framework.

Keywords: Karl Marx; Max Weber; sociology of religion



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