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Author’s Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the book Sociology of Religion in America. The book presents the author's account of how sociology of religion developed in America. Sociologists look at social processes, more or less coordinated actions in which many people participate. They look at social movements, organizations, groups working in concert and, often enough, groups working at cross purposes. That kind of phenomenon is what characteristically turns up in this book. The sociology of religion is essentially sociology, no different from other areas in the discipline except that it takes religious activity as its matter of inquiry. For the purposes of the history, what matters is that the people of the United States in the past century took a number of traditions, mostly Jewish and Christian traditions and ones analogous to them in other parts of the globe, to be religious.

Keywords: America; Christian traditions; Jewish traditions; religious activity; sociology



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