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3 Community Studies and the Sociology of Religion

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Chapter Summary

Warren E. Gettys observed unapprovingly that community study "arose out of a great reform movement for the reorganization of neighborhood and community life" that "gave the community study much of its early impetus and in a great measure determined its scope and methodology" (1934: 67). The community studies of religion cover a variety of traditions and denominations. Many deal with arrays of churches and synagogues in communities while some focus on one tradition. The synagogue became the central institution in the community, with the rabbi giving advice and adjudicating disputes. It is interesting that the concept, sect, is used, and used in the same sense as in the sociology of religion. The purpose of Horace Miner's study was to describe the rural French-Canadian folk culture in its least-altered form and to consider the factors responsible for what cultural change there was in the direction of urbanization and Anglicization.

Keywords: community studies; culture; Jewish community; religion; sect; sociology



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