SO 255 Sociological Perspectives on Religion and Cults (3)
This course will examine the beliefs and practices of the institution of religion from a sociological point of view. The course will survey why societies and individuals adopt religious beliefs, how the various rituals and practices of religion are chosen and how these practices impact upon the society as a whole as well as upon individuals. Although traditional, mainstream religions will be a major area of focus, the course will also examine new religious movements and cults. Topics that will be investigated include the sociological history of religion, explanations for evil, superstition and the supernatural, religious intolerance and aggression, and faith in other contexts.