These are discussions based on select Socjourn articles. These are hosted discussions meaning the authors of the articles take control and moderate discussion. We expect mutual respect from all parties posting.
A group for discussion of key themes in Dr. Mike's Sociology of Religion Course
Athabasca University's Sociology of Religion course should be available for registration by Sept, 2012. Anybody will be able to take this course though I do recommend potential students consider taking Sociology 287 and Sociology 288 in preparation. You may transfer credit for AU courses to your home institution.
According to Dr. Mike, religion is a social institution set up to fill our need to know by answering the big questions of our existence. Discuss the utility of this definition, and provide examples from your own life that support this definition.
According to Dr. Mike, all religions, despite being "setup" to provide answers to the Big Questions, nevertheless end up being little more than "opportunistic corruptions." Examine your own belief systems, find examples, and share them in this forum
As Dr. Mike says in the course study guide, “unlike their sisters and brothers over in the natural sciences, who have no problem pontificating on the big questions, sociologists wash their hands of it altogether and instead of addressing religion as such, they dress up the opportunistic corruption and dismiss the substantive core.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Before answering, do a little research and find out what other sociologists are saying about religion.
According to Dr Mike, emergent religions like Wicca and neo-evangelicism, and disorganized artistic expressions like heavy metal rock music, are often critical responses to opportunistic corruptions. Provide evidence from your own life and discuss.
There are two parts to this final assignment. For part one, pick one of the two textbooks and and write a 1600 word summary of the ways in which either the Christian Right, or the New Age movement, represent opportunistic exploitation of fundamental human needs. For part two, spend a few moments thinking about your own spiritual or religious belief systems and provide a short summary of the way they exploit basic spiritual needs