Religion as a social institution. The nature of inter-group conflict. Patterns of belief, ritual, organization, and experience. Religion and urban culture. Religion and politics, family, gender, race, and social class. Religion and social change.
3 hours; 3 credits
Prerequisite: Sociology *1101  or permission of the chairperson.
We will focus on religion in urban contexts and explore the ways that religion shapes urban life and culture, and more broadly, creates social identities that intersect with other significant dimensions, including race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Religion is one of the most significant institutions in the modern world, despite the common expectation that people are not as religious as they used to be (the secularization hypothesis). Religion is a source of culture, and those artifacts and practices are embedded in social networks that span every other significant institution: media, economy, politics, family, etc. Our guiding question this semester will be: how does religion, as something that people experience and as an institution, shape life in contemporary American society?
Before we begin our classes, we must acknowledge that the land on which we gather in person (when we gather in person) is the traditional and unceded territory of the Lenape. We, the Brooklyn College community, acknowledge that academic institutions, indeed the nation-state itself, was founded upon and continues to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples. This acknowledgement demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle ongoing practices and legacies of settler colonialism, and to recognize the hundreds of Indigenous Nations who continue to resist, live, and uphold their sacred relations across their lands. We also pay our respect to Indigenous elders past, present, and future and to those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.