Sociology of Religion is the study of the beliefs, practices and organizational forms of religion using the tools and methods of the control of sociology. This objective investigation may include the use of both quantitative methods such as: surveys, polls, demographic and census analysis. It also has qualitative approaches such as participant observation, interviewing, and analysis of archival, historical and documentary materials.
Sociologists of religion study every aspect of religion from what is believed to how persons act while in worship and while living out their stated convictions. They study the changing role of religion both in the public arena such as: political, economic and media and in intimate interpersonal relationships. Global religious pluralism and conflict, the nature of religious cults and sects, the influence of religion on racial, gender and sexuality issues, and the effect of the media and modern culture has on religious practices are all topics of interest in current sociology of religion research.
Historically the study of religion was central to the discipline of sociology with early figures such as Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. They wrote extensively on the role and function of religion in human society. Social scientists who study religion today perform a vital function in helping journalists and the general public makes sense of the rise of religious themes and influences in television, political conflicts, personal issues such as abortion and homosexuality. The discipline of sociology of religion has much to teach about how religion functions for the individual and in society.
Auguste Comte, the founder of Sociology, said that religion has believed a significant social phenomenon for sociology. Comte tried to substitute the sociology for the religion. That religion was known as Christianity. Because of this, sociology was opposed to religion. Comte's ideas were not bei...