Universität Wien
Warning! The directory is not yet complete and will be amended until the beginning of the term.

010124 SE Introduction to the Sociology of Religion (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English



Lecturer: Petra Tlčimuková. Course dates planned for May 2021.


Aims, contents and method of the course

What is religion and how can we study it? The course provides answers to these questions from a sociological perspective. The students will be introduced to the historical context in which sociology of religion was established, the dominant historical figures, and major paradigms. We will discuss the theories of the relationship between religion and society starting in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century and then moving forward to more recent developments. We shall look at religion through the lens of classical sociological approaches which emphasise the incompatibility of the religious domain and modern society, as well as more recent sociological works in which the secularisation theory is often downplayed while new faces of religiosity, religious individualism, and spirituality are promoted. Religion will be exposed as both a source of solidarity and collective identity and as a rationale for the lasting conflicts. The question of religious reproduction that lies at the very core of the sociological inquiry will be tackled. The students will also learn to identify the place of sociology of religion among other disciplines and understand the differences between the major sociological paradigms. Finally, students will be able to apply the key sociological concepts and critically reflect upon selected sociological theories of religion.

Assessment and permitted materials

The mode of assessment is listed in the section below. The language of instruction is English. Students are expected to engage in class discussion and attendance will be recorded.
The course assessment comprises of a written exam (50%); 1 oral presentation and 4 quizes (30%); participation and class interaction (20%).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The course assessment comprises of a written exam (50%); 1 oral presentation and 4 quizes (30%); participation and class interaction (20%).

Examination topics

Lecture contents.

Reading list

• Turner, S. Bryan (ed.). 2010. The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
• Durkheim, Emilé. 1995. Elementary Forms of Religious Life. NY: The Free Press.
• Weber, Max. 1992. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge.

A complete reader will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Association in the course directory

033 195 (17W) BRP 16rwb, 066 800 M5, M17, M21

Last modified: Fr 16.07.2021 13:07