Introduction to the Sociology of Religion


Students will be introduced to the study of religion as an aspect of social structure and social change. The course will examine sociological approaches to systems of belief based on classical and post-modern theorists and define the basic concepts which underpin contemporary debates about the role of religion in society.



  • Semester 2 - 2016


  • Semester 2 - 2016

On-Line from Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. An understanding of key debates and sociological approaches to religion and belief.

2. An ability to apply key concepts to contemporary debates about the role of religion in the contemporary world.

3. Skills in researching, writing and debating appropriate to first year university study.


Definition of 'religion' from a sociological perspective:

  • Varieties of religions and other faith systems
  • Secularisation thesis
  • Religion and post-modernity
  • Religion and social structure
  • Religion and social change.

Theories about the relationship between religion and society:

  • Marx and the oppression of the proletariat
  • Weber and the Protestant Ethic
  • Durkheim and 'collective consciousness'.
  • Baudrillard and the hyper-real


  • Religion and science
  • Fundamentalism
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • New religious movements
  • Religion and Consumerism
  • Religion and Popular culture
  • Religion in a global world

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments

In Term Test: In-Class Test

Contact Hours

Callaghan, Ourimbah and On-Line from Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term