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Read full description of the books: The sacred and secular canon in romanticism : preserving the sacred truths This book focuses on some of the greatest writers and artists of European Romanticism, including S. Coleridge, Wordsworth, J. Turner, Goethe, Holderlin and, in the later nineteenth century, Matthew Arnold.

See Christianity for more details. Christmas : A Christian holiday generally celebrated on December 25th that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Christology : The theological study of Jesus Christ , mostly concerned with his person and nature Reid et al. Church : 1 A building, program or service providing religious goods to a certain constituency and a specific geographical location. As members become less satisfied with their low-tension church, growing conflict within the group will erupt into a split, and the faction desiring a return to higher tension will found a new sect.

This perpetuates an endless cycle of church-sect formation Finke and Stark Several sociologists of religion began thinking of churches as firms. For example, Finke and Stark explain the explosive growth of Methodist and Baptist churches in 19th century America to superior marketing, organization and clergy incentives Iannaccone and Berman Circumcision : In Judaism , the cutting of the penis's foreskin as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham's offspring.

The practice is also common among Christians and Muslims , along with some indigenous groups Esposito et al. Concerning religion , a central question concerns whether religious participation facilitates only participation within the context of the religious group or tradition or also leads to higher levels of extra-group engagement. The research literature in this area has found some difference depending on the type of religious engagement one participates in. Civil Religion : A religio-political phenomenon describing the general faith of a nation or state, and its commonly held beliefs about the history and destiny of the nation.

The concept was further developed by the sociologist Robert Bellah in , referring to the historical belief that America represents "God's New Israel" Reid et al. Civilization Theory : Theories in this broad category assert that each major civilization, and perhaps smaller units as well in prehistoric times and remote regions, has a degree of cultural coherence, often marked by a distinctive religion. When two such civilizations come into contact, they compete, sometimes for several centuries, with resultant religious conflict. Also, it seems likely that every civilization eventually will exhaust its central cultural principles and collapse.


Thus, these theories tend to concern the rise and fall of civilizations see Gibbon Clergy : Ordained leaders who carry out religious duties. Roman Catholic , Eastern Orthodox , and Anglican churches tend to emphasize the distinction between the clergy and the laity , although this distinction exists in various other Protestant denominations to a lesser degree Reid et al. Club Models of Religion : Club models of religion emphasize how effective congregations function more like families or social clubs rather than firms.

Religious commodities are often enjoyed in groups, and this is leveraged in order to receive not just religious customers, but highly committed members. Cognitive Consistency : As influentially stated by Leon Festinger , humans are theorized to have a natural need to form coherent mental models of the world, and thus they will exert effort to resolve any contradiction between two beliefs, or between a belief and a behavior.

The theory of cognitive consistency predicts that people will join together to defend their beliefs against disconfirmation, perhaps resulting in religious innovation, like a new religious group or a reconciliation between religious ideas and potentially contradictory secular ideas. Cognitive Efficiency : This kind of theory postulates that the human mind naturally seeks simple models of reality, and that humans will tend to avoid extreme cognitive effort.

This perspective is similar to, but distinguishable from, cognitive consistency theories. Cognitive Evolution : The biological evolution of the human brain, which offers hypotheses about the nature of religion and variations across history and across subgroups in the population with respect to religious beliefs and practices Watts and Turner Most obviously, if evidence shows that religion has on balance been beneficial for humanity, it can be said to have evolved over time through natural selection from the varieties of ideas and activities oriented toward the supernatural that naturally spring up.

However, that simple idea leaves open whether the evolution was primarily biological or cultural, and it does not immediately suggest what kinds of research could clarify the mechanisms involved and establish the degree of truth to the theory. Because of this, cognitive evolution theory, as it applies to religion , is widely debated. Cognitive Theories : Cognitive theories of religion seek to integrate the scientific study of the mind, intelligence and cognition into explanations of religious belief.

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Several cognitive theories of religious phenomena include attribution of intentionality , cognitive consistency , cognitive efficiency , modes of memory and pragmatic epistemology. Communal Family : Churches where members often live together or share living activities, such as common meals, as an expression of their faith. The Hutterian Brethren is an example of a communal church Smith and Green Communes, Religious : Communities that share beliefs and possessions while striving internally for equality.

The Shakers were fairly successful in maintaining communes in the 18th and 19th century. Economist Ran Abramitzky has argued that communes come with risks, specifically, the possibility that more productive members may leave brain drain , the tendency to shirk moral hazard , and the potential for less productive members to join adverse selection.

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In order to counteract these issues, communes must enforce social sanctions; enhance commitment, loyalty, and cooperation; and create lock-in devices Abramitzky Communion : 1 The Christian commemoration of Christ's last supper by partaking of the elements of bread and wine or grape juice. The various churches and denominations are divided on whether these elements actually become Christ's body and blood or symbolize them see Transubstantiation.

Communion also is known as the Eucharist in some Christian traditions. Historically and in modern times, spiritual practices may function as CAM treatments, as prayer remains the most common practice used for healing P.


Barnes et al. Confession : A sacrament in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches in which a penitent confesses his or her sins to a priest and is absolved of them.

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In Roman Catholicism, confession is only one part of the entire sacrament of penance Smith and Green Confirmation : This ceremony marks the reception of young Christians usually in their early teen years into full participation in the life of the church. Confirmation is most often celebrated in the Roman Catholic , Episcopal , Lutheran , Methodist and Presbyterian denominations Smith and Green Confucianism : A Chinese religion founded by Confucius BCE , whose goal was to foster social harmony through a combination of self-cultivation and social rites.

Chinese Immigrants brought Confucianism to the United States in the 19th century Prothero Confucius BCE : A Chinese philosopher who taught concepts of righteousness and of "being fully human. His name actually was Master K'ung, but Catholic missionaries later referred to him as Confucius, a Latinized version of his name Esposito et al. Congregation : Any local gathering of believers for worship. This can be thought of as a more inclusive term for church , since many religious traditions use different names for their place of worship. Usually this refers to a building or physical structure, but it also could refer to a more fluid group of people without a specific building e.

Congregationalism : A system of church governance in which the members hold most of the power, such as electing the clergy and making other major decisions. Conservative Judaism : An offshoot of Reform Judaism in America that officially began in the early 20th century, but traces its early thought pattern to European Jews in the midth century. The founders desired to reaffirm the validity of the Jewish past while still emphasizing the need for Jews to modernize.

The movement claims to be an authentic continuation of rabbinical Judaism while still maintaining a sense of relevance in modern times Smith and Green Conservative Protestantism : A broad social category of Protestantism that advocates a conservative theological position e.

Conservative Protestants are often subdivided into Evangelical Protestants and Fundamentalists , who differ in terms of their engagement with the secular non-Christian world. Control Theory : Control theory, as originally formulated by Travis Hirschi , posited that group member behavior is regulated by four aspects of social bondedness: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief. In the sociology of religion, Rodney Stark Hirschi and Stark ; Stark et al extended this theory in subsequent studies of the relationship between religion and delinquency.

The "Stark Effect," that the power of religion to deter delinquency depends upon the proportion of the community that is religious, was an outcome of this extension. Conversion : A turning away from one way of life to another. In Christianity , it is a turning away from sin and toward a new life of Christ. Most churches agree on the need for conversion, but its relationship with salvation is debated between religious groups Reid et al. Some sociologists of religion define conversion as the shift in religious allegiance from one religious tradition to another, from Judaism to Christianity, for example.

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These scholars would define the shift from the Baptist to the Catholic tradition as a process of reaffiliation , not conversion Stark and Finke Conversion Experience, Measure of : This survey item asks whether a respondent identifies with undergoing a religious conversion experience of some kind. Examples of this measure are found in the Baylor Religion Survey and the U.

Conversion Therapy : Conversion therapy is the controversial practice of converting homosexuals into heterosexuals Hood, Hill and Spika Many conservative religionists believe that conversion therapy is effective Haldeman However, research on its effectiveness has been scant apart from anecdotal statements.

Shidlo and Schroeder , using a rigorous selection process, interviewed recipients of conversion methods by therapists. Two-thirds of the clients were religious. Eighty-seven percent of respondents viewed the therapy as a failure. Coping Theory : The way in which individuals use religion to cope with difficult situations and make sense of events in their lives Pargament Originating in psychological studies of religion, research and theory indicate that religious coping is more likely to occur in situations perceived as uncontrollable.

Cost-Benefit Analysis Religion : The tendency of humans to weigh the benefits of certain actions against their costs in the contexts of religion. This is a key component of rational choice framework in the economics of religion. Although he garnered millions of listeners, the U. For more information on Charles Coughlin, click here.

Counseling, Religious : A type of counseling that incorporates religious teachings to serve mental health needs. Many clients are already religious, although counselors may reach out to those nominally religious, homeless or poor. Depending on the particular faith group, counseling may incorporate prayer , meditation or scripture reading. Some forms of religious counseling may be completely faith-based, while others may incorporate secular therapeutic practices Koenig, King and Carson Creationism : The belief that the creation account of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is historically and scientifically correct.

This has led to some confrontation with proponents of Darwinian evolution, most notable in the infamous Scopes Trial of in Dayton, Tennessee. More recently, former creationists have advocated Intelligent Design instead of creationism to counter evolutionary claims Prothero Creed : A confession or adherence to selected essentials of religious faith.

Creeds are especially prominent in liturgical traditions. Some groups, like those in the Restoration Movement , state that there is "no creed, but Christ. Cross : 1 A sign widely used in the history of religion to express the structure of the cosmos. Crucifix : A cross bearing the figure of Christ. It is often used to represent the suffering of Christ. It became an important image for devotional purposes in the Middle Ages, but was viewed as idolatry by many Protestant Reformers, which is why many Protestant churches prefer the symbol of a cross without Jesus on it Reid et al.

Crusades : Medieval military campaigns of the eleventh through fifteenth centuries waged by Christians to recapture Jerusalem from Muslims Prothero Cultural Theories of Religion : Theories of religion that examine how religious institutions, communities and symbols are embodied and connected to other aspects of society. Generally speaking, studies using cultural theories focus on how cultural boundaries and meanings are constructed by interpretive communities, as well as how the institutions and symbols of religion are used in both mediated communication and social interactions Hall, Neitz, and Battani Cyclical Theory : Asian religions, and some classical western philosophers, believed that history consisted of an endless series of cycles: the Wheel of Life, eternal return, or eternal recurrence.

More recently, sociologist Pitirim A. Sorokin proposed that each great civilization emerges out of a period of chaos with a set of empowering spiritual beliefs which eventually erode, leaving only materialist interests and leading again to chaos and conflict. It consists of either six or 16 items, depending on whether the researcher is using the long or short form. For example, is feeling peaceful the sign of spirituality or the result that comes from being spiritual?