By Stephen Sharot
After introducing the book's significant issues, the quantity introduces and builds upon an research of Weber's version of spiritual motion, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist students, and the paintings of up to date sociologists and anthropolgists. the next chapters each one specialise in significant non secular cultures, together with Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This bold undertaking is the 1st to supply a comparability of the preferred, or folks, varieties of faith round the world.
Sharot's available introductions to every of the area religions, synthesizing an unlimited literature on well known faith from sociology, anthropology, and historians of faith, make the venture excellent for direction use. His comparative technique and unique analyses will turn out lucrative even for specialists on all of the international religions.
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Additional info for A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion
It must be admitted, however, that when a goal is also a motive, this does not establish how the accomplishment of the action was made possible. Campbell emphasizes the importance of emotion, effort, and will in the accomplishment of action and criticizes theorists of social action for their failure to consider such factors. His comment that the problem is not how an actor goes about getting something done, because the means are likely to be as prescribed as the goals,11 is particularly apposite with respect to religious action.
Judgment of the means-end relationship by the logico-experimental method was clearly inappropriate when the end was transcendental and unobservable, but Parsons noted that ritual means, an important subtype of the symbolic means-end relationship, were also applicable where the ends were empirical, as in magic. For example, a sacriﬁce to a god to insure good weather was symbolic in at least two ways: as a symbol of goodwill that called for reciprocation and as a symbolic expression of a desire for good weather.
It is clear that religious action cannot be delineated by its ends alone; although some ends are particular to religious action, others are shared with non-religious forms of social action. Weber’s discussion of the ends of religious action can be systematized by reference to two dimensions: first, by the degree to which the end or future state of affairs is conceived as transformative of, or a change within, the conditions or states of being. Salvation is the prime example of a general or encompassing transformation.