By Stephen Sharot
After introducing the book's significant topics, 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 concentrate on significant spiritual 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 people, varieties of faith round the world.
Sharot's available introductions to every of the realm religions, synthesizing an unlimited literature on renowned faith from sociology, anthropology, and historians of faith, make the venture perfect for direction use. His comparative procedure and unique analyses will turn out lucrative even for specialists on all the international religions.
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Additional info for A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion
4 The this-worldly, thaumaturgical goals of religious action cannot be placed firmly in either the zweckrational or the wertrational type of action; the cure of an illness, for example, is not weighed with other goals in terms of relative costs and benefits, but neither is it an absolute goal in the sense that it may be pursued without regard for the chances of success. Such goals are shared with nonreligious forms of action, and the distinctiveness of religious action has to be sought in two other overlapping components of action: (1) the particular categories of actors with whom actors believe they interact and (2) the special means that are used to achieve the goals.
Some religions present a number of means to salvation that complement each other, and in such cases actors may consider them in terms of their relative importance or believe them to vary in appropriateness according to context. The third and fourth types of social action, the traditional and affectual, are both on the borderline of action because they are not meaningfully oriented in terms of conscious means and ends. Traditional action 22 | Religious Action in the sense of ingrained habit, which is un-self-conscious and unreflective, encompasses, according to Weber, a large part of everyday action.
In one formulation, no meaningful distinction exists between means and ends; action is performed as a value “for its own sake,” without reference to its consequences. A religious commandment or a good deed, for example, might be performed by actors who feel that they could not possibly act in another way. Weber implies, however, that means and ends can also be distinguished in this type as long as the end is regarded as absolute, to be pursued whatever the costs and regardless of the chances of success.
A Comparative Sociology of World Religions: Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion by Stephen Sharot