Sociology of Religion
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-RSBA110
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionDutch
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Religiestudies;
dr. P.A.D.M. Vermeer
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P.A.D.M. Vermeer
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. P.A.D.M. Vermeer
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
PER3  (25/01/2021 to 04/04/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Upon completion of this course:
  • you will have a better understanding of the most important classic and present-day theories and approaches in the sociology of religion; 
  • you are able to use these theoretical views and approaches to explain current religious developments in Western-Europe and the United States.
An introduction for students of Religious Studies, the Social Sciences and Theology
Although we are used to think of religion as a matter of personal faith, religion is also a social phenomenon. Religion always manifests itself as part of social reality and exerts its influence on society, while societal developments in turn affect the way in which religion may manifest itself as a social phenomenon. Studying this interaction between religion as a social phenomenon and societal developments is the task of the sociology of religion. In order to do this, the sociology of religion considers the emergence and further development of religious groups and institutions, the behavior of individuals within these groups and institutions as well as the causes and consequences of possible conflicts between religious groups. This course offers an introduction to the sociological study of religion. It starts with a brief introduction into the discipline, after which attention is paid to three classic views on the relationship between religion and society (Durkheim, Marx and Weber), to four ideal-typical ways in which religion may manifest itself in the social world (church, denomination, sect and cult), to three present-day theories on the relationship between religion and modernity (secularization, rational choice theory and existential security thesis) as well as to three topics regarding religious change at the micro level of the individual (religious socialization, religious individualization and religious radicalization). The course ends with the sociological analysis of a present-day religious phenomenon.
De cursus biedt een eerste inleiding in de godsdienstsociologie en specifieke kennis van religie of sociologie wordt niet verondersteld. Wel wordt verwacht dat studenten minimaal beschikken over een VWO-diploma dan wel een HBO-propedeuse
Presumed foreknowledge
Er wordt geen specifieke voorkennis verondersteld.
Test information
De cursus wordt op twee manieren afgesloten. Enkele opdrachten die ter voorbereiding op de colleges moeten worden gemaakt, dient de student uiterlijk één week na het laatste college samengevoegd in één document ter beoordeling digitaal in te leveren bij de docent. Daarnaast wordt de cursus afgesloten met een schriftelijk tentamen met een duur van 1.5 uur bestaande uit multipe choice vragen en enkele open vragen. De eindbeoordeling is het gewogen gemiddelde van het cijfer van de opdrachten (telt een keer mee) en het tentamen (telt twee keer mee). Indien een onderdeel onvoldoende is, mag dit één keer worden herkanst.

Required materials
Title:Religion in Sociological Perspective. 6th Edition
Author:Roberts, K.A. & Yamane, D.
Publisher:London: Sage, 2015
Additional literature, like journal articles, can be downloaded from the website of the university library.

Instructional modes

Written exam
Test weight1
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER3, Block PER4