Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • How do sociologists define religion,  religiosity, and spirituality?
  • What are pluralism and secularization?
  • What is fundamentalism?
  • What are the current trends in religious affiliation and participation in the  United States?
  • How does the process of global  diffusion apply to religion?
  • How do each of the major theoretical paradigms in sociology explain religion?
  • What are some recent examples of how religion has fostered social change efforts?