In the Meantime... (Response to Ploch)

Journal Article

In his discussion of methodological issues in the sociology of religion, Donald R. Ploch (see SA 35:4/87R8080) asserts that all socially constructed meaning, arising from all human attempts to face the necessity of contingency, can be considered religion. The only restriction on the study of this widely inclusive, functionalist notion of religion is that it should not include the study of churches & creeds. Here, it is argued that this broadening of religion to include everything social is too metaphorical & ultimately "terrifying," since it offers no clearly defined agenda for research to follow. In Rejoinder to Chaves, Ploch (U of Tennessee, Knoxville) cites several studies of religion & fundamental meaning structures which suggest that this situation is not hopelessly muddled. The diversity of both subject & method revealed in such studies, which has emerged in response to the substantively trivial findings of past studies, is applauded. Further work is needed on defining fundamental orientations & their meanings, social support structures, & stability, & on developing definitions of religion that avoid reductionism. 1 Reference. K. Hyatt

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chaves, M

Published Date

  • 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 304 - 305

Published By

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0038-0210