Educational environment of sociology of religion

Educational environment of sociology of religion

Smirnov М.Yu.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Head of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Culture, and Art at Leningrad State University (Pushkin), Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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Smirnov М.Yu. Educational environment of sociology of religion. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 5. P. 84-92


The article analyzes the position of the sociology of religion in Russian education system. Sociology of religion is considered as study of the social manifestations of religion, carried out by means of quantitative and qualitative methods, which is conducted on theoretical, empirical and applied levels of scientific knowledge. The principle of the sociology of religion – any religious phenomenon must be considered from the intention to figure out social meaning in the actions of followers of religious doctrines, rituals, organizations in the structures of society. Sociology of religion combines two interrelated research areas: 1) research what is happening in religious communities, with characteristics of subjects of religious institutions and religious practices in their quantitative and qualitative indicators; 2) research of the conditions and circumstances of existence of religious associations in the social space. All these research tasks require a high level of professional training of specialists in sociology of religion. The author has considered the possible content of the training courses on the sociology of religion and posed the question of the relationship between sociology and religious studies in the training of specialists in the sociology of religion. To his mind, one of the important reasons for the weak development of the sociology of religion in Russia is the marginality of teaching this subject in high school. It is shown that the existing scientific and educational literature on the sociology of religion promotes awareness of this area of knowledge, but is not training in techniques and methods of the sociological study of religion. The author speaks critically about the confessional approach in the sociology of religion, evaluating this approach as limited and unproductive. It is concluded that in Russia there is a growing gap between objective necessity of sociological study of the dynamically changing situation around religion in the public space of modern society and the modest presence of sociologists of religion who are professionally engaged in research and expert work in this field.

high school; vocational education; religion; religious studies; sociology of religion; religious (confessional) sociology; educational literature


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Content No 5, 2017