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Please Note: I sometimes hear from readers who reject the idea that white privilege even exists, a disagreement that usually comes down to what is meant by ‘privilege.’ If this includes …

Eve Ewing: Other Means to Liberation - Guernica

Sociology of Gender – The Other Sociologist

Feb 13, 2018 · Posts about Birdland Passport written by Baseball Rebecca
In an informal group discussion at Hartford Seminary, back in the '70s, we were discussing social activism, and I made this comment: "Every Christian," I said, "is called actively to work for justice and peace in the world." Peter repied, "Really, Richard? You really mean that?" I assured him that I did. Then he told me about an elderly aunt, who lived in a retirement home. Every morning, he said, she struggled to work up the courage to go to the cafeteria for lunch. She had a problem with bladder control, Peter said, and she was afraid of embarrassing herself in the lunch line. Each day she prayed to the Lord to give her courage, and then she would go down to the cafeteria. For her, he said, the most radical act of faith for her each day was to summon up the courage to go to lunch. "Now, Richard, what do you want to tell her about her obligation also actively to work for justice and peace in the world?" Peter Berger taught me an unforgettable lesson with that story.

A Sociologist Explains The Charleston Church Shooting …

What Sociologists Do. Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that develop when people interact and work together.
Speaking as a sociologist, you point at something which is very interesting, which is a development in recent decades of a self-conscious Evangelical intelligentsia. Not only in institutions like this, and there’s a network of these institutions across the country with some very significant people. You mentioned Mark Noll. He is respected not just by Evangelicals, but as a historian. But [people like this are] also dispersed in other situations, not just Christian colleges. That’s a significant change. By the way, an interesting parallel is what happened to Jews in the 1930s, when places like Harvard and Princeton that were closed to Jews suddenly had an influx of very bright, ambitious, young Jewish professors and students, graduate students. Something similar is happening here, I think. These young, bright Evangelicals are invading old fortresses like Harvard or Princeton.

 

What is Otherness? – The Other Sociologist


When I started out doing sociology of religion—like two hundred years ago—everyone else had the same idea. And I more or less assumed that it was correct. It wasn’t a completely crazy assumption; there were many reasons why people said that. But it took me about twenty years to come to the conclusion that the data doesn’t support this, and other people came to the same conclusion.

The theory is wrong. Now, to conclude that the theory is wrong is the beginning of a new process of thinking. I came to the conclusion some years ago that to replace secularization theory—to explain religion in the modern world—we need the theory of ­pluralism. Modernity does not necessarily produce secularity. It necessarily produces pluralism, by which I mean the coexistence in the same society of different worldviews and value systems.


He helped me see the difference between modernism, which is a set of ideas, and modernity, which is more like the cultural air we breathe. He has fascinating insights into the ways minds work and how people change their minds, switching from one worldview to another—what sociologists call a “paradigm shift,” or what Christians call repentance and conversion. He also has an incredible sense of the power of humor.