Study Guide Questions for Exam 1

Sociology 4365 – Topics in Science and Religion

Fall, 2004


Important!!!  You should treat these questions as examples of the type and

level of questions to expect on the exam.  They are not meant to be completely

comprehensive, nor identical to the actual questions on the exam.  There will

be some questions (a minority) what are NOT covered below -- so study everything.

If you know the answers below to a high degree of accuracy, you'd probably make

about a C to B on the exam.  To make an A will require studying more than just

the study guides. 



I. Lectures


1. How did the views of the ancients regarding the workings of

   the natural world differ from those of modern science?


2. Can you define cultural traditionalism, cultural modernism, and



3. Can you define manifest function and latent function?  What are some of the  

   latent functions of religion?


4. Who said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses?”  What does this

   phrase mean?


5. Can you recognize and briefly describe the major facts relevant to the

   following?  Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe,

   Bruno, Galileo, Newton, and Hume?  Can you put them into chronological order?


6. Why is Newton especially important in the history of science?


7. Who wrote The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism?  What is

   the importance of the title?


8. Can you give an accurate and comprehensive definition of “modern



9. Who is considered the “father” of symbolic interaction theory?  Can you

   describe/explain symbolic interaction theory?


10. What is “Baconian inductivism?”  Who is it named after?  Is it the

    same thing as modern science?


11. Who presented the argument that science did not really proceed in any  

    cumulative fashion through logic and that most important scientific

    discoveries had been accidents of inquiry? 


12. What was the significance of the Reformation? The Renaissance?  The 



13. When did the Inquisition take place?  Where?  Why?


14. What were the Crusades?  When did they take place?  Do they have any

    significance for today?


15. How did Durkheim view the role of religion in society?


16. What social psychological tradition does Berger's article draw from heavily?




17. Does Marvin Harris (1st reading in the spiral bound book) think animals

    can have religion?  What is "animism?"  What is the role of ancestors in

    prestate societies' religions?


18. How does the view of early anthropology differ regarding myth differ from

    modern anthropology?  Who is Sir James Frazier?  What famous book did he

    write?  Who was Carl Jung?  Who was Joseph Campbell?  How did the two men differ

    in their view of myth?  What are Wendy Doniger's "telescopes and microscopes?"


19. What is a “millenarian movement?” What is “civil religion?”  What role has it

    played in U. S. history?


20. About what percentage of scientists say they believe in God?  Do the

    academic disciplines vary in proportions of believers?  Of what

    significance is “boundary posturing” according to the authors of the

    relevant article?


21.  In the article entitled “Voting in Science,” what is the

    two-model” view of creationism vs. evolution?  What does the

     author believe should be done about the two model approach?


22.  What view of science do postmodernists adopt?  Who was Alan Sokal, and

     of what relevance is he to the proceeding question?


23.  Why is the Edinburgh School of Sociology important in relation to

     this course?


24.  What is the significance of the title “Voting in Science” (written

     by Isaac Asimov)?


25.  What is Wicca?  Can you describe it’s central tenets?  Does Charlotte Allen

     agree with their view of pre-Christian religion in Europe?  Explain.


26.  Can you define the various types of “creationism?”


27.  What are the most dramatic differences found by Eve in his study comparing

     Wiccans to strict creationists?  Why did these differences exist according

     to the article?


28. Do Harrold and Eve believe that all types of paranormal beliefs belong to

    to the same domain of attitudes, or do they argue that more than one domain

    of belief exists?  Did they find any correlations between specific types of

    paranormal beliefs and respondent’s political attitudes?  Explain.  What

    were student’s most common pseudoarchaeological beliefs?


29. Does Goode’s article agree with Harrold and Eve regarding the number of

    dimensions seen in paranormal beliefs?  Explain.  How did your professor

    explain in class the apparent differences seen in the two articles?


30. When Toumey speaks of “conjuring science,” what does he mean?  How is

    this common done?  What does he mean by “science in an old Testament style?”


31. In Gray’s article “Educational Experience and Belief in Paranormal

    Phenomena,” the author taught a “de-bunking” course to college

    undergraduates.  What did the author find to be the results?



32.  Who believes more often in paranormal beliefs, men or women?  Are

     there any exceptions?


33. Using the article by Lerner and Benetta, can you give a solid,

    concise definition of what is meant by a “scientific theory?”


34. According to the article by Overbye, has Islam always lagged

    behind the Christian West in the practice of science?  How

    does the author believe that Islam fell behind in science?


From the Monahan et al text:


Part 1 – Introduction and Readings


35. What did Durkheim think the main function of religion is?  What

    was his thesis in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism?


36. Was Marx in favor of religion?  Explain.  What is his famous quote

    in this regard?


37. Peter Berger’s article is strongly based on a major camp of social

    psychology.  Which one is it?  Can you briefly explain that perspective?


Part 2 – Introduction to Belief and Ritual


38. What categories did Durkheim divide beliefs into?  Can you define and

    illustrate each?


39. Can you define ritual?  What functions does ritual perform?  (For that

    matter, can you describe the theory of “structural-functionalism?).


40. What is “civil religion?”  Can you give examples?


41. What is “liminality?”  What is its relationship to ritual?


42. What is “secularization?”  What controversy surrounds the concept?


43. Does Berger think that secularization is good or bad?  Explain briefly.

    What is the “sacred canopy?”


44. Does Finkle agree with Burgess?  Explain.


45. What is the major difference in focus in the work of Berger and Wilson when

    compared to that of Finkle?


46. To what extent do sociologists of religion agree that religion has

    diminished in importance in the past several decades?


47. How do religious texts tend to depict women? 


48. What strategies to women use to confront and interpret religion?  (There

    are at least four described in your textbook.  Can you label and describe

    each of these?)


49. How does Griffin feel about the validity of a monotheistic female

    deity and the role of this concept in history?  Explain.


50. What does she mean by the term “mythos?”


51. What were the major coping strategies of Catholic women pastors?

    How successful was each strategy for dealing with the congregation?


52. Traditionally, who were Baptist women expected to relate to men and

    husbands?  How uniformly did the women report submitting to male

    authority?  Explain.


53. What percentage of Americans appear to believe in angels?  What are

    common correlates of belief in angels?


54. Who was Andrew Greeley, and why is he well known to sociologists of



55. What was Proudfoot’s major criticism regarding Greeley’s ideas?


56. How do Rodney Stark and coauthor William Sims Bainbridge characterize

    the nature and mechanism of religious experiences?


57. What is the experiential-expressive perspective on religious experience?

    What is the cultural-linguistic perspective and how does it differ from

    The experiential-expressive viewpoint?