Study Guide Questions for Exam 1
Sociology 4365 – Topics in Science and Religion
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.
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
5. Can you recognize and briefly describe the major facts relevant to the
following? Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe,
6. Why is
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?