Religion & Culture: Social Dimensions

Course Number: SOC 219
Transcript Title: Religion/Culture Social Dimens
Created: September 1, 2013
Updated: June 7, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Explores the relationship between culture, social structure, and religion, through a comparative and cross-cultural examination of religious beliefs, practices, and organization. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply sociological perspectives and use their sociological imagination in analyzing religious institutions and their role within culture and society.
  2. Identify, evaluate, and compare various religious institutions within societies using structural functionalist, symbolic interactionist, and social conflict approaches.
  3. Participate as active citizens within their societies and communities, demonstrating critical thought surrounding religious institutions from a sociological lens.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The department assumes that instructors will assess student learning through the term by using various formative assessment tools, like worksheets, quizzes, and exams. In addition, the department encourages instructors to integrate the following kinds of tasks into the course to assess student achievement of course outcomes in a more comprehensive and holistic manner:

  1. Short analytical or application papers on specific concepts, themes, and issues.
  2. Term or research papers, using a variety of research strategies.
  3. Oral presentations.
  4. Group research, analysis, and presentation projects.
  5. Class participation in full-class discussions and small groups or teams.
  6. Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences, events, and social phenomena.
  7. Service-learning tasks, involving service to community, reflection, and application of sociological perspective.
  8. Student-instructor conferences.
  9. Portfolios.
  10. Video projects.
  11. Oral histories and interviews.

Course Activities and Design

Lecture, group activities, service learning, audio/visual presentations, discussion.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Examples of Subject Matter, Concepts, Themes, Issues:

  1. Sociological Perspectives and applications
  2. Social Dimensions of Spirituality and Religion
  3. Fundamental Features of Religions
  4. Prehistoric and Contemporary Belief Systems and Communities
  5. Religion and Social Order
  6. Religion and Environment, a Cross Cultural Perspective
  7. Native American Spirituality
  8. In Search for the Common Ground, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
  9. Religion and Family, Love and Courtship and Marriage
  10. Religion and Gender, Origins of Patriarchy and Gender Socialization
  11. Religion and Health, The Spiritual Dimension of Health
  12. Transcendent Idealism and Spirituality
  13. Spirituality, the Search for New Identity