HUMN 3075 Sociology of Religion

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101359

Coordinator Ayah Abubasheer Opens in new window

Description In this subject some of the main sociological approaches to the study of religion will be considered. The subject will be orientated particularly to the tension between religion and social theory in the evolution of sociological thought. It addresses the impact of religion and religious bodies on Australian society and politics. The subject will focus on the relation of theory and practice, on the research of contemporary religious practice, and on the contemporary relevance of major theorists in the sociology of religion. It will address issues such as Buddhism, Fundamentalism(s), gender in religion, globalisation, Islam, modernity/post modernity, neo-paganism, networks in spiritualities, New Age, popular culture, and new religious movements.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Sociology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects Unit LGYB 5040 - Sociology of Religion


Successful completion of 80 credit points of study.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Provide a critical introduction to some of the major theorists in the sociology of religion.
  2. Explore the major rationales for religion as a belief system and their relevance to the contemporary and historical development of institutionalised, and networking forms of, religious practice - with particular reference to the secularisation debate.
  3. Investigate the formation of major religious institutions and emergent religious groups, the part they have played in the formation and support of dominant ideologies and the existing social structure, and how these factors have influenced the peculiar nature of religion in Australia.

Subject Content

1. Religion ideology and the individual (the nature of belief systems and the role of sociology in the analysis of religion)
2. Is the influence of religion in society declining? Modernity and the secularisation debate.
3. Durkheim and the functions of religious belief. Religion, community and integration in contemporary society.
4. Weber - Religion and the rational overview
5. State and Religion- The Church of England and the Catholic Church.
6. Islam
7. Buddhism and Eastern Religions
8. New Religious Movements and Cults.
9. Alternative Spiritualties (New Age and Neo-Paganism)
10. Post-modern religions: Fundamentalism(s), Consumer Religions and Hyper-Real Religions.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Quiz 10 weeks x Weekly quizzes (4 Q's per week) 20 N Individual
Proposal 500 words 10 N Individual
Report 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Possamai, A. & Tittensor, D. (2022) Religion and Change in Australia London: Routledge.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Ayah Abubasheer Opens in new window

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Sydney City Campus - Term 1 (2024)

Sydney City


Subject Contact Ayah Abubasheer Opens in new window

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