Methodological Foundation of Religious Sociology: A Comparative Assessment of Christian Sociology and Islamic Sociology

Yıldırım F.

The 33rd ISSR Conference: Sensing Religion, Leuven, Belgium, 2 - 05 July 2015, pp.394-395

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Leuven
  • Country: Belgium
  • Page Numbers: pp.394-395
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


After the Second World War, a new branch of sociology emerged: Religious Sociology. Unlike

the secular sociology of religion, in which religion is studied ‘scientifically’, religious sociology

has been employed to serve the faith by using the methodology of secular sociology. However, the

question aroused straight off: To what extent could it serve the faith by applying to secular tools

of sociology or to what extent could it be a branch of sociology whose foundation lies behind

secularism and modernism? For this purpose, this paper aims to seek out methodological

foundations and premises of religious sociology in the example of comparatively Christian

Sociology and Islamic Sociology. In this context, what are the methodologies and techniques of

those types of sociologies? How do they employ secular methodology to serve their faith? What

are the philosophical assumptions behind the methodology of religious sociology? And finally, are

they scientific sociological study of religion or are they theological attempts to advocate the

religion? With these questions in mind, I will briefly discuss the history of religious sociology.

Then, I will analyze philosophical and methodological assumptions of religious sociology. With

this theoretical background, I will later assess the scientific validity of religious sociology by

comparing “Christian Sociology” and “Islamic Sociology”. Finally, I will evaluate whether

religious sociology, particularly Islamic Sociology, could be a branch of secular sociology.