Sociology of Religion

Sociology of Religion


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For this assignment, you will be tasked with completing a pilot field research project. In this project, you will find a religious institution other than the one you practice (if you practice one at all) and interview a member about their perspectives on the state of religion. Preferably, choose a religious institution you know little about.


You will be asked to submit your selected religious institutions in an ungraded topic selection assignment about half-way through the semester. After you have selected a religious institution, make inquiries about a religious center that you can contact for a possible interviewee. Find out about the beliefs and practices using prior research (such as using Google or a personal website) before your approach the members. You will need to address each of these in the ungraded topic selection assignment. When you are ready, approach the center and explain your project to a responsible member or a leader. Introduce yourself and your project. Explain the questions you would like to ask if you are prompted to explain your project. Ask for interviews: two interviews are expected: one with a leader and another one with a member of the institution (Church, Mosque, temple, monastery, religious cultural center, etc.)

Ask at least three of the following questions in an interview not to exceed 45 minutes:

  1. How do you see the present state of religiosity?
  2. What are the main benefits and problems of a religious life?
  3. How do you see the future of religion?
  4. How do you perceive the relationship between different religions?
  5. A question of your own choosing (requires instructor approval).

Ideally, you will want to ask more questions than the three you choose. Never the less, you must select at least three of these options and they must be present in your interview.

After you have conducted the interview, transcribe (create a written record) of the interview to the best of your ability. Do not refer to ANY interviewee by their real name in your transcript or in your paper. Write your paper using a combination of your own work, strategically selected quotations from your interviews, and information you have gathered about the religious center of your research. Then, contextualize your paper using appropriate references to information found within The Sacred Canopy and other assigned course materials.

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