Postmodern man in search of a soul: towards a (re)formulation of the sociology of religion
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This dissertation seeks to evaluate and reformulate the sociology of religion through an integration of the work of Carl G. Jung and others. The purpose of such a reformulation is to develop a "new" theoretical framework within which to describe and explain individual and collective level religious and spiritual experience in our contemporary postmodern social landscape. Current theoretical frameworks for the sociology of religion have failed to provide an adequate lens through which to view religious experience and have failed to provide an understanding of the differences between religion and spirituality. The modernist framework which reduces religious and spiritual phenomena to mere numbers lacks the depth necessary to view such a multifaceted and varied grouping of social experience. The postmodern alternative, as well, has multiple problems in terms of application particularly if one accepts the postmodern argument that there is no truth. Following a postmodernist trajectory where there is no truth, one must question whether or not the sociological study of religion is relevant at all. Presented here is an integrative model which challenges Kantian assumptions about the nature of religion. The relationship between the concepts of religion and spirituality has long baffled the social sciences. Here spirituality is characterized, in a truly Jungian manner, as an archetypal drive shared by all of humanity. Religion, on the other hand, is best thought of as individual and collective representations of an often unconscious search for a soul. This sort of conceptualization proves fuller than those currently offered. A discussion of religious and spiritual options associated with our contemporary American landscape provides evidence of the applicability of the framework presented here.
Segura, Clasina Buffelen (2003). Postmodern man in search of a soul: towards a (re)formulation of the sociology of religion. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from