The Sociology of Contemporary Quakerism (distance)

This distance learning module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to key sociological concepts and by analysing how these concepts play out within the sociology of Quaker traditions worldwide. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of key issues within contemporary Quakerism and how they can be understood sociologically. Understanding the sociology of different Quaker traditions is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing theologies to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of complex layers of identity-construction amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker past and present sociologically.

Students will gain a broad understanding of key debates and theories in the study of contemporary religion and spirituality and how they relate to Quakerism. They will develop an understanding of the role of belief and practice within Quakerism worldwide and will begin to interrogate categories such as class and gender in Quakerism.

Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.

Suggested Key Readings:

Woodhead, Linda and Heelas, Paul (2000) Religion in Modern Times: An Anthology (Religion and Spirituality in the Modern World), Wiley Blackwell

Collins, Peter and Dandelion, Pink (2009) The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Furseth, Inger and Repstad, Pal (2006) An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical And Contemporary Perspectives Ashgate