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(3,420 words)

Author(s): Brunkhorst, Hauke | Knoblauch, Hubert | Pöttner, Martin | Geissner, Hellmut K. | Engemann, Wilfried
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Religious Studies – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. Philosophy In the 20th century, philosophical issues were primarily treated as issues of language and communication. While Rorty spoke of a “linguistic turn,” and thereby focused on methodological innovations in theoretical philosophy, Apel and Habermas postulated an objective shift of paradigm from consciousness to communication that is meant to have revolutioni…


(5,316 words)

Author(s): Schäfers, Bernhard | Leppin, Volker | Meyer-Blanck, Michael | de Boutemard, Bernhard Suin | Knoblauch, Hubert
[German Version] I. Definition Sociology is an empirical social science; its field of study encompasses the relatively enduring forms and structures of social action (Action, Science of ) and the resultant social units, from entities like the family and kinship group and social groups to large-scale organizations and states. The word itself is an artificial combination of Latin socius (“companion, fellow”) and Greek logos (“word, truth,” in an extended sense “knowledge”). It appears for the first time in vol. IV of the Cours de philosophie positive of A. Comte (1838). As a scie…

Parsons, Talcott

(188 words)

Author(s): Knoblauch, Hubert
[German Version] (Dec 13, 1902, Colorado Springs, CO – May 8, 1979, Munich). After graduating from Amherst College, Parsons studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Heidelberg; he taught at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was one of the most important and influential sociologists of the 20th century. Initially a champion of a voluntaristic theory of action, he pioneered structural functionalism and later sociological systems theory (III). His structural fu…

Durkheim, Émile

(356 words)

Author(s): Knoblauch, Hubert
[German Version] (Apr 15, 1858, Épinal – Nov 15, 1917 Paris). French sociologist. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure, and taught at the University of Bordeaux from 1887 to 1902, later changing to Paris, where he exerted a lasting influence not only on French sociology, but also on public discussion. One of the founders of sociology, Durkheim dealt with a broad …

Sociology of Religion

(3,710 words)

Author(s): Knoblauch, Hubert | Mürmel, Heinz | Otto, Eckart | Ebertz, Michael N. | Stuckrad, Kocku v. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The sociology of religion studies religion’s social aspects and manifestations, clearly including religious institutions, organizations, and social groups. It also studies more situational forms, less clearly defined, such as gatherings, ceremonies, and collective rituals (e.g. processions [Rite and ritual]). In an extended sense, characteristic of the German-language tradition since M. Weber, religious sociology deals with all social or socialized behavior focused on…