Sociology (SOCI) 231

Sociology of Religion (Revision 1)

SOCI 231 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Sociology Studies home page

SOCI 231 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Sociology 231: Sociology of Religion is designed to introduce students to the study of religion from a sociological perspective.

Course Objectives

The course author has the following three overarching objectives:

  1. to provide instruction in the process of critical sociological thinking.
  2. to present a historical and sociological overview of religion in the world.
  3. to encourage awareness and questioning of religious belief systems, including those aspects of the scientific world view that broach religious questions and topics.


Sociology 231 consists of the six units listed below:

  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Opportunistic Corruption
  • Unit 3: Superstition, Violence, Intolerance and Evil
  • Unit 4: Emergent Religions and Unorganized Belief Systems
  • Unit 5: Opportunism Revisited
  • Unit 6: Conclusion


To receive credit for Sociology 231, you must achieve a minimum grade of D (50 percent) on the final examinations, and an overall grade of D (50 percent) for the entire course. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Research Essay Outline 5%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Forum Participation 10%
Research Essay 15%
Final Exam 20%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Lundskow, G. (2008). The sociology of religion: A substantive and transdisciplinary approach. London: Pine Forge Press.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.


Butler, J. (2006). Born again: The Christian Right globalized. London: Pluto Press.

Carrette, J. & King, R. (2005). Selling spirituality: The silent takeover of religion. London: Routledge. (PDF)

Other Materials

The course materials also include an online study guide and course manual.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the SOCI 321 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, July 10, 2013.