Arien Mack, Editor
Table of Contents
Toward the Great Instauration: Reflections on Culture and Religion in a Postindustrial Age
[originally published in Vol. 42, No. 3 (Fall 1975)] The author discusses a wide variety of concepts on culture and religion in a post industrial age. He starts with stating that much of character of men and the pattern of their social relations is shaped by the kind of work they do. If work is an axial principle which allows us to divide the character of societies, we can speak of preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial societies.
Peter L. Berger
The Sociological Study of Sectarianism
[originally published in Vol. 21, No. 4 (Fall 1954)] There are few areas in the sociology of religion that are of greater inherent interest than that of sectarianism. ...The study of sectarianism has been characterized, like so much else in the scientific approach to religion, by a mass empirical data with little or no theoretical orientation. This has been especially true in the United States, and is especially regrettable here, since this country is a veritable paradise for the investigation of religious sects.
The Rule of Law vs. the Order of Custom
[originally published Vol. 38, No. 1 (Spring 1971)] In this discussion the author states the relation between custom and law is basically one of contradiction, not continuity. Custom is seen as social morality--the morality of primitive society. Law is the instrument of political society sanctioned by organized force and buttressing a set of social interests. Law and custom both involve regulation but are distinct as no evolutionary balance has been struck between developing law and custom. Specific examples are discussed, and the writings of Plato, Maine, Rattray, Taylor, Marx, and Nadel are considered, as they relate to this problem.
Capital-Intensive Agriculture in Peasant Society: A Case Study
[originally published in Vol. 23, No. 4 ( Winter 1956)] The position taken in this paper is: first, that a capital-intensive form of economic organization introduced into a traditional social structure may under certain conditions come to act as an engine for economic development, and may stimulate reform of the traditional structure toward a more productive pattern of adaptation; second, that the ways in which such stimulation can fail to occur, in which the juncture of modern forms of economic organization and traditional ones can misfire and lead to cultural disintegration on the part of the economically weaker group, are more numerous and more easily realized than the ways in which it can go right.
Robert L. Heilbroner
Is Economic Theory Possible?
[originally published in Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer 1966)] Just forty years ago, as a young professor at Kiel, Adolph Lowe asked the question, "how is a theory of the business cycle possible," and answered that it was possible because the underlying economic process was, after all, determinable and dependable. Now, after a lifetime of reflection, he asks, “How is a theory of the underlying economic process itself possible?” And answers, to the discomfiture of his earlier self, that it is not--at least in the traditional sense of the word “theory”--for reasons which, among others, the vagaries on the business cycle illustrate.
Why Linguistics Needs the Sociologist
[originally published in Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter 1967)] Sociolinguistics identifies an area of research, one whose problems can be studied by members of a variety of disciplines. Nevertheless, the term sociolinguistics does pose the special question of the relation between linguistics and sociology. It is to this question that this paper is addressed.
A Perspective on Philosophy
[originally published in Vol. 38, No. 4 (Winter 1971)] To say what is happening in philosophy now is always to put oneself at risk. For it is only afterwards that we in fact know what was happening. To try to evaluate the present is in part to predict how it will look from some as yet unachieved standpoint in the future.
Religion in Postindustrial America: The Problem of Secularization
[originally published in Vol. 41, No. 2 (Summer 1974)] This essay discusses Protestant secularization, the effects of American civil religion and socialism upon it, and the current relationships between religion and social and cultural movements.
The Authority of the Past: Sickness and Society in Freud's Thought
[originally published in Vol. 21, No. 4 (Winter 1954)] But Freud's prophetism must not be labored too far. To be a prophet is to assert that there is no way out of tradition, not to try systematically to abort it. And Freud's end, processionally and valuationally, was to abort tradition for the sake of a personality type unknown to history thus far, the psychological man--man emaciated by rational analysis from commitments to the prototypical past.
Peaceful Coexistence in Psychology
[originally published in Vol. 40, No. 1 (Spring 1973)] Psychology is a vast and ramified discipline. It contains many mansions. But this doesn’t prevent it from being intellectually divided against itself. The author discusses one major division in psychology and in so doing suggests a way of reconciling two sides. Out of such reconciliation, there might come a new perspective on the discipline.