Tricks of Methods in Sociology of Religion: A Schemetical Attempt

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CUMHURIYET ILAHIYAT DERGISI-CUMHURIYET THEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.24, no.2, pp.911-931, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.18505/cuid.784076
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ATLA Religion Database, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.911-931
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Sociology of religion is an interdisciplinary formation at the intersection of sociology and religious studies. While trying to explain the relationship of religion -as a noticeable parameter- with other variables and analyze the current pattern, the unity of social sciences and basic Islamic sciences is occasionally needed. It is expected that the intersection points with the auxiliary sciences will be clearly explained, and the research will represent the field by positioning at the center of the sociology of religion. The valid way for readers to understand texts that are written within the discipline of the sociology of religion is to increase the textual representation of research. The basic issue to increase this representation is locked on the determination of the method as in other sciences. Although it can be mentioned that the studies focusing on the method in the field of sociology of religion are based on the philosophy of science and methodology-oriented evaluations, it is clear that the subject does not receive the necessary attention. This study questions the schematic feasibility of the method that can be used in researches within the field of sociology of religion hypothetically. By schematizing, it is meant to show the main tricks of the method use in the sociology of religion and draw a design. For this reason, firstly the problems encountered in the determination of the method will be addressed and then methodological scheme that can be followed in the studies of the sociology of religion will be evaluated together with the mental, the actional and the semiotic process added as an original category. The article focuses on principal information on how to use the method while studying the sociology of religion; however, does not promise an in-depth study of how the method can be used in practice. The most general output of the research is that by following the signs shown in the study, in-depth examples for further studies can be presented. The study emphasizes that the method as the umbrella concept used jointly by the natural and social sciences is not the only mental processes such as induction and deduction, and also explains that it cannot be labeled as actional processes such as research technique, pattern, model, or theory and approach. It is suggested that the method, which is the product of both abstract and concrete effort, should be taken into account not only with its mental and actional aspects, but also with its semiotic process. In the specialized scheme, while the mental and actional categories have more in common with markers in other sub-branches of sociology, the semiotic side differentiates as a new category. The first point to be mentioned is the necessity to draw attention to the indicative meaning of every object seen in the scientific process. Before the research plan, when a sociologist of religion internalizes that every object around him/her is a part of the body of signs, countless inventories of topics worth investigating are presented. Various protocols suggested by semiotics are followed in the process of providing inventory. Secondly, the researcher is expected to discover his/her own semiotic identity. Since the scholars of the sociology of religion, have largely received theological education, there is a greater possibility that their embodied knowledge will be reflected in the text.