TITLE

'THE AGES OF FAITH' - ROMANCE OR REALITY?

AUTHOR(S)
Goodridge, R. Martin
PUB. DATE
May 1975
SOURCE
Sociological Review;May75, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p381
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article aims to point out the kind of assumptions sometimes made about the position of religion in the pre-industrial past for which historical evidence is not always readily forthcoming. These assumptions can frequently be found in the writings of sociologists, but historians are not always exempt either. One danger which historians can easily create for sociologists seems to be the characterisation of historical times through the behaviour of elite groups of the period. This is an understandable tendency as documentation on elites and their way of life has always been much more plentiful than that on groups lower on the social stratification scales. A second danger often implicit in historical writing is the characterisation of past epochs through the behaviour of geographically localised groups. This tendency may be easily explained by the fact that it is frequently easier to find documentation about one part of a country, rather than to find the same documentation for all the regions of the territory in question. One must hasten, too, to note the dangers of the reverse process, where statements are made about a society, generalising from a number of superficial cases, and where local investigation in depth might well reveal different perspectives.
ACCESSION #
5461047

 

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