Church and Society

Why do we act the way we act? Why do we gather in certain social groups and not others? Have you ever wondered how our faith connects with society? Sociologists are those who study human social behaviour and propose these questions. Students undertaking this unit will be introduced to the field of sociology with the aim to explore the trends and megatrends that have formed the Christian community and its practice.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: MIN205
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Nigel Pegram


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Church and Society

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

This course introduces students to a range of sociological thought and technique, and applies this to their own identity formation, societal frameworks and the church.


  1. Demonstrate an ability to analyse one’s own identity formation within a social context;
  2. Interpret the historical development of modernity in societies influenced by the enlightenment and its relationship to religion;
  3. Appraise the role and value of the place of church within contemporary societies
  4. Demonstrate a growing proficiency in the technical language and research skills required to analyse, problematise and investigate religious issues as mediated in public opinion;
  5. Illustrate a relationship between societal frameworks and communal Christian structures, systems of belief and behaviours;
  6. Demonstrate an ability to apply the theory of classical theorists in the sociology of religion within Christian communal setting.

Subject Content

  1. Sociology and Sociology of Religion
  2. Sociology of Self
  3. Sociology of Spirituality and Religious Commitment
  4. Sociology of Christian Community and Church Membership
  5. From Micro-to-Macro-Sociology
  6. The Great Narratives I: Modernisation and Globalisation
  7. The Great Narratives II: Secularisation
  8. Social Research Methods
  9. Foucault, Power and Behaviour
  10. Christ and Culture I: Fundamentalisms and the Religious Response to Modernity
  11. Christ and Culture II: Religion and Mass Media
  12. Society and Religion in Australia

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 108 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Critical Reflection Paper (20%)
  • Minor Essay (30%)
  • Major Essay (50%)

Prescribed Text

  • Berger, P. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion, New York: Anchor Books, 1976/1990.; OR
  • Berger, P. An Invitation to Sociology A Humanistic Perspective. New York: Anchor Books, 1963.

Please consult your lecturer before purchasing any textbooks.