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From Five to Ten Dimensions of Religion: Charles Y. Glock’s Dimensions of Religiosity Revisited

Issue: Vol 21 No. 1 (2008) Religion as Identity Factor in Modernity

Journal: Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/jasr.v21i1.58


Charles Y. Glock made a fundamental contribution to the sociological study of religion when, in order to ‘operationalize’ the concept of religion, he distinguished five major dimensions of religiosity: belief, experience, practice, theology (i.e., knowledge), and ethics (i.e., consequences). Going beyond these five important dimensions of religiosity, we can redefine the concept of religion by adding five more dimensions in order to take into account some of the structural and sociological components of religion. This expanded ‘dimensionalization’ of the concept of religion, grounded in the writings of classical and contemporary scholars, offers an updated and more complete instrument for the understanding and analysis of contemporary religious phenomena. With this new comprehensive view of the concept of religion, identity becomes a central and fundamental dimension, together with statuses, affiliation, community, and the relation to the divine (or the sacred).

Author: Jean-Guy Vaillancourt

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