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Antonio A. Chiareli

Abstract

While most introductory textbooks in sociology make use of functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist theoretical perspectives in the analyses of societal dynamics, they demonstrably make no attempt to integrate these paradigms either in theory or in practice. Yet even a casual look at the social world evidences a transcendent reality not limited to the discrete and narrow analysis of each respective perspective. By unsatisfactory default, the discipline of sociology thus appears to consistently present a very fragmented and seemingly irreconcilable view of the social world and its problems. This article explores the development of a Christian sociological integration model at the meta-theoretical level. Applying a unifying Creation-Fall-Redemption view of society and its functions and dysfunctions bridges the disparate and isolated perspectives in the discipline. This meta-theoretical lens is best entitled the Christian Sociological Re-Imagination approach. In proposing this theoretical alchemy of sorts, the present discussion affirms the viability of an integrated approach for achieving a biblically informed, sociologically robust, and arguably more holistic understanding of social reality and its complex social issues than afforded by mainstream introductory sociology textbooks.

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Keywords

sociological theories, Christian Sociological Re-Imagination, frame alignment, creation-fall-redemption, social problems, faith-discipline integration, worldview

Section
Articles