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Antonio A. Chiareli

Abstract

A well-established analytical method of introductory textbooks in sociology has been to examine social issues from the viewpoints of the three main theoretical frameworks in the discipline: structural functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist theories. Yet these analyses reliably offer mutually exclusive and competing explanations for social phenomena, with no attempt to produce a holistic view of societal issues, as they in fact present themselves empirically. Therefore, the status quo in this case falls short of the noble aims of the sociological imagination. This article demonstrates, via an illustrative examination of the issue of unlawful immigration, how the “Christian Sociological Re-Imagination” (CSR) approach represents a viable alternative to the fragmented nature of sociology’s traditional use of these disparate theories. Based on the biblical meta-narrative of creation, fall, and redemption as an overarching conceptual framework, the CSR approach yields a faith-discipline integration model that is well equipped to take on the complexities of our social world. It does so by employing a frame alignment strategy which affirms the value and maintains the conceptual robustness of the secular sociological theories, while evaluating and unifying them within an overarching Christian sociological framework which jointly emphasizes the values of principled order, social justice, and human concern.

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Keywords

sociological theories, Christian Sociological Re-Imagination, worldview, creation-fall-redemption, faith-discipline integration, illegal immigration

Section
Articles