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Obviously the first place to start here would be Max Weber‘s  “Sociology of Religion.” He also wrote several monographs on why certain religions are suited to or produce certain social structures.

In addition, there was a rororo Monograph on Max Weber that is out of print but still available used. I’ve always found them to be well done and instructive. Or consult the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is online and free and which is usually quite thorough, or the Encyclopedia Britannica, which tends to be briefer, just to get an overview. 

Andrew Greeley, Sociology of Religion
I’ll be doing some parsing of this.

Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists
Maybe here too.

Religion for Atheists

What if religions are neither all true or all nonsense? The boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved onwards by Alain’s book Religion for Atheists, which argues that the supernatural claims of religion are, of course, entirely false – and yet that religions still have some very important things to teach the secular world.

This (below) belongs under philosophy, but as long as you’re reading de Botton, you might like to check this out as well.

I think they are both available in German.

The Consolations of Philosophy

In Ancient Greece or Rome, philosophers were seen as natural authorities on the most pressing questions. However, since then, the idea of finding wisdom from philosophy has come to seem bizarre. Enter a university department today and ask to study wisdom, and you will politely but firmly be shown the door. The Consolations of Philosophy sets out to refute the notion that good philosophy must be irrelevant and gathers together six great philosophers who were convinced of the power of philosophical insight to work a practical effect on our lives.

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