Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Paul Kamolnick

Committee Members

Martha Copp, Michael Allen


Peter L. Berger's conception of agency in his earliest writings (c.1954-1960) is logically and empirically inadequate. At the root of this inadequacy is an idealism that prevents him from providing a compelling account of actual empirical agency. Chapter 1 asserts that Berger's earlier works warrant analysis. Chapter 2 discusses Berger's earliest influences, particularly Max Weber and The Swedish Lund School of motif research. Chapter 3 identifies a unique commitment to Christian Humanism at the base of Berger's conception of agency. Chapter 4 clarifies how Berger's Christian humanism interacts with his Weberian, and Parsonian-inspired functional analysis of the American religious establishment. The thesis concludes (Chapter 5) by identifying more specifically how and why Berger's Christian humanism undermines his attempt to empirically ground human agency.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.