Is it true that religion is weakening in modern times, or are we facing religious resurgence? What is fundamentalism? How does it emerge and grow? What role does religion play in ethnic and national conflicts? Is religion a fundamental driving force or do political leaders use religion for their own purposes? Do all religions oppress women? These are some of the questions addressed in this book. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion provides an overview of sociological theories of contemporary religious life. Some chapters are organized according to topic. Others offer brief presentations of classical and contemporary sociologists from Karl Marx to Zygmunt Bauman and their perspectives on social life, including religion. Throughout the book, illustrations and examples are taken from several religious traditions.
This clear introduction to the sociology of religion combines a discussion of key theorists with a modern emphasis on the diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Malcolm Hamilton's expanded second edition brings the discussion fully up-to-date, and extends its material on secularization and religious sects, giving a broad comparative view. Drawing on the insights of history, anthropology and sociology, he surveys classic and contemporary theory to give a full picture of the variety and scope of theoretical perspectives.
Religion by Associate Professor of Sociology Phil Zuckerman,Phil Zuckerman
Author: Associate Professor of Sociology Phil Zuckerman,Phil Zuckerman
This book intends to serve as a conversational, colorful, engaging, and provocative introduction to the sociology of religion for undergraduates. Written in lively prose, this volume aims to introduce students to the major themes, problems and goals of the sociological study of religion while also summoning the sense of wonder and curiosity for the enterprise itself.
Reflecting the very latest developments in the field, the NewCompanion provides a comprehensive introduction to thesociology of religion with a clear emphasis on comparative andhistorical approaches. Covers major debates in secularization theory, rational choicetheory, feminism and the body Takes a multidisciplinary approach, covering history,sociology, anthropology, and religious studies International in its scope, covering American exceptionalism,Native American spirituality, and China, Europe, and SoutheastAsia Offers discussions on the latest developments, including"megachurches", spirituality, post-secular society andglobalization
Why is religion still important? Can we be fully modern and fully religious? In this new edition, Davie follows up her discussion of the meaning of religion in modern society and considers how best to research and understand this relationship. Exploring the rapid movements within the sociology of religion today, this revised and updated book: • Describes the origins of the sociology of religion • Demystifies secularization as a process and a theory • Relates religion to modern social theory • Unpacks the meaning of religion in relation to modernity and globalization • Grasps the methodological challenges in the field • Provides a comparative perspective for religions in the west • Introduces questions of minorities and margins • Sets out a critical agenda for debate and research The Sociology of Religion has already proved itself as one of the most important titles within the field; this edition will ensure that it remains an indispensable resource for students and researchers alike.
"In their introduction to this Handbook, the editors affirm: 'Many sociologists have come to realise that it makes no sense now to omit religion from the repertoire of social scientific explanations of social life'. I wholeheartedly agree. I also suggest that this wide-ranging set of essays should become a starting-point for such enquiries. Each chapter is clear, comprehensive and well-structured - making the Handbook a real asset for all those engaged in the field." - Grace Davie, University of Exeter "Serious social scientists who care about making sense of the world can no longer ignore the fact that religious beliefs and practices are an important part of this world... This Handbook is a valuable resource for specialists and amateurs alike. The editors have done an exceptionally fine job of incorporating topics that illuminate the range and diversity of religion and its continuing significance throughout the world." - Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University At a time when religions are increasingly affecting, and affected by, life beyond the narrowly sacred sphere, religion everywhere seems to be caught up in change and conflict. In the midst of this contention and confusion, the sociology of religion provides a rich source of understanding and explanation. This Handbook presents an unprecedentedly comprehensive assessment of the field, both where it has been and where it is headed. Like its many distinguished contributors, its topics and their coverage are truly global in their reach. The Handbook's 35 chapters are organized into eight sections: basic theories and debates; methods of studying religion; social forms and experiences of religion; issues of power and control in religious organizations; religion and politics; individual religious behaviour in social context; religion, self-identity and the life-course; and case studies of China, Eastern Europe, Israel, Japan, and Mexico. Each chapter establishes benchmarks for the state of sociological thinking about religion in the 21st century and provides a rich bibliography for pursuing its subject further. Overall, the Handbook stretches the field conceptually, methodologically, comparatively, and historically. An indispensable source of guidance and insight for both students and scholars. Choice 'Outstanding Academic Title' 2009
Sociology of Religion represents a documented introduction to the history of sociological thought as applied to religious phenomena. It examines both the substantive and functional definitions of religion that are more open, pluralistic, and not inscribed in a single explanatory horizon or within a single confessional perspective. The contributors' concerns are carefully written to show all sides of the argument. Roberto Cipriani argues for the simple definition that the sociology of religion is an application of sociological theories and methods to religious phenomena. Historically, close ties between sociology and the sociology of religion exist. The slow and uneven development of theory and methods affects the sociology of religion's development, but the latter has also benefited from increasing precision and scientific validity. Other sociological writers agree and disagree about different approaches. Some assume it is a militantly confessional or anti-confessional; others remain neutral within their work.
An Introduction to the Aesthetics of Art and Belief
Author: Howes Graham
The field of 'art and religion' is fast becoming one of the most dynamic areas of religious studies. Uniquely, The Art of the Sacred explores the relationship between religion and the visual arts - and vice versa - within Christianity and other major religious traditions. It identifies and describes the main historical, theological, sociological and aesthetic dimensions of 'religious' art, with particular attention to 'popular' as well as 'high' culture, and within societies of the developing world. It also attempts to locate, and predict, the forms and functions of such art in a changing contemporary context of globalization, modernity, secularism and fundamentalism. The author concentrates on four chief dimensions where religious art and religious belief converge: the iconographic; the didactic; the institutional; and the aesthetic. This clear, well-organised and imaginative treatment of the subject should prove especially attractive to students of religion and visual culture, as well as to artists and art historians.
Religion by Susanne C. Monahan,William Andrew Mirola,Michael O. Emerson
Author: Susanne C. Monahan,William Andrew Mirola,Michael O. Emerson
Publisher: Pearson College Division
This collection of articles explores the relationship between the structure and culture of religion and various aspects of social life in the United States. Based on both classic and contemporary research in the sociology of religion, it highlights a variety of research methods and theoretical approaches in exploring the ways in which religious values, beliefs and practices shape the world outside of church, synagogue, or mosque walls while simultaneously being shaped by the non-religious forces operating in that world. Many readings from drawn popular sources--e.g., newspapers and magazines--and although many of the readings are about religion in the Christian tradition, there are also readings about religion outside the American context (e.g., Poland, England, El Salvador, Nicaragua), and beyond the Christian tradition (e.g., Judaism, alternative religions, Hindu traditions). Classic Sociological Definitions Of Religion; Belief And Ritual; Religious Experience; Race, Ethnicity And Religion; Gender And Religion; Social Class And Religion; Sexual Identity And Religion; The Secularization Debate; Religious Organizations, Institutions And Authority; Alternative Religions; Media And Religion; Politics And Religion; Science And Religion; Social Movements And Religion. For anyone interested in the sociology of religion or religious perspectives on social issues.
In the new edition of this widely praised text, Alan Aldridge examines the complex realities of religious belief, practice and institutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in the contemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almost all societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities as sources of social stability and engines of social progress. They also try to combat real and imagined abuses and excess, regulating cults that brainwash vulnerable people, containing fundamentalism that threatens democracy and the progress of science, and identifying terrorists who threaten atrocities in the name of religion. The third edition has been carefully revised to make sure it is fully up to date with recent developments and debates. Major themes in the revised edition include the recently erupted ‘culture war’ between progressive secularists and conservative believers, the diverse manifestations of ‘fundamentalism’ and their impact on the wider society, new individual forms of religious expression in opposition to traditional structures of authority, and the backlash against ‘multiculturalism’ with its controversial implications for the social integration of ethnic and religious minority communities. Impressive in its scholarly analysis of a vibrant and challenging aspect of human societies, the third edition will appeal strongly to students taking courses in the sociology of religion and religious studies, as well as to everyone interested in the place of religion in the contemporary world.
Social Science by Kevin J. Christiano,William H. Swatos Jr.,Peter Kivisto
Author: Kevin J. Christiano,William H. Swatos Jr.,Peter Kivisto
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Social Science
This third edition of Sociology of Religion introduces students to key principles in the sociological understanding of religion, with revisions and updates throughout. The book offers an overview of the nature and function of religious institutions and practices, asking sociological questions about the changing role of religion in today’s “post-traditional” world. After an introduction to the many facets of religion and key theories for its study, the book examines central themes such as changes in religious life in the United States; the intersections between religion, social class, and power and between gender, sexuality, and religion; globalization and religion; religion in mass media; and more. The third edition features new material on the relationship of race and ethnicity to religion, the perceived rises of both secularism and fundamentalism, and the role of religion in public debates on sexuality. Sociology of Religion addresses both the foundations of the field and the profound changes it has undergone, placing new examples against their historical background. Charts, photos, down-to-earth examples, and a readable style make the book an ideal introduction for students.
An Introduction to Philip Rieff's Theory of Culture
Author: Antonius A. W. Zondervan
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Social Science
The acclaimed American sociologist and cultural philosopher Philip Rieff gained great academic prestige with his thesis on the emergence of 'Psychological Man' in western culture and with his classic book, Freud: The Mind of the Moralist, published in 1959. In this work and the later The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966) he not only offered a highly original interpretation of the work of Sigmund Freud, but critically evaluated the enormous influence of psychotherapeutic thinking on Western culture. However, Rieff's later work on the theory of culture did not garner the same attention, and his most recent writings have received very little critical engagement. In Sociology and the Sacred, Antonius A.W. Zondervan sets out to remedy this neglect, arguing that Rieff's work is ripe for intellectual reconsideration. Zondervan begins by presenting an outline of Rieff's entire body of work, focussing on his theory of culture, and explaining how the sacred is a key notion, pivotal to the overall understanding of Rieff's work. The author argues that the present upsurge in religion, in many varieties throughout the world, cannot be explained by the classical secularization-thesis, making Rieff's theory of sacred order in culture an essential contribution to a new social theory of religion. Including material from personal interviews with Rieff that enabled Zondervan to clarify important aspects of his work, Sociology and the Sacred is an essential contribution to the understanding of contemporary culture's maintenance of its ties to religion.
Using a lively narrative, The Sociology of Religion is an insightful text that follows the logic of actual research, first investigating the facts of religion in all its great diversity, including its practices and beliefs, and then analyzing actual examples of religious developments using relevant conceptual frameworks. As a result, students actively engage in the discovery, learning, and analytical processes as they progress through the textùjust as a scholar pursues knowledge in the field and then applies theoretical constructs to interpret findings.This unique text is organized around essential topics and real-life issues and examines religion both as an object of sociological analysis as well as a device for seeking personal meaning in life. While primarily sociological in focus, the text incorporates relevant interdisciplinary scholarshipùthus teaching sociological perspectives on religion while introducing students to relevant research from other fields. Sidebar features and photographs of religious figures bring the text to life for readers.Key Features and Benefits:Uses substantive and truly contemporary real-life religious issues of current interest to engage the reader in a way few other texts doCombines theory with empirical examples drawn from the United States and around the world, emphasizing a critical and analytical perspective that encourages better understanding of the material presentedFeatures discussions of emergent religions, consumerism, and the link between religion, sports, and other forms of popular cultureDraws upon interdisciplinary literature, helping students appreciate the contributions of other disciplines while primarily developing an understanding of the sociology of religion InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM· InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM contains chapter outlines, summaries, multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and short answer questions as well as illustrations from the book. Contact Customer Care at 1-800-818-SAGE (7243) to request a copy (6:00 a.m.û5:00 p.m., PST).Intended Audience: This core text is designed for upper-level undergraduate students of Sociology of Religion or Religion and Politics.
This prestigious Companion offers the most comprehensive survey todate of the study of religion. Featuring a team of internationalcontributors, and edited by one of the most widely respectedscholars in the field, The Blackwell Companion to the Study ofReligion provides an interdisciplinary and authoritative guideto the subject. Examines the main approaches to the study of religion:anthropology, the comparative method, economics, literature,philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology. Also covers a diverse range of topical issues, such as thebody, fundamentalism, magic, and new religious movements Consists of 24 essays written by an outstanding team ofinternational scholars Reviews, within each chapter, an outline of a particularsubfield and traces its development up to the present day Debates how the discipline may look in the future Represents all the major issues, methods and positions in thefield