The Blackwell Companion to Sociology of Religion / Edition 1

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The Blackwell Companion to Sociology of Religion is presented in three comprehensive parts. Written by a range of outstanding academics, the volume explores the current status of the sociology of religion, and how it might look in future.

  • Explores the current status of the sociology of religion, and how it might look at the beginning of the next millennium.
  • Traces the boundaries between sociology and other closely related disciplines, such as theology and social anthropology.
  • Edited by one of the best known and most widely respected sociologists of religion
  • Accessibly presented in three comprehensive parts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘If a single theme runs through this anthology, it is an appreciation of the process of secularization. Here, however, secularization does not trumpet the demise of religion but provides a lens through which to scrutinize the shifting location and function of religion in urban, industrial, complex societies. Of value as a reference tool at all readership levels.’ Choice

‘The volume takes the reader immediately to the most interesting issues currently debated in the discipline.’ International Review of Biblical Studies

"This is a milestone of a book." Journal of Contemporary Religion

"Within the cover there is a very stimulating companion indeed - a more than adequate travel guide for any student or scholar seeking a lively and insightful introduction to the contours of the sociology of religion." BSA Network

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631212416
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/17/2003
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Companions to Religion Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 508
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard K. Fenn is Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Christianity and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary, and is one of the most senior and influential practitioners of his discipline currently at work. He is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
Editorial Commentary: Religion and the Secular; the Sacred and the Profane: The Scope of the Argument 3
1 Personal Reflections in the Mirror of Halevy and Weber 23
2 Salvation, Secularization, and De-moralization 39
3 The Pentecostal Gender Paradox: A Cautionary Tale for the Sociology of Religion 52
4 Feminism and the Sociology of Religion: From Gender-blindness to Gendered Difference 67
5 Melancholia, Utopia, and the Psychoanalysis of Dreams 85
6 Georg Simmel: American Sociology Chooses the Stone the Builders Refused 105
7 Transformations of Society and the Sacred in Durkheim's Religious Sociology 120
8 Classics in the Sociology of Religion: An Ambiguous Legacy 133
9 Individualism, the Validation of Faith, and the Social Nature of Religion in Modernity 161
10 The Origins of Religion 176
Editorial Commentary: Whose Problem is it? The Question of Prediction versus Projection 197
11 Secularization Extended: From Religious "Myth" to Cultural Commonplace 211
12 Social Movements as Free-floating Religious Phenomena 229
13 The Social Process of Secularization 249
14 Patterns of Religion in Western Europe: An Exceptional Case 264
15 The Future of Religious Participation and Belief in Britain and Beyond 279
16 Religion as Diffusion of Values. "Diffused Religion" in the Context of a Dominant Religious Institution: The Italian Case 292
17 Spirituality and Spiritual Practice 306
18 The Renaissance of Community Economic Development among African-American Churches in the 1990s 321
19 Hell as a Residual Category: Possibilities Excluded from the Social System 336
Editorial Commentary: Looking for the Boundaries of the Field: Social Anthropology, Theology, and Ethnography 363
20 Acting Ritually: Evidence from the Social Life of Chinese Rites 371
21 Moralizing Sermons, Then and Now 388
22 Health, Morality and Sacrifice: The Sociology of Disasters 404
23 Contemporary Social Theory as it Applies to the Understanding of Religion in Cross-cultural Perspective 418
24 The Return of Theology: Sociology's Distant Relative 432
25 Epilogue: Toward a Secular View of the Individual 445
Index 469
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