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.

1. Personal Reflections in the Mirror of Halévy and Weber (David Martin).

2. Salvation, Secularization, and De-moralization (Bryan Wilson).

3. The Pentecostal Gender Paradox: A Cautionary Tale for the Sociology of Religion (Bernice Martin).

4. Feminism and the Sociology of Religion: From Gender-Blindness to Gendered Difference (Linda Woodhead).

5. Melancholia, Utopia, and the Psychoanalysis of Dreams (Donald Capps).

6. Georg Simmel: American Sociology Chooses the Stone the Builders Refused (Victoria Lee Erickson).

7. Transformations of Society and the Sacred in Durkheim’s Religious Sociology (Donald A. Nielsen).

8. Classics in the Sociology of Religion: An Ambiguous Legacy (Roger O’Toole).

9. Individualism, the Validation of Faith, and the Social Nature of Religion in Modernity (Daniéle Hervieu-Léger).

10. The Origins of Religion (Richard K. Fenn).


Editorial Commentary: Whose Problem is it? The Question of Prediction versus Projection.

11. Secularization Extended: From Religious "Myth" to Cultural Commonplace (Nicholas J. Demerath III).

12. Social Movements as Free-floating Religious Phenomena (James A. Beckford).

13. The Social Process of Secularization (Steve Bruce).

14. Patterns of Religion in Western Europe: An Exceptional Case (Grace Davie).

15. The Future of Religious Participation and Belief in Britain and Beyond (Robin Gill).

16. Religion as Diffusion of Values. "Diffused Religion" in the Context of a Dominant Religious Institution: The Italian Case (Roberto Cipriani).

17. Spirituality and Spiritual Practice (Robert Wuthnow).

18. The Renaissance of Community Economic Development Among African-American Churches in the 1990s (Katherine Day).

19. Hell as a Residual Category: Possibilities Excluded from the Social System (Richard K. Fenn and Marianne Delaporte0.


Editorial Commentary: Looking for the Boundaries of the Field: Social Anthropology, Theology, and Ethnography.

20. Acting Ritually: Evidence from the Social Life of Chinese Rites (Catherine Bell).

21. Moralizing Sermons, Then and Now (Thomas Luckmann).

22. Health, Morality and Sacrifice: The Sociology of Disasters (Douglas J. Davies).

23. Contemporary Social Theory as it Applies to the Understanding of Religion in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Peter Beyer).

24. The Return of Theology: Sociology’s Distant Relative (Kieran Flanagan).

25. Epilogue: Toward a Secular View of the Individual (Richard K. Fenn).


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