In Gods We Trust / Edition 2

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Much has changed since publication of the first edition of this established text in the sociology of religion. Revised and expanded, this edition emphasizes new patterns of religious change and conflict emerging in the United States in the latter part of the twentieth century. Leading scholars describe and analyze developments in five main areas: The fundamentalist and evangelical revival; challenge and renewal in mainline churches; spiritual innovation and the so-called New Age; women's movements and issues and their impact; and politics and civil religion.

Chapters include an examination of religious movements' responses to AIDS; Christian schools; quasi-religions; healing rites and goddess worship; recruitment of women to charismatic and Hassidic groups,; televangelists and the Christian Right; racist rural populism; contemporary Mormonism and its growth; cults and brainwashing; Jonestown; dissidence in the Catholic church; and trance-channeling, among other topics.

A new introductory chapter by the editors establishes an integrating framework in terms of three themes: increasing conflict and controversy associated with American religion; increasing focus on various forms of power in American religion; and challenges to models of secularization and modernization inherent in religious revival, innovation, and politicization. A concluding chapter by the editors looks at new trends and assesses their possible impact in coming years.

Like its predecessor, this outstanding collection is a significant contribution to the literature as well as a valuable resource for the classroom.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Like the first edition, published in 1981, this collection brings together some of the best contemporary scholarship on recent developments in the sociology of religion. Both editions purport to examine new patterns of religious pluralism in America, and both have done a good job.… This is a very strong and coherent collection bringing together works that speak to one another.”—William H. Norman, Sociologist Analysis

“This collection is a solid contribution to the sociology of religion, accomplishing several important tasks for the scholarly reader.… The book offers significant contributions to theoretical development in the sociology of religion.… It should be studied by all who want an exciting and informed linkage of studies of new and exotic religious phenomena with classical and sociological theory.”—James T. Richardson, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

“A useful addition to the field of sociology and to the sociology of religion, deviance, and social change. Sociologists of religion can take pride in this volume.”—Social Forces

Over two dozen previously published articles explore sociological aspects of modern religious pluralism. The areas of discussion are the fundamentalist and evangelical revival, renewal in the mainline churches, New Age spiritual innovation, women's movements, and politics and civil religion. Revises and expands the first edition of 1980. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887388002
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/15/2006
  • Edition description: Rev and Expande
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Robbins received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina. He has taught at or held research appointments at numerous universities. His publications include Cults, Converts, and Charisma, and Church-State Relations.

Dick Anthony is a forensic psychologist noted for his writings on brainwashing, and one of the most prolific researchers of the social and psychological aspects of involvement in new religious movements.

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