Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

by Alan Aldridge
     
 

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In the new edition of this widely praised text, Alan Aldridgeexamines the complex realities of religious belief, practice andinstitutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in thecontemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almostall societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities assources of social stability and engines of

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Overview

In the new edition of this widely praised text, Alan Aldridgeexamines the complex realities of religious belief, practice andinstitutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in thecontemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almostall societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities assources of social stability and engines of social progress. Theyalso try to combat real and imagined abuses and excess, regulatingcults that brainwash vulnerable people, containing fundamentalismthat threatens democracy and the progress of science, andidentifying terrorists who threaten atrocities in the name ofreligion.

The third edition has been carefully revised to make sure it isfully up to date with recent developments and debates. Major themesin the revised edition include the recently erupted ‘culturewar’ between progressive secularists and conservativebelievers, the diverse manifestations of‘fundamentalism’ and their impact on the wider society,new individual forms of religious expression in opposition totraditional structures of authority, and the backlash against‘multiculturalism’ with its controversial implicationsfor the social integration of ethnic and religious minoritycommunities.

Impressive in its scholarly analysis of a vibrant and challengingaspect of human societies, the third edition will appeal stronglyto students taking courses in the sociology of religion andreligious studies, as well as to everyone interested in the placeof religion in the contemporary world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'With a masterly blend of theory and empirical example, this excellent textbook provides an informative, up-to-date and wide-ranging foundation for the sociology of religion. It is, moreover, eminently readable. I recommend it as required reading for students of all levels.' Eileen Barker, The London School of Economics and Political Science

'This is an extraordinarily readable book - lively, penetrating and provocative. The sometimes complex issues with which the author deals are handled with adroit subtlety but without the sacrifice of clarity. Aldridge skilfully summarizes the work of others, but adds points of genuine originality of his own. The result is a piece of work of outstanding intellectual quality which undergraduates should find an exciting pleasure to read, and from which graduates would also profit.' Bryan Wilson, Oxford University

'This is a bright, lucid overview of the sociological study of religion that skillfully summarises a broad range of work in the field and arranges it into an accessible, liberal-mainstream narrative on the thematic and methodological developments in the subject over the last hundred years. It will reward in one way or another all who read it, but will be especially useful in undergraduate classes in sociology of religion and religious studies.' Steven Sutcliffe, University of Sutherland, Culture and Religion

'It blends theory and empirical evidence in an engaging, challenging and even provocative way ... Aldridge's work is accessible and informative. No doubt it will become a popular standard textbook for undergraduates in Sociology and Religious Studies, whilst also appealing to a general readership.' British Journal of Sociology

'This book provides an authoritative introduction to the subdiscipline of the sociology of religion ... The book's central strength is the balance achieved between summarising the traditional concerns of the sociology of religion, and also incorporating recent theoretical innovations. Also, in summarising the debates of a subdiscipline that is rarely consensual, Aldridge treads skilfully the delicate path between overt partisanship on the one hand and bland summary on the other.' Sociology

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745653471
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/04/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,332,900
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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