Social Theory and Religion

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Overview

This book looks at ways of improving our understanding of religious change by strengthening the links between social theory and the social scientific study of religion. James Beckford reviews the current state of social scientific knowledge about religion. He clarifies the social processes involved in constructing religious and non-religious environments in public and private life. Beckford reveals the importance of these boundaries by referring to studies of secularization, religious diversity, globalization, religious movements and self-identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Some books transform our understanding of their topics. Fewer books transform their disciplines. And a very few transform those who read them, such that they can never again approach their own subject matters in their accustomed ways. Jim Beckford's long-awaited 'summa' may do all three." Sociology of Religion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521773362
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

James A. Beckford is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. His previous publications include The Trumpet of Prophecy. A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses (1975), Cult Controversies. The Societal Response to New Religious Movements (1989), Religion and Advanced Industrial Society (1989) and Religion in Prison. 'Equal Rites' in a Multi-Faith Society (with S. Gilliat, Cambridge University Press, 1998).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Religion: a social constructionist approach 11
2 Secularisation 30
3 The vagaries of religious pluralism 73
4 Globalisation and religion 103
5 Social theory and religious movements 150
6 Constructing religion, self and society 193
Notes 216
References 221
Index 247
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