Hans Mol and the Sociology of Religion

Hans Mol and the Sociology of Religion

by Adam J. Powell


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Hans Mol was born in the Netherlands during the 1920s. His imprisonment by the Gestapo during World War II began a long intellectual journey, exploring the role of religion in society. His work on the sociology of religion throughout the 20th and 21st Century is distinctive in its quest for both methodological and existential balance

Part One of this book includes a brief outline of Mol’s most influential theory as originally explicated in Identity and the Sacred (1976). This is followed by a look at the initial reception of that theory in relation to the competing concepts of Mol’s contemporaries. Part Two is comprised of four previously-unpublished essays written by Mol during the 70s and 80s. Covering topics from evolution to evangelicalism, the papers display the sweeping ambition of this sociologist as well as the tone and contours of his intellectual articulation. In the Postscript this volume concludes with select transcripts of interviews conducted between Adam Powell and Hans Mol during the Spring of 2012.

This volume of Mol’s work will be of keen interest to academics and students with an interest in the sociology of religion post-World War II and the development of contemporary Christian theology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780367886806
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/12/2019
Series: Routledge Studies in Religion
Pages: 116
Product dimensions: 6.19(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Adam J. Powell is COFUND Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, UK. He has presented numerous papers and lectures on the sociological theories of Hans Mol and has previously published an edited collection on Hans Mol’s work entitled Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings (2015).

Table of Contents


One: Religion as Process: Introducing Identity Theory

Two: Function or Fallacy: Reconsidering Identity Theory



Three: Introduction to Appraisal and Application - Hans Mol

Four: Evolutionary Origins of Authority and Wholeness - Hans Mol

Five: Consciousness, Identity and Religion - Hans Mol

Six: The Social Effect of Conservative/Evangelical Religion - Hans Mol

Postscript: An Interview with Hans Mol

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