Social Theory and Religion

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Aug 21, 2003 - 252 pages
Many aspects of religion are puzzling these days. 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. It clarifies the social processes involved in constructing religion and non-religion in public and private life. Taking illustrations of the importance of these boundaries from studies of secularisation, religious diversity, globalisation, religious movements and self-identity, James A. Beckford reviews the current state of social scientific knowledge about religion.
 

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Contents

Religion a social constructionist approach
11
Secularisation
30
The vagaries of religious pluralism
73
Globalisation and religion
103
Social theory and religious movements
150
Constructing religion self and society
193
Notes
216
References
221
Index
247
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About the author (2003)

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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