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The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion

Bryan S. Turner (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8852-4
712 pages
May 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion (1405188529) cover image


Reflecting the very latest developments in the field, the New Companion provides a comprehensive introduction to the sociology of religion with a clear emphasis on comparative and historical approaches.
  • Covers major debates in secularization theory, rational choice theory, feminism and the body
  • Takes a multidisciplinary approach, covering history, sociology, anthropology, and religious studies
  • International in its scope, covering American exceptionalism, Native American spirituality, and China, Europe, and Southeast Asia
  • Offers discussions on the latest developments, including "megachurches", spirituality, post-secular society and globalization
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.

Introduction: Mapping the Sociology of Religion (Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York).

Part I: The Foundations.

1. The Sociology of Religion: The Foundations (Andrew McKinnon, University Aberdeen).

2. Durkheim and After: Religion, Culture, and Politics (William Ramp, University of Lethbridge).

3. The Functional Theory of Religion (Victor Lidz, Drexel University).

4. Recent Developments in the Anthropology of Religion (Simon Coleman, University of Sussex).

Part II: From Secularization to Resacralization.

5. Secularization (Steve Bruce, Formerly University of Aberdeen).

6. American Exceptionalism? (John Torpey, City University of New York).

7. Resacralization (Grace Davie, University of Exeter).

Part III: New Developments.

8. Rational Choice and the Sociology of Religion (David Lehmann, University of Cambridge).

9. The Religious Habitus: Embodiment, Religion, and Sociological Theory (Philip A. Mellor, University of Leeds; Chris Shilling, University of Kent).

10. Women, Religions, and Feminisms (Fang-Long Shih, London School of Economics).

Part IV: Institutionalization: Old and New Forms.

11. New Research on Megachurches: Non-denominationalism and Sectarianism (Stephen Ellingson, Hamilton College).

12. The Sociology of Spirituality: Reflections on a Problematic Endeavor (Matthew Wood, Queen’s University).

13. Arguing against Darwinism: Religion, Science, and Public Morality (Michael S. Evans and John H. Evans, both University of California).

Part V: Sociology of Comparative Religions.

14. The Sociology of Early Christianity: From History to Theory, and Back Again (Joseph M. Bryant, University of Toronto).

15. Judaism: Covenant, Pluralism, and Piety (Alan Mittleman, Jewish Theological Seminary).

16. Sociology and Anthropology of Islam: A Critical Debate (Gabriele Marranci, National University of Singapore).

17. Approaches to the Study of Buddhism (Catherine Newell, formerly University of London).

18. Sociology of Hinduism (Pratap Kumar Penumala, University of KwaZulu Natal).

19. Religious Awakening in China under Communist Rule: A Political Economy Approach (Fenggang Yang, Purdue University).

20. Native American Religious Traditions: A Sociological Approach (Dennis F. Kelley, Iowa State University).

Part VI: Globalization.

21. Globalization and the Sociology of Religion (Lionel Obadia, University of Lyon 2).

22. Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements in a Global Perspective (Afe Adogame, University of Edinburgh).

23. Fundamentalism (Richard T. Antoun, State University of New York).

24. Religion, Media, and Globalization (Jeremy Stolow, Concordia University).

25. Toward a Sociology of Religious Commodification (Pattana Kitiarsa, National University of Singapore).

26. Women and Piety Movements (Rachel Rinaldo, University of Virginia).

27. Religion and Nationalism: A Critical Re-examination (Geneviève Zubrzycki, University of Michigan).

Part VII: The Future of Religion.

28. The Future of Religion (Andrew Wernick, Trent University).

29. Religion in a Post-secular Society (Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York).


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Author Information

Bryan S. Turner is the Presidential Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate School and Director of the Committee on Religion and Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He was Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and subsequently Professor of Sociology in the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Professor Turner was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Bielefeld University, Germany, a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, the Alona Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor at Wellesley College, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. He recently published The Body and Society, third edition (2008), and edited The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory (2009).
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"All of this being said I enjoyed reading this book for its in-depth examination of the complexities of the social forces that are shaping and are being shaped by religious groups around the world. I certainly see this being of theoretical value for researchers engaging the new religious realities of our world." (Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, 6 August 2011)

"That said, the new companion is a timely and valuable work, validly updating the original companion and a good addition to the reference shelves of any academic or specialist library". (Reference Reviews, 1 December 2010)

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