A Sociology of Seeking
Portents of Belief
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A response to the depletion of the rhetoric of sociology and the spiritual capital of theology, this volume explores the remains of Christianity that still lurk as portents in a progressively de-Christianised society seeking replacements for belief. With the sociologist set in the role of an oracle seeking traces of Christianity in a discipline in which the intrusion of theological understandings has become harder to resist, it offers a narrative of belief following the direction of an exemplary portent: the finger. Through the exploration of broad trends in culture and modern history, this study, informed by interactionist thought, examines both the place of sociology in Christian theology, and the failure of theology to connect to its surrounding culture, asking how the two disciplines might meld profitably together. As such it will appeal to social theorists and theologians, as well as sociologists with interests in religion, culture and secularisation.
Table of Contents
Prologue 1. Prophets and Oracles: Zeitgeist and a Sociology of Indeterminacy 2. Change and Decay: Missing Something Missing 3. The Festival of the Supreme Being: The Incineration of an Atheist 4. Religion: A Concept of No Fixed Abode 5. Sociology in Theology: A Curious Habitation 6. The Finger: A Portent of Sociological Deliverance Epilogue
Kieran Flanagan is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol, UK. He is the author of Sociology in Theology: Reflexivity and Belief (2007); Seen and Unseen: Visual Culture, Sociology and Theology (2004); The Enchantment of Sociology: A Study of Theology and Culture (1996); Sociology and Liturgy: Re-presentations of the Holy (1991); and Sociological Noir: Irruptions and the Darkness of Modernity (2016), and co-editor with Peter C. Jupp of A Sociology of Spirituality (2007); Virtue Ethics and Sociology: Issues of Modernity and Religion (2001); and Postmodernity, Sociology and Religion (1996).