A Sociology of Seeking Portents of Belief
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.
Prologue 1. Prophets and oracles: Zeitgeist and a sociology of indeterminacy 2. Change and decay: Missing something missing 3. Religion: A concept of no fixed abode 4. Images and icons: The ocular dilemmas of the state 5. The finger: A portent of sociological deliverance Epilogue