170 pages | 2 B/W Illus.
This volume critically engages with the work of the acclaimed Australian sociologist John Carroll. It makes the argument for a metaphysical sociology, which Carroll has proposed should focus on the questions of fundamental existence that confront all humans: ‘Where do I come from?’, ‘What should I do with my life?’ and ‘What happens to me when I die?’. These questions of meaning, in the secular modern West, have become difficult to answer. As contemporary individuals increasingly draw on their inner resources, or 'ontological qualities', to pursue quests for meaning, the key challenge for a metaphysical sociology concerns the cultural resources available to people and the manner in which they are cultivated. Through wide-ranging discussions which include, film, romantic love, terrorism and video games, Metaphysical Sociology takes up this challenge. The contributors include emerging and established sociologists, a philosopher, a renowned actor and a musician. As such, this collection will appeal to scholars of social theory and sociology, and to the general reader with interests in morality, art, culture and the fundamental questions of human existence.
Editor’s Introduction (Sara James)
List of Contributors
1. What is Metaphysical Sociology? (John Carroll)
2. The Existential Jesus: Transcript of an interview with Stephen Crittenden and John Carroll
3. John Carroll’s Jesus (Roger Scruton)
4. John Carroll: Towards a Definition of Culture (John Dickson)
5. The Passion in Port Talbot (Michael Sheen)
6. A Neo-Calvinist Sociology: John Carroll’s Metaphysical Modernity (Peter Murphy)
7. The Eclipse of Metaphysics (Keith Tester)
8. Digital Western Dreaming (Marcus Maloney)
9. The Benefit of an Anarcho-Psychological Perspective of Terrorism (Wayne Bradshaw)
10. Mortality, Time and Embodied Finitude (Margaret Gibson)
11. Modern Metaphysical Romance (Sara James)
12. Response (John Carroll)
The Morality, Society and Culture series publishes rigorous scholarly work exploring how questions of what we should do and how we ought to live are expressed and practised in contemporary social relationships and culture. How do ideas about what is right and good shape action and identities? Can cultural texts such as films, television, literature and art be guides for living? What do often abstract moral values mean in daily life? This series explores how and to what effect questions of meaning, identity and action are inextricably entwined with contemporary social and cultural forms, texts and relationships. The books in this series offer new understandings of the connection of morality, society and culture.