Religion in Rebellions, Revolutions, and Social Movements demonstrates that, while religion is often a social force that maintains, if not legitimates, the sociopolitical order, it is also a decisive factor in economic, social, and political conflict.
The book explores how and under what conditions religion functions as a progressive and/or reactionary force that compels people to challenge or protect social orders. The authors focus on the role that religion has played in peasant, slave, and plebeian rebellions; revolutions, including the Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Iranian; and modern social movements. In addition to these case studies, the book also contains theoretical chapters that explore the relationship religious thought has with the politics of liberation and oppression. It examines the institutional, organizational, ritualistic, discursive, ideological, and/or framing mechanisms that give religion its oppressive and liberating structures. Many scholars of religion continue very conventional modes of thinking, ignoring how religion has been—and continues to be—both a hegemonic and counterhegemonic force in conflict. This book looks at both sides of the equation.
This international and interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of politics of religion, sociology of religion, religious studies, gender studies, and history.
Table of Contents
1. An Introduction to the Critical Study of Religion in Rebellions, Revolutions, and Social Movements, Part I: Rebellions, 2. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on Religion and Revolution, 3. Mandate for Revolution? Reconsidering Chinese Peasant Rebellions in Terms of Changing One’s Destiny, 4. Peasant Revolt Against the Roman Imperial Order in Ancient Palestine, 5. John Ball and the 1381 English Uprising: From Rebellion to Revolutions, Part II: Revolutions, 6. A Second Path: Nuns in the Early French Revolution, 1789–1791, 7. "Elective Affinities" Between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the 1917 Russian Revolution, 8. "The Spirit of the Spiritless World": The Shiʿa Rituals of Muharram and the 1979 Iranian Revolution, 9. The Ambivalence of African Independent/Initiated Churches in Colonial and Postcolonial Politics, Part III: Social Movements, 10. Theorizing Religion, Social Movements, and Social Change, 11. Mobilizing Religion in Twenty-First Century Nativism in the United States, 12. Elective Affinities Between Liberation Theology and Ecology in Latin America, 13. Indigenous Spirituality and the Decolonization of Religious Beliefs: Embodied Theology, Collectivity, and Justice, 14. Epilogue: On the Significance of Religion for Rebellions, Revolutions, and Social Movements
Warren S. Goldstein, Executive Director of the Center for Critical Research on Religion, USA www.criticaltheoryofreligion.org) has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. He is the editor of Critical Research on Religion (SAGE Publications) and Series Editor of “Studies in Critical Research on Religion” (Brill Academic Publishers and Haymarket Books).
Jean-Pierre Reed is Associate Professor of Sociology, Africana Studies, and Philosophy at Southern Illinois University, USA. His primary research interests include the sociology of revolutions/social movements, theory, culture, and liberation theology.