1st Edition

Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings Reflecting Hans Mol

By Douglas J. Davies, Adam J. Powell Copyright 2015
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    Significantly influencing the sociological study of religion, Hans Mol developed ideas of identity which remain thought-provoking for analyses of how religion operates within contemporary societies. Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings brings current social-religious topics into sharp focus: international scholars analyse, challenge, and apply Mol’s theoretical assertions. This book introduces the unique story of Hans Mol, who survived Nazi imprisonment and proceeded to brush shoulders with formidable intellectuals of the twentieth century, such as Robert Merton, Talcott Parsons, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Offering a fresh perspective on popular subjects such as secularization, pluralism, and the place of religion in the public sphere, this book sets case studies within an intellectual biography which describes Mol’s key influences and reveals the continuing import of Hans Mol’s work applied to recent data and within a contemporary context.

    Contents: Introduction, Douglas J. Davies. Part I Hans Mol (Re)Considered: Hans Mol, Adam J. Powell; Mol’s sociology: social theory, dialectics and Hegel’s shadow, Louis Greenspan; Mol, science, religion and narrative identity, Ian Weeks and Petra Brown. Part II Revisiting Themes: Pluralism, Secularism and Contested Borders: The secularization of the sanctity of life and death, Karel Dobbelaere; The public role of religion, Roberto Cipriani; Religion fixed and fickle: the contemporary challenge of religious diversity, Douglas Pratt; From secularist to pluralist: post-World War II Australia, Desmond Cahill; Contextual theology and religious discourse in Indonesia, James Haire. Postscript: reflections of a sociologist-priest, Gary D. Bouma; Select Bibliography of Hans Mol; Index.


    Douglas Davies is Professor in the Study of Religion at Durham University and has published widely on the anthropology and theology of emotions, religious identity, Mormonism, Anglicanism, and death studies. He is an Academician of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. Adam J. Powell is Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. He has presented numerous papers and lectures on the sociological theories of Hans Mol. In spring 2012, he was the recipient of a research award from the Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University which supported travel to Australia in order to research Mol's life and work.

    ’The borders of identity, religion and secularity are contested and analysed in new ways in the social sciences today. Drawing on Hans Mol's sociological study of religion, this volume offers an excellent and broad look into the definition and relationship between these critical issues in the process of identity formation in a plural and diverse society.’ Anders Bäckström, Uppsala University, Sweden