1st Edition

Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion

By David Martin Copyright 2017
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this book David Martin brings together a coherent summary of his many years of ground-breaking academic work on the sociology of religion. Covering key and contentious areas from the last half-century such as secularisation, religion and violence, and the global rise of Pentecostalism, it presents a critical recuperation of these themes, some of them first initiated by the author, and a review of their reception history. It then reviews that reception history in a way that discusses not only the subjects themselves, but also the academic practices that have surrounded them.

    As such, this collection is vital reading for all academics with an interest in David Martin’s work, as well as those involved with the sociology of religion and the study of secularisation more generally.

    Part I The travels and travails of the concept of secularisation

    1 Overview of the problem

    2 Exploring my own reception

    3 Extensions of the secularisation debate

    4 Secularisation and other disciplines

    5 Recapitulation in the sociology of religion in Britain

    6 Changing patterns and changing receptions in painting and music

    Part II Ancillary debates: violence, Pentecostalism

    7 Religion and violence

    8 Reception and Pentecostalism

    Part III Examples

    9 Religion and the varied sources of violence: disrupting a narrative

    10 Religion and the variable patterns of cultural change – modernisation?


    David Martin is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK, and Fellow of the British Academy. He was born in Mortlake in 1929 and attended East Sheen Grammar School and Westminster College. In the latter part of a seven-year period in primary school teaching he took a first class (external) degree in sociology in his spare time and won a post-graduate scholarship to the LSE. He became a lecturer in the LSE sociology department in 1962 and was a professor from 1971 to 1989. After his first book on pacifism (1965) he produced the first critique of secularisation theory (1965) and the first statement of a general theory of secularisation (1969 and 1978). From 1986 to 1990 he was Distinguished Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University, USA, and turned to the study of global Pentecostalism, producing the first summary statement of the worldwide Pentecostal phenomenon in 1990. He also returned to the issue of religion and violence and explored issues in music and nationalism, and sociology and theology. His intellectual autobiography, The Education of David Martin, appeared in 2013.

    "Astonishing in its range of intellectual, historical, and cultural references, this book illuminates the work of a scholar who has been a leader in his field for half a century and still writes with both energy and urgency. David Martin reflects on many of his characteristic concerns – secularisation, pacifism and violence, Pentecostalism, religion and the arts – and in the process constructs an image of sociology as a vital and morally serious calling."

    - Simon Coleman, Chancellor Jackman Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

    "Along the way in its 194 pages, Martin provides incisive analysis on key trends in contemporary religion that even those who have not kept up with his prolific work can appreciate."

    - ReligionWatch Vol. 32, No. 9 July 2017

    "For the aspiring sociologist of religion, this book is essential reading. Indeed, many young academics across the humanities would clearly benefit from the long view encapsulated here."

    - The Revd Duncan Dormor, Chief Executive of USPG