1st Edition

Sociology of Religion 5 vols Critical Concepts in Sociology

Edited By Martin Sullivan
    1792 Pages
    by Routledge

    This new Routledge Major Work is a five-volume collection of seminal and influential articles, chapters, and extracts in the sociology of religion and related disciplines. The collection uniquely brings together material ranging widely from conceptual and theoretical discussions through substantive areas, including historical religious systems, the great world religious traditions, and religion in the contemporary world. No other collection of this kind has this breadth of coverage or historical and comparative dimension. The best work of classic writers and scholars, major contributors to the discipline over its period of development, and of contemporary theorists and specialists in substantive topics has been included to give a comprehensive picture of the subdiscipline.

    Volume I: Concepts and Theories

    Part 1: Conceptual Discussions

    A. The Sociological Stance and the Truth Claims of Religion

    1. R. N. Bellah (1970) ‘Christianity and Symbolic Realism’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 9, 89–99

    2. W. R. Garrett (1974) ‘Troublesome Transcendence: The Natural in the Scientific Study of Religion’, Sociological Analysis 35, 3: 167–80

    3. R. Segal (1980) ‘The Social Sciences and the Truth of Religion Belief’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 48, 3, 401–13

    B. What is Religion? Definitional Issues

    4. J. Goody (1961) ‘Religion and Ritual: The Definitional Problem’, British Journal of Sociology 12, 142–64

    5. M. E. Spiro (1966) ‘Religion: Problems of Definition and Explanation’, in M. Banton (ed.), Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (A.S.A. Monograph No. 3, London: Tavistock)

    6. R. Horton (1960) ‘A Definition of Religion and its Uses’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 90, 201–26

    7. M. Southwold (1978) ‘Buddhism and the Definition of Religion’, Man, 13: 362–79

    Part 2: Classical Theoretical Approaches

    A: Religion as an Individual Phenomenon

    8. E. Tylor (1871) Primitive Culture (London: Murray) pp. 358–361

    9. S. E. Guthrie (1996) ‘Religion: What is it?’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 35, 4: 412–19

    10. B. Malinowski (1926) ‘Magic, Science and Religion’, in J. A. Needham (ed.), Science, Religion and Reality (London: Sheldon Press) pp. 17–92

    B. Religion as a Social Phenomenon

    11. K. Marx (1957) ‘Theses on Feuerbach’, in K. Marx and F. Engels, On Religion (Moscow: Progress Publishers) pp. 62–64

    12. K. Marx (1957) ‘A Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’, in K. Marx and F. Engels, On Religion (Moscow: Progress Publishers) pp.  37–38

    13. K. Marx (1957) ‘Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy’, in K. Marx and F. Engels, On Religion (Moscow: Progress Publishers) pp. 212–220

    14. F. Engels (1957) ‘Anti-Duhring’, in K. Marx and F. Engels, On Religion (Moscow: Progress Publishers) pp. 129–134

    15. E. Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (extract from W. S. F. Pickering, Durkheim’s Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984)) pp. 102–166

    16. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown (1952) ‘Religion and Society’, in Structure and Function in Primitive Society (London: Cohen and West) pp. 153–177

    17. K. Davis (1964) ‘Religious Institutions’, in Human Society (New York: Macmillan), pp. 509–548

    C. Early Synthesis

    18. M. Weber (1970) ‘The Social Psychology of the World Religions’, in H. Gerth and C. W. Mills (eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in Social Theory (London: Routledge) pp. 267–301

    Volume II: The World Religions

    Part 1: The Eastern Traditions

    A. Hinduism

    19. D. Mandelbaum (1966) ‘Transcendental and Pragmatic Aspects of Religion’, American Anthropologist 68: 1174–91

    20. G. Obeyesekere (1980) ‘Rebirth Eschatology and its Transformations’, in W. O’Flaherty (ed.), Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions (Berkeley: University of California Press) pp. 137–164

    21. L. A. Babb (1983), ‘Destiny and Responsibility: Karma in Popular Hinduism’, in C. F. Keyes and E. V. Daniel (eds.), Karma: An Anthropological Inquiry (Berkeley: University of California Press), pp. 163–181

    B. Buddhism

    22. G. Obeyesekere (1968) ‘Theodicy, Sin and Salvation in a Sociology of Buddhism’, in E. Leach (ed.), Dialectic in Practical Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 19–40

    23. S. J. Tambiah (1968) ‘The Ideology of Merit and the Social Correlates of Buddhism in a Thai Village’, in E. Leach (ed.), Dialectic in Practical Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp.  41–45, 49–52, 56–59, 64–67, 101–105, 114–121.

    C. China and Japan

    24. M. Freedman (1967) ‘Ancestor Worship: Two Facets of the Chinese Case’, in Freedman (ed.), Social Organisation: Essays Presented to Raymond Firth (Chicago: Aldine), pp. 85–103

    25. A. P. Wolf (1974), ‘Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors’, in Wolf (ed.), Ritual and Religion in Chinese Society (Stanford: Stanford University Press), pp. 131–182.

    26. M. Freedman (1974), ‘On the Sociological Study of Chinese Religion’, in A. P. Wolf (ed.), Religion and Ritual in Chinese Society (Stanford: Stanford University Press), pp. 19–41.

    27. W. R. Garrett (1992), ‘The Ascetic Conundrum: The Confucian Ethic and Taoism’, in W. H. Swatos (ed.), Twentieth-Century World Religious Movements in Neo-Weberian Perspective (Edwin Mellen Press: New York), pp. 21–30.

    Part 2: The Middle Eastern Traditions

    A. Judaism

    28. P. L. Berger (1963), ‘Charisma and Religious Innovation: The Social Location of Israelite Prophecy’, American Sociological Review 28, 6: 940–50

    29. M. Douglas (1966) ‘The abominations of Leviticus’, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Taboo and Pollution (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 41–57

    30. M. P. Carroll (1978) ‘One More Time: Leviticus Revisited’, Archives européennes de sociologie 19, 339–46

    B. Islam

    31. B. Aswad (1970) ‘Social and Ecological Aspects in the Formation of Islam’, in L. Sweet (ed.), Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Garden City, New York: Natural History Press), pp. 53–73

    32. B. S. Turner (1976), ‘Origins and Traditions in Islam and Christianity, Religion 6, 13–30

    33. P. Crone (1987) Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp. 231–250

    34. E. Gellner (1981) ‘Flux and Reflux in the Faith of Men’, in Muslim Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 1–85

    35. S. Zubaida (1995) ‘Is there a Muslim Society?: Ernest Gellner’s Sociology of Islam’, Economy and Society 24, 2: 151–88


    Part 1: Origins and Development

    36. W. A. Meeks (1982) ‘The Social Context of Pauline Theory’, Interpretation 36, 266–77

    37. G. Theissen (1992) ‘Some Ideas about a Sociological Theory of Early Christianity’, in Social Reality and the Early Christians: Theology, Ethics and the World of the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress Press)

    38. D. A. Nielsen (1990) ‘Max Weber and the Sociology of Early Christianity’, in W. H. Swatos (ed.), Time, Place and Circumstance (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press), pp. 89–102

    Part 2: Catholicism and Protestantism

    39. M. Weber (1930) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Talcott Parsons (London: George Allen and Unwin)

    40. M. Weber (1946) ‘The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism’, in H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.), Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul), pp. 302–322

    41. E. Fischoff (1944) ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’, Social Research 11, 54–77

    42. M. Walzer (1963) ‘Puritanism as a Revolutionary Ideology’, History and Theory 3, 59–90

    43. H. Luethy (1964) ‘Once Again, Calvinism and Capitalism’, Encounter 22, 26–38

    44. B. S. Turner (1977), ‘Confession and Social Structure’, Annual Review of the Social Sciences of Religion 1, 29–58

    45. R. Wuthnow (1985), ‘State Structures and Ideological Outcomes’, American Sociological Review 50, 799–821

    Part 3: Christianity Today

    46. N. Ammerman (1997) ‘Golden Rule Christianity: Lived Religion in the American Mainstream’, in D. G. Hall (ed.), Lived Religion in America: Toward a Theory of Practice (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp. 196–216

    47. A. Walker (1997) ‘Thoroughly Modern: Sociological Reflections on the Charismatic Movement from the End of the Twentieth Century’, in S. Hunt, M. Hamilton and T. Walter (eds.), Charismatic Christianity: Sociological Perspectives (Basingstoke: Macmillan), pp. 17–42

    48. K. Dobbelaere (1992) ‘Roman Catholicism: Function Versus Performance, Universalism Versus Particularism’, in B. Wilson (ed.), Religion: Contemporary Issues (London: Bellew Publishing), pp. 111–124

    Volume 4: Religion in the Contemporary World

    Part 1: Modern Theoretical Syntheses

    49. C. Geertz (1966) ‘Religion as a Cultural System’, in M. Banton (ed.), Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (A.S.A. Monograph No. 3, London: Tavistock), pp. 1–46

    50. P. Berger (1973) Social Reality of Religion (Harmondsworth: Penguin), pp. 13–37

    51. R. Stark (1999) ‘Microfoundations of religion: a revised theory’ Sociological Theory, 17: 3, 264–89

    52. L. R. Iannaccone (1997) ‘Rational Choice: Framework for the Scientific Study of Religion’, in L. A. Young (ed.), Rational Choice Theory and Religion (London: Routledge), pp. 25–45

    Part 2: Types of Religious Organization: Church Sect and Cult

    53. B. Johnson (1963) ‘On Church and Sect’, American Sociological Review 28, 4: 589–99

    54. D. A. Martin (1962) ‘The Denomination’, British Journal of Sociology 12, 1–14

    55. C. Campbell (1972) ‘The Cult, the Cultic Milieu and Secularisation’, in M. Hill (ed.), A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (London: SCM Press), pp. 119–136

    56. R. Wallis (ed.) (1975) ‘The Cult and its Transformation’, in Sectarianism: Analyses of Religious and Non-religious Sects (London: Peter Owen), pp. 35–49

    Part 3: Secularization

    57. R. Wallis and S. Bruce (1992) ‘Secularisation Theory: The Orthodox Model’, in S. Bruce (ed.), Religion and Modernisation: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis (Oxford: Clarendon Press), pp. 35–49

    58. D. A. Martin (1991) ‘The Secularisation Issue: Prospect and Retrospect’, British Journal of Sociology 42, 465–74

    59. B. R. Wilson (1998) ‘The Secularisation Thesis: Criticisms and Rebuttals’, in R. Learmans, B. Wilson and J. Billiet (eds), Secularisation and Social Integration: Papers in Honour of Karel Dobbelaere (Leuven: Leuven University Press), pp. 45–65

    60. R. Stark (1999) ‘Secularisation: RIP’, Sociology of Religion, 60, 3, 249–73

    61. S. Hanson (1977) ‘The Secularisation Thesis: Talking at Cross Purposes’, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 12, 159–79

    62. R. M. Goodridge (1975) ‘The Ages of Faith: Romance or Reality?’ Sociological Review 23, 381–96

    63. S. Bruce (1992) ‘Pluralism and Religious Vitality’, in S. Bruce (ed.), Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historian Debate the Secularization Thesis (Oxford: Clarendon Press), pp. 170–194

    64. K. Dobbelaere (1999) ‘Towards an Integrated Perspective of the Processes Related to the Descriptive Concept of Secularization’, Sociology of Religion 60, 3: 229–47


    Part 1: General Approaches

    65. D. Aberle (1962) ‘A Note on Relative Deprivation Theory as Applied to Millenarian and other Cult Movements’, in S. Thrupp (ed.), Millennial Dreams in Action: Comparative Studies in Society and History Supplements, No. 2 (The Hague: Mouton), pp. 209–214

    66. Y. Talmon (1966) ‘Millennial Movements’, Archives européennes de sociologie, pp. 159–200

    67. R. Stark and W. S. Bainbridge (1979) ‘Of Churches, Sects and Cults: Preliminary Concepts for a Theory of Religious Movements’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 18, 2: 117–33

    68. R. Stark (1996) ‘Why Religious Movements Succeed or Fail: A Revised General Model’, Journal of Contemporary Religion 11: 133–46

    Part 2: Sectarianism

    69. D. A. Snow and R. Machalek (1982), ‘On the Presumed Fragility of Unconventional Beliefs’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 21, 1: 15–26

    70. L. R. Iannaccone (1994), 'Why Strict Churches are Strong', American Journal of Sociology, 99, 5: 1180–1211

    Part 3: New Religious Movements

    71. R. Wallis (1984) The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life (London: Routledge), pp. 9–39

    72. E. Barker (1986) ‘Religious Movements: Cult and Anti-Cult Since Jonestown’, American Review of Sociology, 12, 329–46

    73. J. G. Melton (1987) ‘How New is New? The Flowering of the "New" Religious Consciousness Since 1965’, in D. G. Bromley and P. Hammond (eds.), The Future of the New Religious Movements (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press), pp. 46–56

    Part 4: Conversion

    74. J. Lofland and R. Stark (1965), ‘Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective’, American Sociological Review 30, 862–75

    75. D.G. Bromley and A.D. Shupe, ‘Just a Few Years Seems Like a Lifetime: a Role Theory Approach to Participation in Religious Movements, in L. Kriesberg (ed.), Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Changes 2 (Greenwich, Conn: JAI Press, 1979), pp. 159–85

    76. A. L. Greil and D. R. Rudy (1984), ‘What have We Learned from Process Models of Conversion: An Examination of Ten Studies’, Sociological Focus 17, 4: 305–23

    77. D. A. Snow and R. Machalek (1984) ‘The Sociology of Conversion’, Annual Review of Sociology 10, 167–90

    Part 5: Civil, Quasi and Implicit Religion

    78. R. N. Bellah (1967) ‘Civil Religion in America’, Daedalus 96. 1: 1–21

    79. R. Wallis (1985) ‘The Dynamics of Change in the Human Potential Movement’, in R. Stark (ed.), Religious Movements: Genesis, Exodus and Numbers (New York: Paragon House), pp. 129–156

    80. A. L. Greil (1993) ‘Explorations Along the Sacred Frontier: Notes on Para-Religions, Quasi-Religion and Other Boundary Phenomena’, in D. G. Bromley and J. K. Hadden (eds.), Religion in the Social Order, Vol. 3, Pt. A, pp. 153–172



    Malcolm Hamilton is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Reading. His research and publications are now predominantly in the area of the sociology of religion and some have become essential reading for relevant courses world wide.