2nd Edition

Sociology of Religion
An Historical Introduction

Edited By

Walter Wallace

ISBN 9781315130002
Published September 8, 2017 by Routledge
328 Pages

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Book Description

Sociology of Religion represents a documented introduction to the history of sociological thought as applied to religious phenomena. It examines both the substantive and functional definitions of religion that are more open, pluralistic, and not inscribed in a single explanatory horizon or within a single confessional perspective. The contributors' concerns are carefully written to show all sides of the argument.

Roberto Cipriani argues for the simple definition that the sociology of religion is an application of sociological theories and methods to religious phenomena. Historically, close ties between sociology and the sociology of religion exist. The slow and uneven development of theory and methods affects the sociology of religion's development, but the latter has also benefited from increasing precision and scientific validity. Other sociological writers agree and disagree about different approaches. Some assume it is a militantly confessional or anti-confessional; others remain neutral within their work.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

About the Author

Introduction to the Transaction Edition: Ideology, Social Constructionism, and the Sociology of Religion by Howard Schneiderman

Preface to the English Edition

The Sociological Definition of Religion

Part I The Origins

1. The Historical-Philosophical Background
2. August Comte (1798–1857): The Universal Religion
3. Tocqueville (1805–1859): Religion and Democracy
4. Bergson (1859–1941): Religion and "elan Vital"
5. The Contribution of Anthropology

Part II The Classics

1. Durkheim (1858–1917): Religious Forms
2. Weber (1864–1920): Universal Religions
3. Simmel (1858–1918): Religiosity and Religion
4. Freud (1856–1939): The Psychic Dimension of Religion
5. William James (1842–1910): Psychosocial Perspective

Part III The Contemporaries

1. Religion as Universal
2. The Macrosociological Approach
3. The Historical-Cultural Dynamics
4. The Frankfurt School and Religion
5. The New European Perspectives
6. The Socioanthropological Perspectives

Part IV The Recent Developments

1. Secularization
2. Religious Pluralism
3. Robert Bellah (1927–2013): Civil Religion
4. North American Trends
5. The European Trends
6. Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998): Religion as Function
7. The New Religious Movements



Author Index

General Index

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