Generations X and Y are plugged into the contemporary world of consumption, popular culture, and the internet. These generations treat knowledge and belief as a more flexible concept, often focusing on the practical rather than the theoretical and often drawing on conflicting sources in both popular and cyber culture. Their approach to religious belief and practice requires a new way of studying the sociology of religion. 'Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y' examines key world religions - Buddhism, Christianity and Islam - as well as newer religious groups, such as Scientology, New Age, Witchcraft and online communities such as Jediism and Matrixism. The book covers a range of key concepts: secularisation and modernisation, re-enchantment, the 'McDonaldisation' of society, and the easternisation of the west. Each chapter opens with a case study from popular culture or the internet which takes the reader to the heart of the topic being discussed. Employing both classical sociological theory and contemporary critical theory, 'Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y' explains where contemporary religion and spirituality are coming from, where they are now, and where they are going.
Introduction: X-ers and Y-ers as Cohorts of the Post 1970'S Generation 1: Religious Diversity and the Politics of Definition 2: Religion and Popular Culture 3: Religion and Modernity: Marx, Dukheim and Weber 4: Religion, Spirituality and the Post-secularisation Approach 5: Religion and Postmodernity (Part A): Consumer Religions 6: Religion and Postmodernity (Part B): Hyper-reality and the Internet 7: Esotericism, its 'McDonaldisation' and its Re-enchantment Process 8: Monotheistic Fundamentalism(s) as an outcome of consumer culture 9: Buddhism, its Westernisation and the Easternisation of the West 10: Christianity, Churches and Sects in a Postchristian World 11: The Multiple-Modernities of Islam? 12: New Religious Movements and the Death of the New Age 13: Witchcraft, the Internet and Consumerism Conclusion: What do Sociologists of Religion in Academia do Apart from Teaching and Marking? Their Work as Intellectuals References Index