1st Edition

The Invisible Religion The Problem of Religion in Modern Society

Edited By Tom Kaden, Thomas Luckmann, Bernt Schnettler Copyright 2023
    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Invisible Religion is a modern classic of social science. Its influence goes well beyond sociology as it continues to inspire research in such diverse fields as sociology of knowledge, ethnology, theology, sociology of religion, and religious studies. In this volume, the author endeavours to answer one of the most important questions regarding religion in modern times: Are Western societies indeed becoming more secular as they modernize? His surprising answer is still part of the ongoing debates about secularization as he argues that rather than a decline of religion, we are witnessing a shift from an older Church-centered form, to another invisible and still largely unexplored form of religion. Explaining why focusing only on Church when discussing religion is inadequate, this book presents a thorough case for reframing the question of the status of religion in modern life in a way that makes visible forms of religion hitherto unseen, and sketches some aspects of this new form. As such, it will appeal to sociologists with interests in social theory, religion, and the secularization thesis.

    Editors' Introduction



    I. Religion, Church and Sociology

    II. Church-Oriented Religion on the Periphery of Modern Society

    III. The Anthropological Condition of Religion

    IV. The Social Forms of Religion

    V. Individual Religiosity

    VI. Religion and Personal Identity in Modern Society

    VII. Modern Religious Themes



    Thomas Luckmann was born in Jesenice, Slovenia and studied in Vienna and Innsbruck in Austria. From 1955 to 1965, he taught both at The New School and at Hobart College in New York. Returning to Europe, he became Professor of Sociology first at the University of Frankfurt, then at the University of Konstanz, where he remained until his retirement in 1994. The co-author of The Social Construction of Reality and The Structures of the Life-World, he is regarded as one of the founders, with Peter L. Berger, of the 'new' sociology of knowledge.

    Tom Kaden is a faculty member at the Institute of Sociology, University of Bayreuth, Germany. He is the author of Creationism and Anti-Creationism in the United States of America and the co-editor of Science, Belief and Society: International Perspectives on Religion, Non-Religion and the Public Understanding of Science.

    Bernt Schnettler is Professor and Chair for Sociology of Culture and Religion at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He is the author of the book on Thomas Luckmann in the German book series Klassiker der Wissenssoziologie.