This clear introduction to the sociology of religion combines a discussion of key theorists with a modern emphasis on the diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Malcolm Hamilton's expanded second edition brings the discussion fully up-to-date, and extends its material on secularization and religious sects, giving a broad comparative view. Drawing on the insights of history, anthropology and sociology, he surveys classic and contemporary theory to give a full picture of the variety and scope of theoretical perspectives.
Table of Contents
Preface to the second edition, 1. Introduction, 2. Religion and reason, 3. Magic, 4. Religion and emotion, 5. Buddhism, 6. Religion and ideology: Karl Marx, 7. The coming of the millennium, 8. Religion and solidarity: Emile Durkheim, 9. The birth of the gods, 10. Religion and solidarity: the functionalists, 11. Taboos and rituals, 12. Religion and rationality: Max Weber, 13. The Protestant ethic debate, 14. Religion and meaning, 15. Secularisation, 16. Religion and rational choice, 17. Sects, cults and movements, 18. Conclusion, Notes, Bibliography, Index
Malcolm Hamilton is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Reading. Other publications include Sociology and the World's Religions, Democratic Socialism in Britain and Sweden and Class and Inequality in Comparative Perspective.