1st Edition

(Un)Believing in Modern Society Religion, Spirituality, and Religious-Secular Competition

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    This landmark study in the sociology of religion sheds new light on the question of what has happened to religion and spirituality since the 1960s in modern societies. Exposing several analytical weaknesses of today's sociology of religion, (Un)Believing in Modern Society presents a new theory of religious-secular competition and a new typology of ways of being religious/secular. The authors draw on a specific European society (Switzerland) as their test case, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to show how the theory can be applied. Identifying four ways of being religious/secular in a modern society: 'institutional', 'alternative', 'distanced' and 'secular' they show how and why these forms have emerged as a result of religious-secular competition and describe in what ways all four forms are adapted to the current, individualized society.

    Preface; Introduction: religion and spirituality in the me-society, Jörg Stolz and Judith Könemann; A theory of religious-secular competition, Jörg Stolz and Judith Könemann; Four forms of (un)belief, Jörg Stolz and Mallory Schneuwly-Purdie; Identity and social structure, Jörg Stolz and Mallory Schneuwly-Purdie; Belief, knowledge, experience, action, Mallory Schneuwly Purdie and Jörg Stolz; Values and change of values, Jörg Stolz and Thomas Englberger; Major churches, evangelical churches and alternative-spiritual suppliers, Jörg Stolz and Thomas Englberger; The perception and evaluation of religion(s), Jörg Stolz and Thomas Englberger; The change in religiosity, spirituality and secularity, Jörg Stolz, Thomas Englberger, Michael Krüggeler, Judith Könemann and Mallory Schneuwly Purdie; Conclusion: (un)believing in modern society, Jörg Stolz and Judith Könemann; Appendix;


    Jörg Stolz is Professor of Sociology of Religion at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Substantively, he works on the description and explanation of different forms of religiosity, evangelicalism, secularization, and comparison of religious groups across religious traditions.

    Judith Könemann is Professor of Practical Theology in the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Münster, Germany. She works on the description and explanation of various forms of individual religiosity, and religion in the public sphere.

    Mallory Schneuwly Purdie holds a PhD in Sociology of Religion and Applied Study of Religion. She is a researcher at the Institute for the Social Sciences of Religions at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

    Thomas Englberger has worked on the description of religiosity in Switzerland, especially on Roman Catholicism, and on the pluralisation of values and religiosity.

    Michael Krüggeler, PhD, is a sociologist of religion who has worked both quantitatively and qualitatively on the secularization and individualization of religion.

    "While many sociologists of religion use the ideas of competition and a spiritual marketplace to explain the growth of religion, Stolz and colleagues use "market theory" to explain what they see as the growing secularization of society." – ReligionWatch, December 2016

    "The theory of religious-secular competition makes a valuable contribution to ongoing discussions over secularization theory and its alternatives." - Eric Chalfant, Portland Community College.