Politics and Religion in the United Kingdom

By Steve Bruce

© 2012 – Routledge

198 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415643672
pub: 2012-07-26
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415664929
pub: 2011-10-03
US Dollars$145.00

About the Book

This important new volume seeks to provide significant contribution to our understanding of religion and politics, demonstrating through comparisons with other countries the unusually complex nature of the interaction of religion and politics in the United Kingdom.

Bruce provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the field, covering key topics including:

  • Religion and Violence in Northern Ireland
  • A UK-US comparison of the relationship between the church and the nation state
  • Links between Protestantism and the rise of modern democracy
  • The relationship between Methodism and Socialism
  • The impact that ethnic minority status and religious values have on political alignment

This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of religion, politics and religious sociology.


"This is a book well worth reading. It offers robust analysis suggesting that claims of religious resurgence have more to do with 'academic novelty-seeking' than the realities of secular Britain." - John Anderson, LSE Review of Books, July 2012

Table of Contents

1. British Gods 2. The Politics of Religion 3. Religion and Violence in Northern Ireland 4. Sectarianism in Modern Scotland 5. Did Protestantism Create Democracy? 6. Methodism and Socialism 7. Opportunity Structures and Culture Wars 8. Christian Parties 9. Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in British Politics 10. The Public Place of Religion

About the Author

Steve Bruce was born in Edinburgh and educated at the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, Perthshire. He studied sociology and religious studies at the University of Stirling. He taught at The Queen’s University, Belfast, from 1978 to 1991 when he became Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and in 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He is the author of some 140 journal articles and essays in edited collections and 24 books including: God save Ulster: the religion and politics of Paisleyism (Oxford 1986); Religion in the Modern World: from cathedrals to cults (Oxford 1996); Conservative Protestant Politics (Oxford 1998); Choice and Religion: a critique of rational choice theory (Oxford 2000); Fundamentalism (Polity 2001); God is Dead: Secularization in the West (Blackwell 2002); Politics and Religion (Polity 2003); Paisley (Oxford 2007); and The Theory of Secularization (Oxford 2010).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics

This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).

The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.

Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.

In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General