Social Theory and Religion

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9780521774314: Social Theory and Religion

This book looks at ways of improving our understanding of religious change by strengthening the links between social theory and the social scientific study of religion. James Beckford reviews the current state of social scientific knowledge about religion. He clarifies the social processes involved in constructing religious and non-religious environments in public and private life. Beckford reveals the importance of these boundaries by referring to studies of secularization, religious diversity, globalization, religious movements and self-identity.

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Book Description:

Many aspects of religion are puzzling these days. This book looks at ways of improving our understanding of religious change by strengthening the links between social theory and the social scientific study of religion. It clarifies the social processes involved in constructing religion and non-religion in public and private life. Taking illustrations of the importance of these boundaries from studies of secularisation, religious diversity, globalisation, religious movements and self-identity, James A. Beckford reviews the current state of social scientific knowledge about religion.

About the Author:

James A. Beckford is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. His previous publications include The Trumpet of Prophecy. A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses (1975), Cult Controversies. The Societal Response to New Religious Movements (1989), Religion and Advanced Industrial Society (1989) and Religion in Prison. 'Equal Rites' in a Multi-Faith Society (with S. Gilliat, Cambridge University Press, 1998).

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