The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion



This handsome book... is particularly welcome and should find a place in every well-stocked library, both academic and other... I particularly like the mix of experienced and younger scholars who have been brought together in this volume and applaud the successful attempt to escape from a study of religion informed by Western, primarily Christian, notions of religion. A further question follows from this. Seriously confronting the realities of religion in the twenty-first century makes new demands on social science, which itself emerged from a similar (i.e., Western) context. To what extent, then, can these demands be met within the parameters of the sociology of religion as we know this? Peter Clarke's meticulously edited volume not only underlines the question, but indicates a way forward. He is to be warmly congratulated. (Grace Davie, Theology )


The contributors of these chapters have been chosen from an impressive pool of top international academics in the field. Not only has the editor done a great job in finding leading academics to write on the most topical issues, but also all the contributors have written a very informative piece, using the most recent data and theories. All the chapters are a delight to read...This is an impressive volume that will delight the student as much as the erudite in the field. All the academic libraries should order this volume as it will soon become an essential reference to any subject in the sociology of religion. It is a must for anyone who calls himself/herself a sociologist of religion to have a copy of this book on his/her bookshels. (Adam Possamai, Australian Religion Studies Review )


Product Description

The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion draws on the expertise of an international team of scholars providing both an entry point into the sociological study and understanding of religion and an in-depth survey into its changing forms and content in the contemporary world. The role and impact of religion and spirituality on the politics, culture, education and health in the modern world is rigorously discussed and debated. The study of the sociology of religion forges interdisciplinary links to explore aspects of continuity and change in the contemporary interface between society and religion. Using a combination of theoretical, methodological and content-led approaches, the fifty-seven contributors collectively emphasise the complex relationships between religion and aspects of life from scientific research to law, ecology to art, music to cognitive science, crime to institutional health care and more. The developing character of religion, irreligion and atheism and the impact of religious diversity on social cohesion are explored. An overview of current scholarship in the field is provided in each themed chapter with an emphasis on encouraging new thinking and reflection on familiar and emergent themes to stimulate further debate and scholarship. The resulting essay collection provides an invaluable resource for research and teaching in this diverse discipline.