Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis (Hardback)
  • Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis (Hardback)
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Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis (Hardback)

(editor)
£107.50
Hardback 236 Pages / Published: 12/11/1992
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The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy. But increasingly this `secularization thesis' is being challenged on a number of fronts. This collection brings together leading sociologists and historians who share a common interest in advancing our understanding of religious change by clarifying the key elements of the thesis and testing them against appropriate bodies of data. The book begins with an exposition of the thesis by two sociologists and goes on to present and interpret new data on church adherence in the nineteenth century in the USA and Europe, British church membership rates for the last two hundred years and the British 1851 census of church attendance, changes in English Roman Catholicism, and comparisons of American and European religiosity. The collection is completed with a response by Bryan Wilson, for many the chief advocate of the secularization account of religious change. Even where historians and sociologists cannot agree, Religion and Modernization has the great value of clarifying the arguments and pointing the way toward their resolution.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198273691
Number of pages: 236
Weight: 434 g
Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
`The attitudes are scholarly, and the long bibliography points to other sources of information or opinion. What emerges? An answer more nuanced than the early assertions or denials which stimulated the debate, but still clear enough to be a verdict on which I think most juries would be likely to agree.' Church Times
`Several of its papers offer a refreshingly empirical approach.' Political Quarterly
'This symposium of essays is to be welcomed ... Bruce has assembled an interesting and creative mix of sociologists and social historians.' Keith W. Clements, Theology
`This symposium of essays is to be welcomed ... Bruce has assembled an interesting and creative mix of sociologists and social historians ... These central essays are stimulating and informative.' Theology
`this book is recommended reading for religious scholars and social scientists interested in the relationship between religion and modernization. It engages a number of important theoretical questions and presents a wealth of empirical data ... Unlike most edited volumes, this one is a coherent whole ... I must confess that I have in the past been sympathetic to the "secularization is dead" thesis. This book did not force me to capitulate but did cause me to reconsider. In the world of scholarship, that is high praise' The Journal of Religion
`This volume cogently sets out the current state of the debate ... I can only renews unqualified commendation of this volume.' British Journal of Sociology

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