Religion, Secularization and Social Change in Wales: Congregational Studies in a Post-Christian Society (Paperback)Paul Chambers (author)
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 10/01/2005
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This book addresses the marked decline of religious practice and subsequent eclipse of the social significance of religious institutions in contemporary Wales from a sociological perspective. Throughout, the text is lively, lucid, well paced and is written to be accessible to non-specialists and church leaders as well as sociologists of religion. It breaks new ground in its combination of fieldwork and theory, redressing the tendency within British sociology of religion towards either over-generalized abstraction or under-theorized empirical description. Beginning with a wide-ranging and critical exploration of the main theoretical currents informing the idea of secularization, it then focuses on an account of social and religious change in Wales that incorporates a range of sociological factors relating to class, economy, community, social mobility, demography and cultural identity. Fieldwork interviews provide a compelling account of contemporary religious practice while offering a strong sense of the historical dimension of patterns of social and cultural change within Wales. Apart from its contribution to the sociology of religion, this book makes a significant contribution to the relatively new discipline of congregational studies. It is particularly useful in bringing a more nuanced understanding to notions such as 'evangelical' and questioning the myth of the comparative success of evangelical-charismatic religion in late-modern society. Questions of social class are dealt with directly and usefully as is the impact of social change on difference of outlook between the generations.
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm
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