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Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences

Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences


  • Date Published: November 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521795081

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About the Authors
  • Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences explores the religious consequences of the so-called 'end of history' and 'triumph of capitalism' as they have impinged upon key institutions of social reproduction in recent times. The book explores the imposition of managerial modernity upon successive sectors of society and shows why many people today feel themselves to be oppressed by systems of management that seem to leave them no option but to conform. This culture has spread through education, health and social services and has been welcomed by the churches. Richard Roberts seeks to challenge and outflank such seamless, oppressive modernity, through reconfiguration of the religious and spiritual field. This volume will be of use to a range of students in humanities and social sciences (particularly theology and the sociology of religion) and should become standard reading for those concerned with the practical application of contemporary theology in a postmodern world.

    • Argues that religion, theology and spirituality have lost their distinctive cultures and that a drastic overhaul of what passes for 'religion' in modernity/postmodernity is required
    • Roberts' vibrant and direct style provides an honest and thorough investigation of key topics
    • Reaches readers across the disciplinary boundaries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences is a highly original … and important collection: original in its clarity … important as a substantial contribution to debates that have hardly begun at this level of intellectual intensity'. The Times Literary Supplement

    '… an exciting … collection of essays written during 1989–99. Highly personal, intellectual and humane, these reflections read as an integrated volume and challenge the reader in a deeply ethical way.' Theology

    '… a very well-integrated collection of essays … The book is both a stimulant and a guide to the exploration of many issues that we all need to address, hopefully with the same trenchancy found in these essays, if there is to be salvation for humankind.' Crucible

    '… [the] combination of intellectual rigor and uncompromising moral purpose makes this difficult, timely book well worth reading.' Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology

    'This book is essential not only for what it says, but also for how it says it. Richard Roberts accomplishes a masterful demonstration … With a rigour that has become so rare as to surprise when encountered again, but also with passionate personal involvement, this is a book that enriches in every way.' Organisation Reviews

    '… up-do-date enlightenment and a challenge. I particularly valued the chapter on The Souls of Europe.' The Herald (Glasgow)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521795081
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Spirits of Capitalism and the Commodification of the Soul:
    1. The closed circle: Marxism, Christianity and the 'end of history'
    2. Religion and the 'enterprise culture': the British experience from Thatcher to Blair (1979–99)
    3. Power and empowerment: New Age managers and the dialects of modernity/postmodernity
    4. The end of the university and the last academic?
    Part II. Theology and Power in the Matrix of Modernity/Postmodernity:
    5. Lord, bondsman, and churchman: integrity, identity and power in Anglicanism
    6. Ruling the body: the care of souls in a managerial church
    7. Theology and the social sciences
    Part III. Religion and Social Science: Identity, Globalisation and the Transmutations of the Religious Field:
    8. The souls of Europe: identity, religion and theology
    9. Globalized religion: the Parliament of the World's Religions (Chicago 1993) in theoretical perspective
    10. Time, virtuality and the goddess: transmutations of the religious field
    11. Identity as vocation: the prospect for religion.

  • Author

    Richard H. Roberts, Lancaster University
    Richard Roberts is Professor of Religious Studies at Lancaster University. He has not shrunk from controversy and is known among senior British academic figures for his pursuit of a consistently critical line against the managerialisation and bureaucratisation of both universities and churches. His publications include Hope and its Hieroglyph: A Critical Decipherment of Ernst Bloch's 'Principle of Hope' (1990), A Theology on its Way: Essays on Karl Barth (1992), The Recovery of Rhetoric: Persuasive Discourse and Disciplinarity in the Human Sciences (co-edited with J. M. M. Good, 1993), Religion and the Transformations of Capitalism: Comparative Approaches (editor, 1995), Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World (co-edited with Jo Pearson and Geoffrey Samuel, 1998), and Time and Value (co-edited with Scott Lash and Andrew Quick, 1998).

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