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Religion and Modern Society
Citizenship, Secularisation and the State

$29.99 (G)

  • Date Published: May 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521675321

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Religion is now high on the public agenda, with recent events focusing the world's attention on Islam in particular. This book provides a unique historical and comparative analysis of the place of religion in the emergence of modern secular society. Bryan S. Turner considers the problems of multicultural, multifaith societies and legal pluralism in terms of citizenship and the state, with special emphasis on the problems of defining religion and the sacred in the secularization debate. He explores a range of issues central to current debates: the secularization thesis itself, the communications revolution, the rise of youth spirituality, feminism, piety and religious revival. Religion and Modern Society contributes to political and ethical controversies through discussions of cosmopolitanism, religion and globalization. It concludes with a pessimistic analysis of the erosion of the social in modern society and the inability of new religions to provide ‘social repair'.

    • Argues that religion has always been important to classical sociology because it played a major role in the constant renewal of the social
    • Explores how key figures in the sociology of religion (Durkheim, Weber, Parsons, Bellah, Douglas and Bourdieu) sought to understand modernity through the lens of sociology
    • Discusses major issues in the study of modernity including secularisation, American exceptionalism, multiculturalism, the state, citizenship, fundamentalism, spirituality and piety, offering the reader a comprehensive overview of key issues facing modern societies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A distinguished display of theoretical sophistication and empirical richness that restores religion to its rightful position at the centre of sociological debates about modernity, globalization, multiculturalism, consumerism, cosmopolitanism and citizenship. Bryan Turner’s highly readable book is full of original and provocative contributions towards a fresh understanding of religion and spirituality at the level of individuals, nations and global society."
    James A. Beckford, University of Warwick

    "Bryan Turner’s intellectual breadth and his deep appreciation of religion as a global force converge in an insightful analysis of the many ways in which religion, politics, and everyday culture interpenetrate today."
    Michele Dillon, Professor of Sociology, University of New Hampshire

    "In advancing a comparative sociology of global religion, Bryan Turner produces a penetrating, if controversial, counterpoint to the common assumption that we are in a robustly, even violently, sacralised age. He clinically interrogates conventional assumptions and makes the compelling argument that a globalised market economy has encouraged both a sliding scale of church-state separation and commercialised social religion: not the 'revenge of God', but secularisation of an often unappealing kind. All who think, or worry, about the impact of religious affiliation on society and politics need to read this book."
    James Piscatori, Durham University

    "It is a praiseworthy work that reminds sociologists to maintain a balance between specialized research subfields and the borders of interdisciplinary debate, between theoretical criticism and conceptual clarification, and between empirical richness and normative expectation. Thus, Religion and Modern Society is not only an endeavor of sociology of religion which moves beyond the secularization theme and the rational choice approach to religion; it is also an accomplishment that melds body studies, citizenship studies, social theory, and social research into a sociological intervention of both the public issues of religions and the humanity debate of post-secularity … This book is highly recommended to researchers interested in sociology of religion, social theory, and humanity studies of religion."

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521675321
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the state of the sociology of religion
    Part I. Theoretical Frameworks: The Problem of Religion in Sociology:
    1. Religion, religions and the body
    2. Émile Durkheim and the classification of religion
    3. Max Weber and comparative religion
    4. Talcott Parsons and the expressive revolution
    5. Mary Douglas and modern primitives
    6. Pierre Bourdieu and religious practice
    Part II. Religion, State and Post-Secularity:
    7. The secularization thesis
    8. Legal pluralism, religion and multiculturalism
    9. Managing religions: liberal and authoritarian states
    10. Religious speech: on ineffable communication
    11. Spiritualities: the media, feminism and consumerism
    12. Religion, globalisation and cosmopolitanism
    13. Civil religion, citizenship and the business cycle
    14. The globalisation of piety.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Islam and Modernity
    • Islamic Political Thought
    • Religion and Ritual
    • Sociology of Globalization
  • Author

    Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York
    Bryan S. Turner is Presidential Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate School and Director of the Committee on Religion. He is a prominent figure in the field of the sociology of religion and editor of The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology (2006).

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