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Sacred and Secular
Religion and Politics Worldwide

2nd Edition

$32.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics

  • Date Published: October 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107648371

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Seminal nineteenth-century thinkers predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance with the emergence of industrial society. The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century. The traditional secularization thesis needs updating, however, religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the concept of secularization captures an important part of what is going on. This book develops a theory of existential security. It demonstrates that the publics of virtually all advanced industrial societies have been moving toward more secular orientations during the past half century, but also that the world as a whole now has more people with traditional religious views than ever before. This second edition expands the theory and provides new and updated evidence from a broad perspective and in a wide range of countries. This confirms that religiosity persists most strongly among vulnerable populations, especially in poorer nations and in failed states. Conversely, a systematic erosion of religious practices, values, and beliefs has occurred among the more prosperous strata in rich nations.

    • This second edition responds to critics and expands upon the controversial new theory developed to seek to explain patterns of secularization and religiosity
    • Provides updated evidence about the causes and consequences of secularization based on the World Values Survey 1981–2007, conducted in almost 90 societies, along with multiple other sources of data
    • Gives a broad comparative perspective, backed up by systematic evidence, for patterns of religiosity and secularization around the globe
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This second edition is an outstanding contribution to the new thought among social scientists about the process of secularization... Norris and Inglehart present convincing arguments soundly anchored in extensive systematic research from around the globe...[They] provide a brilliant, well-written, and thoroughly convincing second edition of what will surely become a classic in the field. This is an indispensable work for any college-level class concerned with the role of religion in the contemporary world. Summing Up: Essential." -J.J. Preston, Sonoma State University, CHOICE Magazine

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: October 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107648371
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 46 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Understanding Secularization:
    1. The secularization debate
    2. Measuring secularization
    3. Comparing secularization worldwide
    Part II. Case Studies of Religion and Politics:
    4. The puzzle of secularization in the United States and Western Europe
    5. A religious revival in post-communist Europe?
    6. Religion and politics in the Muslim world
    Part III. The Consequences of Secularization:
    7. Religion, the Protestant ethic, and moral values
    8. Religious organizations and social capital
    9. Religious parties and electoral behavior
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    10. Secularization and its consequences
    11. Re-examining the theory of existential security
    12. Re-examining evidence for the security thesis.

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

    • Politics and Religion
    • Politics of Identity: Ethnicity, Religion and Conflict
    • Religion and Globalization
    • Religion in Society
    • Seminar in Politics & Religion
    • Senior Comparative Politics seminar
    • The Evolution of Civilization
    • The Political Economy of Advanced Societies
    • World Views: Religion and Politics
  • Authors

    Pippa Norris, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a visiting professor at Sydney University. Her work analyzes comparative elections and public opinion, gender politics, and political communications. Companion volumes by this author and Ronald Inglehart, also published by Cambridge University Press, include Rising Tide (2003) and Cosmopolitan Communications (2009).

    Ronald Inglehart, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Ronald Inglehart is Professor of Political Science and program director at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. His research deals with changing belief systems and their impact on social and political change. He helped found the Euro-Barometer surveys and directs the World Values Surveys. Related books include Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic and Political Change in Forty-Three Societies and Development, Cultural Change and Democracy (with Christian Welzel).

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