The contributors to Bringing Back the Social into the Sociology of Religion explore how 'bringing the social back into the sociology of religion' makes possible a more adequate sociological understanding of such topics as power, emotions, the self, or ethnic relations in religious life. In particular, they do so by engaging with social theories and addressing issues of epistemology and scientific reflexivity. The chapters of this book cover a range of different religious traditions and regions of the world such as Sufism in Pakistan; the Kabbalah Centre in Europe, Brazil and Israel; African Christian missions in Europe; and Evangelical Christianity in France and Oceania. They are based upon original empirical research, making use of a range of methods - quantitative, ethnographic and documentary.
Véronique Altglas is lecturer in Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast. Her book, From Yoga to Kabbalah: Religious Exoticism and the Logics of Bricolage, was chosen by the International Society for the Sociology of Religion as the best book in 2017.
Matthew Wood (1970-2015) was lecturer in Sociology at Queen's University Belfast. His work is particularly influential for the study of New Age, spirituality, and the epistemology of the sociology of religion. It includes Possession, Power and the New Age (2007).
Contributors are: Véronique Altglas, Peter Doak, Yannick Fer, Gwendoline Malogne-Fer, Christophe Monnot, Eric Morier-Genoud, Alix Philippon, Matthew Wood.
"This volume engages with some of the most important current debates in sociology and the sociology of religion: the conceptualization of self-authority or agency and its relationship to social structure; the role of sociologists in interpreting data; and the tension between religious sociology and the sociology of religion. While one solution to the latter issue may be to reintroduce the social, another solution may be to develop a more robust conceptual toolkit (...). This volume contributes to both of these strategies."
- Lori G. Beaman, University of Ottawa, Sociology of Religion 80.4, 2019.
This work is relevant for students and academics in the fields of anthropology of religion, sociology of religion, theology, and religious studies.