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Series:

Edited by Brian Grim, Todd M. Johnson, Vegard Skirbekk and Gina Zurlo

The Yearbook of International Religious Demography presents an annual snapshot of the state of religious statistics around the world. Every year large amounts of data are collected through censuses, surveys, polls, religious communities, scholars, and a host of other sources. These data are collated and analyzed by research centers and scholars around the world. Large amounts of data appear in analyzed form in the World Religion Database (Brill), aiming at a researcher’s audience. The Yearbook presents data in sets of tables and scholarly articles spanning social science, demography, history, and geography. Each issue offers findings, sources, methods, and implications surrounding international religious demography. Each year an assessment is made of new data made available since the previous issue of the yearbook.

Contributors are: Todd Johnson, Gina Zurlo, Peter Crossing, Juan Cruz Esquivel, Fortunato Mallimaci, Annalisa Butticci, Brian Grim, Philip Connor, Ken Chitwood, Vegard Skirbekk, Marcin Stonawski, Rodrigo Franklin de Sousa, Davis Brown, Juan Carlos Esparza Ochoa, and Maria Concepción Servín Nieto.

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion

Volume 6: Religion and Internet (2015)

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Edited by Daniel Enstedt, Göran Larsson and Enzo Pace

While the churches are emptying, other virtual religious places – as the religious websites – seem to be filling up. The researcher focusing on religion and internet or digital religion as an object of study must seek answers to a number of questions. Is computer-mediated religious communication a particular communication process whose object is what we conventionally call religion? Or is it a modern, independent form of religious expressiveness that finds its new-born status in the web and its particular language? To examine the questions above, and others, the book collects more empirical data, claiming that the Internet will have a specific or novel impact on how religious traditions are interpreted. The blurring of previous boundaries (offline/online, virtual/local, illegitimate/legitimate religion) is another theme common to all the contributions in this volume.

Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning

Beyond Durkheim and Rappaport

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Paul Cassell

Why is religion so important to individuals and societies? What gives religion its profound meaningfulness and longevity? Enhancing perspectives taken from sociology and ritual theory, Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning describes how ‘emergence theory’ – developed to make sense of life and mind – explains why religious communities are special when compared to ordinary human social groups. Paul Cassell argues that in religious ritual, beliefs concerning unseen divine agencies are made uniquely potent, inviting and guiding powerful, alternative experiences, and giving religious groups a form of organization distinct from ordinary human social groups. Going beyond the foundational descriptions of Émile Durkheim and Roy Rappaport, Cassell utilizes the best of 21st century emergence theory to characterize religion’s emergent dynamics.

Present-Day Spiritualities

Contrasts and Overlaps

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Edited by Elisabeth Hense, Frans P.M. Jespers and Peter J.A. Nissen

Many forms of present-day Western spirituality contribute to people’s well-being, whereas others have raised criticism. The study of these different forms is, however, complicated by their continuously diverging practices and ideas. By bringing to bear a multidisciplinary approach, the ten specialists of this volume are able to analyze diverse new instances of spirituality, e.g. in religious contexts (Buddhism, Christianity), popular use, organizations and enterprises, (alternative) health service, and works of art. Most contributions also discuss methods and theories. In their editorial chapters, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers and Peter Nissen show the remarkable overlaps in the approaches, definitions and evaluations of the contributions in this volume and provide a theoretical framework. Both the fresh analyses and the theoretical reflections in this volume point the way to new approaches in this field of study.

Contributors include: Jerry Biberman, Mark Elliott, Miguel Farias, Johan Goud, Paul Heelas, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers, Hubert Knoblauch, Peter Nissen, Paul van der Velde

The Concept of Religion

Defining and Measuring Contemporary Beliefs and Practices

Edited by Hans Schilderman

In The Concept of Religion Hans Schilderman edits a volume on the definition and empirical study of religion within the changing landscape of modern society. Now that we can no longer assume a simple harmony between the scientific concept of religion, church doctrine and practiced belief, issues concerning the definition and measurement of religion are becoming crucial issues to academic institutions. The contributing authors present empirical studies studying issues of lifespan and socialisation at school settings; of vocation and profession at church and hospital settings; and culture and nation of society at large. The volume offers a beautiful sample of the empirical study of religion; a conceptual and illustrative overview of the academic field for students and scholars in religion.

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Edited by Aaron W. Hughes

Theory and Method are two words that cause considerable consternation in the academic study of religion. Although everyone claims to be aware of and to engage them, the fact of the matter is that they remain poorly understood. Some see the terms as irritants that get in the way of data interpretation and translation. Others may invoke them sporadically to appear in vogue but then return quickly and myopically to their material and with little concern for the larger issues that such terms raise. To contribute to these debates, the present volume reproduces select articles from Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (MTSR) from the first 25 volumes of the journal, and allows a group of younger scholars to introduce and review them, asking if the issues raised are still relevant to the field.

Read the Inaugural Editorial now, please click here.

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Edited by Cristina Rocha and Manuel Arturo Vasquez

The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions explores the global spread of religions originating in Brazil, a country that has emerged as a major pole of religious innovation and production. Through ethnographically-rich case studies throughout the world, ranging from the Americas (Canada, the U.S., Peru, and Argentina) and Europe (the U.K., Portugal, and the Netherlands) to Asia (Japan) and Oceania (Australia), the book examines the conditions, actors, and media that have made possible the worldwide construction, circulation, and consumption of Brazilian religious identities, practices, and lifestyles, including those connected with indigenized forms of Pentecostalism and Catholicism, African-based religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda, as well as diverse expressions of New Age Spiritism and Ayahuasca-centered neo-shamanism like Vale do Amanhecer and Santo Daime.

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Edited by Carole Cusack and Alex Norman

The cultural products of new religions and spiritualities are frequently ignored or dismissed within academia, often stemming from a hesitation to acknowledge these movements as genuine. This volume explores the impact of new religions upon cultural production, exemplifying the theological and spiritual principles of particular movements and demonstrating their substantial impact on wider society. Contributions explore the realms of music, architecture, food, art, books, films, video games, and more. This scholarship will be of interest to those who wish to explore the gamut of modern religious expression, and those who wish to broaden their knowledge of the spiritual origins of human culture.