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Edited by Joyce Ann Mercer and Bonnie Miller-McLemore

In this landmark volume, internationally recognized scholars address key intellectual and practical conundrums that not only trouble practical theology but also reflect biases and breakdowns in the construction of theological knowledge in academy and religious communities at large. With critical facility and unheralded honesty that includes reflexivity about their own lives in the academy, the authors tackle complex issues that refuse easy solutions— racism, hierarchy of theory over practice, devaluation of small case studies, risks of interdisciplinarity to scholarly identity, inequities between Christian traditions, unreflective Christian-centrism, and tensions between the production of scholarship and public service. Outcomes of these issues will have serious implications for the discipline and the study of theology for years to come.

Contributors include Tom Beaudoin, Eileen R. Campbell-Reed, Faustino M. Cruz, Jaco Dreyer, Courtney T. Goto, Tone Stangeland Kaufman, Joyce Ann Mercer, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Phillis Isabella Sheppard, Katherine Turpin, Claire E. Wolfteich.

Sociology of Shiʿite Islam

Collected Essays

Saïd Amir Arjomand

Sociology of Shiʿite Islam is a comprehensive study of the development of Shiʿism. Its bearers first emerged as a sectarian elite, then a hierocracy and finally a theocracy. Imamate, Occultation and the theodicy of martyrdom are identified as the main components of the Shiʻism as a world religion. In these collected essays Arjomand has persistenly developed a Weberian theoretical framework for the analysis of Shiʿism, from its sectarian formation in the eighth century through the establishment of the Safavid empire in the sixteenth century, to the Islamic revolution in Iran in the twentieth century. These studies highlight revolutionary impulses embedded in the belief in the advent of the hidden Imam, and the impact of Shiʻite political ethics on the authority structure of pre-modern Iran and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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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.

Shalom, the Spirit and Pentecostal Conversion

A Practical-Theological Study

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Grace Milton

In Shalom, the Spirit and Pentecostal Conversion, Grace Milton presents a uniquely practical-theological model of Pentecostal conversion, centered on empirical data from a congregational case study. Pentecostal-Charismatic conversion is commonly equated with a dramatic, “Damascus road” type event, which directly opposes prevailing theories within the social sciences that conversion is a more gradual process over time. This raises the question, how far do these Pentecostal stereotypes reflect lived experience?

In this book, for the first time, the experiences and beliefs of ordinary Pentecostal believers are drawn into conversation with conversion theories from the human sciences (sociology, psychology and anthropology) and theology. The result is a distinctly Pentecostal model of conversion, which interprets religious transformation through the theological lens of Shalom.

Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life

The Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America

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Jakob Egeris Thorsen

In Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.

The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.

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Paola Cavaliere

Based upon a survey of five faith-based volunteer groups, Promising Practices offers valuable insights and fresh perspectives into the ways women’s participation in religious civic organizations may work as a gateway toward participatory democracy. By approaching women’s faith-based volunteering as a social practice, the book engages with three of the most important dimensions of civil society: gender, religion, and democracy. Cavaliere teases out the complexity of interactions among these three dimensions of civic life through stories of individual women who volunteer for three different religious organizations. The volume examines how faith-based volunteering is experienced by women in contemporary Japan and how it becomes a site of empowering and disempowering practices through which women balance the benefits and the costs of personal shifts, socio-economic changes and democratic transformation.

Dark Enlightenment

The Historical, Sociological, and Discursive Contexts of Contemporary Esoteric Magic

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Kennet Granholm

In Dark Enlightenment Kennet Granholm explores the historical, sociological, and discursive contexts of contemporary esoteric magic. The book is focused on the Sweden-originated Left-Hand Path magic order Dragon Rouge in particular, but through a detailed contextualizing examination of this case study it offers a broader visage of contemporary esotericism in general. The author takes cue from both the historiography of Western esotericism and the sociological study of new religions and religious change, aiming to provide a transdisciplinary framework for a comprehensive study of esotericism in late modernity.

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.

Yours the Power

Faith-based Organizing in the USA

Edited by Katie Day, Esther McIntosh and William Storrar

Despite shifts in the religious landscape in North America--reflected in the significant increase in those with no religious affiliation and emptier pews across the religious spectrum--there has also been a rise in participation in faith-based grassroots organizations. People of faith are increasingly joining broad-based organizing efforts to seek social change in their communities, regions and country.

This unique volume brings together the most current thinking on faith-based organizing from the perspective of theologians, social researchers and practitioners. The current state of faith based organizing is critically presented, as it has evolved from its roots in the mid-twentieth century into a context which raises new questions for its philosophical assumptions, methodology, and very future.

Originally published as issue 4 of Volume 6 (2012) of Brill's International Journal of Public Theology.

Emma Wild-Wood

Christianity and migration have greatly influenced society and culture of sub-Saharan Africa, yet their mutual impact is rarely studied. Through oral history research in north eastern Congo (DRC), this book studies the migration of Anglicans and the subsequent reconfiguring of their Christian identity. It engages with issues of religious contextualisation, revivalism and the rise of Pentecostalism. It examines shifting ethnic, national, gender and generational expressions, the influence of tradition, contemporanity, local needs and international networks to reveal mobile group identities developing through migration. Borrowing the metaphor of 'home' from those interviewed, the book suggests in what ways religious affiliation aids a process of belonging. The result is an original exploration of important themes in an often neglected region of Africa.