As the title suggests,
Political Religion, Everyday Religion: Sociological Trends reflects upon two important trends that have recently emerged in the sociology of religion. Firstly, there is an increasing interest in the interplay between religion and politics. Religion has moved from being almost ignored by sociologists to being acknowledged – some would even say overrated – as an important political factor. Secondly, ordinary people’s everyday religion has likewise become an important topic for many researchers. In this book, James Beckford, Inger Furseth and other prominent scholars present critical discussions and empirical studies of both political and everyday religion, and the editor, Pål Repstad, shows how these two trends should enter into a closer dialogue. The book is essential for both students and experienced researchers in the sociology of religion.
Catholicism is generally over-institutionalized and over-centralized in comparison to other religions. However, it finds itself in an increasingly interrelated and globalized world and is therefore immersed in a great plurality of social realities.
The Changing Faces of Catholicism assembles an international cast of contributors to explore the consequent decline of powerful Catholic organisations as well as to address the responses and resistance efforts that specific countries have taken to counteract the secularization crisis in both Europe and the Americas. It reveals some of the strategies of the Catholic Church as a whole, and of the Vatican centre in particular, to address problems of the global era through the dissemination of spiritually progressive writing, World Youth Days, and the transformation of Catholic education to become a forum for intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The volume also reflects on the adaptation of Catholic institutions and missions as sponsored by religious communities and monastic orders.
Middle-Class Pentecostalism in Argentina: Inappropriate Spirits Jens Koehrsen offers an intriguing account of how the middle class relates to Latin America´s most vibrant religious movement. Based on pervasive field research, this study suggests that Pentecostalism stands in tension with the social imaginary of the middle class and is perceived as an inappropriate lower class practice. As such, middle class Pentecostals negotiate the appropriateness of their religious belonging by demonstrating distinctive tastes and styles of Pentecostalism. Abstaining from the expressiveness, emotionality, and strong spiritual practice that have marked the movement, they create a milder and socially more acceptable form of Pentecostalism. Increasingly turning into a middle class movement, this style has the potential to embody the future shape of Pentecostalism.
Sociology of Religion in America tells the story of the controversies involved in the development of a scientific specialty that often makes news in America. The evidence it presents runs contrary to the many myths about the field. Sometimes viewed by scholars as a backwater, actual evidence from the 1890s to the 1980s shows that sociology of religion had a steady presence in sociology all along. Seen as a force alien to religion by some, it was actually in a mutually supportive relationship with religious organizations.
Examining dissertations dating from 1895 to 1959 and scientific articles from the 1960s to the 1980s, Anthony J. Blasi discovers who the major sociologists of religion were and what they did. He traces the field’s previously unknown tradition in community studies, the exigencies of the research institutes, and dramatic changes in the professional associations.